Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 300
Synopsis : 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. 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—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight 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. (From Goodreads)
Since the start of 2018, I’ve had this strong want to get more into fae books. I mean… besides the fair folk in the Shadowhunter universe, I don’t think I’ve ever read any book involving them? (Don’t recommend any SJM books to me, please). So I thought why not start somewhere and this was the somewhere my heart was set on, even if the opinions seemed to be divided, with people either loving or hating it. But since a few people I trust seemed to really enjoy it, I had low expectations but high hope. I unfortunately did not enjoy it at all.
The writing has got to be one of my -or my only- favourite parts. It’s beautiful and whimsical and yet simple, the author doesn’t let that whimsical vibe overpower the prose into nonsense (like some books seem to do? Like this gal loves her flowery writing but some people just take it one step too far). The descriptions are vivid and I found myself loving them and how easily they made grasping the setting…until I found myself with overly detailed descriptions of fungus and mucus and other disgusting entities. Which isn’t a bad thing to be honest but I could use a heads up before going from a magical world description to that haha.
I started off intrigued, the premise sounds really cool and the events and characters are weird and silly, but in a good way, I found myself giggling and enjoying my time. It also raised many questions and I just wanted to read more to have them answered, but as I read on, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. The worldbuilding was probably the most frustrating part about An Enchantement of Ravens, it’s just so lackluster. it’s not just about the same recycled tropes that pertain to fair folk, I don’t mind those at all if only the rest of the book was done well but unfortunately, elements would be thrown in there and never expanded upon, some even contradictory.
There’s also the fact that Rook, the autumn prince, was the ONLY one out of all the fair folk to feel emotions, we later on learn why, but it just made me ask more questions, as it’s not something uncommon and other fair folk must have gone through the same thing, so why is that such a big deal? Why was Whimsy different from the world beyond (where the rest of humankind live)? And so on and so forth. There was also the fact that the characters’ motivations for doing basically anything were unclear if not even inexistant and that bugged me.
If there’s one other thing this book has going for it, it’s the fact that it’s pretty entertaining (hence the two stars and not just one), it’s slow but not in a boring way, it’s just how it is, especially with how dramatic everything is made out to be, you just want to keep reading and reading it only to get to the big revealing and know what this big mystery is and how it’ll all be resolved. But. Yes, yes, there’s another but. The ending was so so SO anticlimactic, I found myself thinking “that’s it???”. The way it was handled was so fast and unrealistic (yes even too unrealistic for a book about Fae). And it left me confused and with more questions than when I started.
Now to the characters. The only one that had any sort of depth was the MC, Isobel, she’s a skilled painter that all fair folk seek out to get many portraits of them done. Now, she’s a pretty likeable character, but also a pretty…forgettable one. As I write this review a couple months after reading the book, and even with all my notes, I can’t remember much about her, other than the fact that she grew more and more confident and assured in her worth and capabilities as the book went on, which I really liked. The rest, even her love interest Rook, were cardboard cut outs of characters, no personalities, likes or dislikes. That was probably meant to show just how vain the fair folk are but I just wanted…more.
That’s the theme of the whole book. I wanted more. More worldbuilding. More character development, more romance development. More from the plot. Just more, more, more.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read An Enchantement of Ravens? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.