Review: An Enchantment of Ravens
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.
“Walking along a blade’s edge was only fun until the blade stopped being a metaphor.”
An incredibly quick, fast-paced and easy read. I'm not one to usually complain about the length of a book unless it's unnecessarily long, but I really wish this was longer! I could've used about 100 more pages filled with fluff, smut, and world-building. Regardless, this was really enjoyable and I really loved the dynamic between Isobel and Rook. The romance is brought on pretty quickly but it doesn't seem forced or like "insta-love".
The details about the Craft and the dynamic between humans and fair folk were great and well thought out. In fact, the best parts of the book were truly when Isobel was doing her portrait painting - you could feel the love, passion, and admiration of her Craft through the pages. Her love for art was the truest love story in this book.
I also appreciated the integration of the seasons, although I wish there was more detail about those other than them journeying through the land. We should have had at least a few days in each seasonal court, learning about the differences between them all. We got a glance at the Spring Court but wish we had more time to actually enjoy the masquerade ball.
My one note - I wish we learned her true name in the end.
Overall, An Enchantment of Ravens is a great debut novel!