Okay, so I’ve been flipping out over this book alone for too long now. It’s time to grow the fandom. Did I just reveal my evil plan in the first paragraph of this post? Oops.
Before we begin, check out An Enchantment of Ravens on Goodreads, and this will be a spoiler free review.
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts— even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
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.
Isobel is the protagonist and narrator of this story. She’s a gifted artist, which in itself is enough to make me love this book, but she has a pretty good heart, too. I connected with her on a deep level, maybe because I know how it feels to hold the paintbrush in my hand and place the pigment just so. I also get major perfectionist vibes from her, and hello. Who else does that? This girl.
Besides all that, though, Isobel is just thoroughly likeable. She’s not the typical swoony heroine, and I loved that she’s not intimidated or swept up in the fae gorgeousness like other female characters tend to be.
I’m a huge fan of Rook, too. He seems more real to me than many of the other fae dudes in YA/NA books at the moment. Most of them don’t have any real substance beyond holy moly he’s HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, but I got a sense of personality from Rook that I sincerely appreciate.
I know I’ve been comparing these characters to those in other fae books, but it’s difficult not to. The other fae books I’ve recently read all follow the same kind of template. Ravens doesn’t. There’s something unique in the story, and I feel it must be pointed out.
Gadfly is da bomb.
Also, Isobel’s family was really cool, especially the twins.
The plot is really straightforward. Girl paints fair folk, girl accidentally adds emotion to prince’s eyes, prince is pissed, chaos ensues. What the blurb says is exactly what happens in the book.
Does this straightforwardness take away from the plot? Actually, not in my opinion. I found it refreshing. And seriously, I wish there was a sequel to this. These people rock and the world is so much fun.
An Enchantment of Ravens is an easy to read, fun to submerse in YA novel. I’d go as far to say as this is my favourite read of the year so far, and was one of the easiest 5-stars I’ve ever given.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope your self-isolation is going well. Now, I have a book to write.