Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance | Fae
Publisher: Margaret McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Source: ALA
Format: ARC

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 (goodreads).

Welp, I should have known. 
Plot: An Enchantment of Ravens boasts an epic love story between a high fae and lowly human girl, and while that sounds like it should be right up my alley....I was bored. 

So bored, I even considered DNFing it a few times. My own expectations are to blame as well. An Enchantment of Ravens was probably one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, but looking back, I had unreal expectations. I'll be honest, I wanted a love story of ACOMOF proportions, but that's not what An Enchantment of Ravens was. An Enchantment of Ravens was an adventure that explored various fae lore but only brushed the surface. As Rogerson's debut novel, it's an impressive piece, but there were so many more opportunities where she could have taken more risks, instead, she opted for flowery language and the overanalyzing of a situation. There were backstory and information that Rogerson hinted at, but she never fully explored those little whispers and that disappointed me. 

Characters: I feel like I should say something about Isobel, but not much comes to mind. Rook, the autumn prince, confused and surprised me. Isobel and Rook suffered from a bit of insta-love from the very beginning. I expected (there's that word though) a brooding mysterious prince, but he was mostly just naive. There was a lot that he didn't know about the human world and he seemed more curious than anything Isobel had the symptoms of a love-sick pup but had the decency to question her feelings when Rook appeared at random to whisk her away. In the end, I found their romance to be cheesy more than anything.

Worldbuilding: I have a lot of questions about this world and I don't think I'll ever get those answers. I liked An Enchantment of Ravens because the research Rogerson put into this novel was amazing. The fae lore intrigued me, but I didn't understand all of the nuances. The world itself was unclear: there were the fae realms, the human world located next to the fae realm, and then another human world? I understand this was a rather short book, but I would have loved an extra 200 pages if it helped me understand the lay of the lands. 

Short N Sweet: My expectations were a wee bit too high, and the pace of the romance wasn't my usual cup of tea. Regardless, I think fantasy readers will enjoy this one. 


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