Sunday, 10 September 2017

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson ARC Review

I received a physical ARC from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so so much! This is a spoiler free review.


This picture is my own. Do not steal!

An Enchantment of Ravens
Written by Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Pages: 304
Source: Physical ARC provided by Simon & Schuster
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

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.


Review:

Yes, you read that title right. Yes, I did get an ARC of one of the most beautiful books of 2017. Yes, I am still in shock. Before I start this review, I'd like to thank Simon & Schuster for honoring my ARC request and providing me with this beautiful physical ARC for me to devour and review. I was honestly so excited when I saw the address. This is actually my first physical ARC that I have ever been sent.
COVER

The cover is one of my favorite parts of this book because it is so artistic. I really like how the cover doesn't depict an actual person in a photoshoot. Instead, it is a drawing which suits the book a lot more. I also really like the raven which is drawn on her shoulder because ravens play a huge part in this book. I overall think this book cover is breathtaking and really fits the novel.

WORLD-BUILDING

The world-building was very visual. The world-building was slow but it was done in a good way because we got to learn about the world with Isobel. I loved the descriptions about the scenery because most of it was set outside and it was gorgeous. At times, I could feel like I was actually there.

Places + People:

Whimsey [where Isobel lives] is always in a constant state of summer.
Fae: In this world the fae can't create [cooking, painting, writing, etc.] They have a lot of elements that are very true to fae folklore and mythology, such as they can't lie, have negative reactions to iron, are vain and overly confident and wear glamours in order to conceeal their true appearance.

Then there are the characters.

ISOBEL

Isobel was by far my favorite character in this book. Isobel is an artist [and Margaret really did research her art terms. Her descriptions for making paint, to blending was done in such a way that she has to be a master]. Isobel paints portraits for the fairy folk because they can't do craft themselves and they love craft and collect it. Isobel is very clever and manages to trade her portraits for enchantments in order to make her life easier. She is a very enjoyable narrator and from the first page, I loved her thoughts and dialogue with their quips and snide remarks despite her being very down-to-earth. She's wise beyond her seventeen years. Isobel has become one of my favorite characters because even though she isn't necessarily a skilled fighter, she shows that girls can be powerful in other ways.

ROOK

Rook was a pleasant surprise. Yes, he is cocky and arrogant because he's a fae court prince, and they all are. Despite this, he has another whole personality, buried down inside. He also happens to be caring and he really listens to Isobel despite trying to seem above her. Rook had the power to shape shift which was really cool and I lived for the scenes with Isobel interacting with him while he was an animal. They were hilarious and adorable. Rook is also good-natured, apologizes when he believes he has upset someone and loves autumn. Rook is one of my new favorite male protagonists.

FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

Family is very important to the main character, Isobel. She is willing to do anything in order to protect her family and she does. Her family is also very unique because her sisters aren't actually biological, but I won't go into that here cause I want you to see it for yourself.
PLOT

This has been compared to A Court of Thorns and Roses a lot because of the fae and the element of sacrifice. I agree that there are quite a few similarities but personally, I think this book is a lot better than that one. The element of sacrifice feels more real because the love between Rook and Isobel feels more real.

The plot in this book is pretty unique. I like how Isobel is a human and gets whisked off into the world of the fae because she makes a mistake and paints human sorrow in the painting of the autumn prince, Rook. Rook takes huge offense to this as it makes him look weak, so he brings Isobel to the fae world in order to have her stand trial for her crimes. Of course, nothing goes as planned and Rook is soon targeted as much as Isobel was. The stakes are high in this book and I loved the twists and turns of the plot as well as the peaceful moments.

ROMANCE

"Is that so terrible? You say it as though it's the most awful thing you can imagine. It isn't as though I've done it on purpose. Somehow I've even grown fond of your - your irritating questions, and your short legs, and your accidental attempts to kill me."

As I mentioned before, this has A Court of Thorns and Roses feels to it because of the sacrifice and love. I really liked the romance in this book a lot better than in A Court of Thorns and Roses because it felt more real and there was respect for each other in the relationship while there wasn't that much with Tamlin and Faye.

Rook and Isobel meet each other because he comes to have her paint his portrait. Then, when she paints sorrow in his eyes and he returns furious, she is taken on an adventure in the fae world. Of course, nothing goes as he has planned and they both end up being targeted by the fae and other forces. The two protaganists become to feel something for each other, despite fae not supposed to feel human emotion. Love between a human and a fae is also forbidden and they could both die because of it. That is what makes this book much more interesting because they are practically "star crossed lovers".

WRITING

The writing in this book was one of the main reasons I was so pleased with it. The language and prose was gorgeous and I am obviously taking notes from the brilliant Margaret Rogerson because does she know how to write. I want to share so many of the quotes with you but I can't share too many because this is an ARC after all. Just know, that the writing is probably some of the most beautiful writing that I've ever seen. I will be reading everything she writes.

"I was gladdened by the sight of those vicious thorns more than I could say, and wondered whether the stories would have gone any differently if the princesses had been the ones telling them."

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have to say it again. This book is one of the most beautiful books that I have ever read. Everything about this book reeks of perfection and I can't wait until everyone can read this masterpiece. The characters are vivid and flawed, the writing is something that should be treasured, and the plot is totally unique. Rook and Isobel now reside in a special place in my heart. All I have left to say is if you like fae, beautiful writing, and a star-crossed romance, then pick up this book!

Quotes from the Book:

None At this Time





My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

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