I received this book for free from Traded in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 26th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
**There may be slight spoilers**
An Enchantment of Ravens– one of my most anticipated fall reads, for sure. Fae/faeries used to be something I sort of avoided, oddly enough. But this year I have been finding myself more and more intrigued about these enchanting creatures. With an absolutely beautiful cover and a stellar sounding blurb, I just knew this was a story I had to get my hands on.
Isobel is an extraordinary painter, well-known to the fae for her Craft. When the elusive autumn prince Rook comes calling for a portrait, forbidden feelings start to develop, and Isobel sees more in the prince than she is supposed to. Mistakenly painting the human emotions she saw and unknowingly tarnishing the autumn prince’s reputation in his house, a potential war starts among the fair folk. Rook whisks Isobel away to the fae world to stand trial and to undo the harm caused by the painting.
It pains me more than I can say that this book wasn’t a 5 star read for me. I did enjoy the story overall but not at all to the extent I hoped for. Perhaps my expectations were too high heading in? I’ll break down what worked for me and what didn’t.
Things I Liked: I love how mysterious and sort of frightening the fae were. They were obsessed with human Craft such as art and painting, like our main character Isobel excelled at, and paid by providing enchantments. Of course they were tricky beings and you had to be extremely careful or your enchantment could turn into a curse. My very favorite enchantment gone wrong came in the form of Isobel’s sisters, March and May, who were originally born as… goats, and then turned into humans. I laughed at these two and their goat-like shenanigans. I wish they were around a little more even because they had such personality. There were a lot of moments of great magic and enchanting spells and I found those to be great highlights throughout the story-telling. I also really enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing. She has a beautiful way with words so I know I will be checking out her future work as well. I like how the story came around at the end and even though I could have used a little more in the epilogue, I’m pleased with the conclusion.
Things I Didn’t Like: I wish the world building was more fleshed out. I just never got a full grasp on this world and the purpose of some of the plot points. The traveling around the fae world felt sort of like unnecessary wandering to further the romance and I just didn’t connect with their relationship or to either the characters as individuals as well. I wanted the trial! I wanted more purpose to what was happening.
Overall this was a good read, just missing something to give it that spark of something great. I do look forward to checking out more stories with the fair folk and look forward to what this author has coming next.