The Flutterby Room

theflutterbyroom.com · Feb 7, 2020

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

EVERY ENCHANTMENT HAS A PRICE.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she recieves her first royal patron – Rook, the autumn prince – Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folk’s ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isoble and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening that death itself.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (3 May 2018) Rating: (4 stars)

Funny story, but I only picked up a copy of An Enchantment of Ravens because I saw it on a lot of Instagram posts, back in 2018 when it was published, and thought it looked really pretty. Going into the book I actually didn’t know a lot about it, which I quite enjoyed. First person narration isn’t something I’m particularly keen on. For it to work, I’ve found I have to like the tone and the narrator. So I’m always pretty cautious about trying new books and authors who use this technique, and this book fills both of those criteria. I actually really enjoyed Isobel’s voice, and therefore I found Rogerson’s use of first person narration worked really well and I really enjoyed Isobel’s voice and perspective.

I will be honest, the book is slow to start which is normally something that I’m not particularly keen on. Especially, as with this book, when the plot slowly gains speed to that all the action is contained within the latter half of the story. It can feel a bit cramped together, and whilst it did feel a bit like that in this book I thought the pacing really worked for the story. It worked for me in this case because it allows the reader to get to know Isobel. Whilst Rook is a bit bland and a fairly typical fey prince, but Isobel shines for all that she is mortal, human.

When we first meet her Isobel is painting; providing portraiture for the fair folk. Her work is so skilled that the fey pay, in favours, for a portrait by her. And this is the bit that fascinates me most about her, she never forgets what they are and how dangerous they are to mortals. It also makes this story different from a lot of the books within this genre, and I actually really enjoyed the fact that Isobel is so aware. It is through Isobel’s work that she and Rook cross paths. I know I said that Rook was bland, but he stands out from the other fey in this book because he captures Isobel’s attention.

If you are looking for a story about the fey, then I highly recommend giving An Enchantment of Ravens a try. The story is fairly short, less than three hundred pages in my copy, so if the blurb intrigues you it’s well worth a try. Isobel’s tale is compelling, and Rogerson’s writing sucks you in and before you know it you’ll find yourself at the end. Telling the story through Isobel’s eyes allows Rogerson to remind us the dangers of the fey, but also to show us their beauty and cunning. Judging a book by its cover really worked out well this time, and I’m really pleased to have discovered this story.

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