An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
“When we finally reach the end, we are unloved and alone, and leave nothing behind, not even our name chiseled on a stone slab. And yet – mortals, through their works, their Craft, are remembered forever.”
Isobel is a painter, a true master of her Craft, and is therefore sought after by many fae, of fair ones, for portraits. Fair ones can grant favors, they are immortal, beautiful beings, but cannot make any sort of craft – cooking, art, clothing, etc. Humans trade their crafts with the fair ones for favors, except the fair ones are sneaky, and if they are not careful their favors can be twisted. Isobel has spent so much time with the fair ones that she knows not to trust them, that they are soulless creatures obsessed with their own vanity. That is until she meets Rook and see something in her painting that she did not expect.
I can see some people having some instalove hate for this book. In its defense it doesn’t come from the main characters point of view. Isobel’s initial attachment is brushed off as she is given more time to adjust to her feelings.
My favorite part, without giving anything away, was how Isobel viewed her situation. She wasn’t swept off her feet by the notion of living forever in beauty and magic with a prince. She truly loved her craft and her simple life, and though it was simple, she didn’t want for more than just protection and health for her family.
Overall, I am mostly indifferent to the book as a whole. So here I am sitting on the fence of a book that had a lot of potential but a plot that sort of dragged. Maybe it was the lack of a steamy romance? But I honestly relished in the fact that lust was a driving factor of the romance.
The World Building
I know this book has being compared to ACOTAR, but I really think that it is unnecessary. That’s like saying all space operas are like Star Wars because they are set in space and have space ships. Sure, she get’s taken away from the human realm, but the story is completely different. Fae have been around for centuries – immortality/long life, beauty, seasonal courts, magical abilities, love between a mortal & immortal. None of that is new. I wish people would credit to the folklore that it actually derives from. The beauty of it is just how vast and differential it is and how it can be built upon. In this case, it took the idea of enchantments of crafts for its own story. I love that it focused more upon what the fae lacked rather than their abilities.
Because the book used such familiar aspects of fae culture, the world building was spent more describing the mannerisms of the fae with their lack of humanity and forced politeness (such as how they had to bow back when bowed to). There was a feeling of wanting as the imitated the lifestyles of human.
Isobel-The first word that comes to mind when it comes to her is sensible. The only room for her passion is her craft and the wellbeing of her family. If I didn’t adore her adoration for the beauty in the human world I would have found her boring. I loved how much disdain she had towards the fairy while keeping civil interactions with them. She could see how foolish the humans were chasing after the glamorous life the fair ones lived.
Rook-I’m sorry, but Rook was sort of boring, there weren’t a lot of swoon worthy moments where I was swept off my feet as a reader. One of the only things I found really endearing about him was his paper heart. I liked that he still suffered by most of the same afflictions of the rest of his kind, such as his vanity. Okay, and maybe his awkwardness to human emotions was sort of endearing. There’s this scene where Isobel is crying and he sort of just pats her and is like “err…maybe I’ll just go…” That was pretty cute. I did love how his shape shifting was portrayed, not necessarily graphically, but as a gust of wind and swirl of leaves.