I’m a sucker for a good fantasy book any day of the week. But a fantasy book that introduces a new world, with different rules, unlike anything I’ve ever heard of before? Count me in! That’s why I was so interested when I heard the premise of An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel.
The story revolves around Isobel, a prodigy portrait artist whose clients are fair folk — immortal creatures who cannot perform any Craft of their own, such as baking, painting, weaving, or writing, without crumbling to dust. For that reason, the fair folk crave Craft objects with a near desperation — and Isobel is the best at what she does, so they come to her for their paintings. But everything changes when she meets her first royal fair folk patron, the Autumn Prince, Rook. She sees something in him — mortal sorrow — and paints it on the canvas, embarrassing him and threatening his throne. A furious Rook decides she must come to the Autumnlands to stand trial, but they’re quickly waylaid by trouble. There’s something dangerous brewing in the world of the fair folk, and no one is safe.
A book about fairies, featuring painting, politics, and romance? I was so excited to pick this one up, and I’m so glad I did! An Enchantment of Ravens was a ride from start to finish. Here are seven reasons to try it for yourself. Check out the list, and then check out our extended excerpt here on Riveted!
Isobel is a smart, capable main character. She knows the tricks of the fair folk and refuses to fall for them — but she has her flaws, and her stubbornness can definitely get in her way. She narrates the book, and her voice totally makes it. She’s funny, she’s clear-eyed, she’s brilliant. Isobel is such a fun character. I wish it was possible for us to be friends.
Rook is the Autumn King, an ancient fair folk lord who rules over the Autumn lands. He is also a touch broody, ridiculously handsome, and oftentimes just ridiculous. At the end of the day, he’s a complicated and deep character — which makes his job (ruler of fair folk who believe feelings are a weakness) a lot harder. I really loved Rook from basically the moment I met him, and that only deepened as I learned more about his life.
3. THE ROMANCE
These two! This romance has everything — awkwardness from a misunderstanding of human customs and fair folk ones; two head-strong characters who refuse to bend to the other’s will; the underlying knowledge that them being together is largely impossible. It’s a great, sweet love story.
4. THE BANTER
Have I mentioned how funny this book is yet? There is so much banter. Rook is incapable of lying, which makes for lots of unfortunately-harsh-but-fortunately-hilarious moments. He’s also incapable of being purposefully rude — if someone bows to him he has to bow back — and Isobel uses this to her advantage. This book has a great atmosphere that gets dark and creepy, but Rogerson knows how to break it up with levity and joy.
5. THE WORLD
Isobel lives in Whimsy, where humans practice craft and spring is eternal. The Fae live in different worlds based on the season — most of the book takes place in the Autumnlands and the Spring Court, but we get glimpses of the Winterlands and the Summerlands as well. The Fae are the perfect mix of beautiful and terrifying, and the world they inhabit is equal parts lush and creepy. It’s a world I got lost in while reading, and unlike anything I’ve read about before.
6. YE OLDE ROAD TRIPPE NOVEL
The Road Trip Novel is probably my favorite YA trope. It’s got everything to make a perfect romance story pop — closed quarters, ample opportunities for both excitement and conflict, and a destination or time limit the characters are forced to work within. Enchantment of Ravens is a fantasy that takes place in a medieval-inspired world, so there’s no cars, obviously, but this still hits all the same sweet spots of a great road trip novel. Think of this as The Princess Bride meets a Sarah J. Maas book — just excellent.
7. THAT COVER!
I’m a firm believer in judging books by covers, and this one is decidedly swoonworthy! It really was a deciding factor in me picking this book up, and I am so glad I did!