The Most Creative 2017 Debut: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

The Most Creative 2017 Debut: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonAn Enchantment of Ravens
by Margaret Rogerson
Release Date: September 26th 2017
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Format: ARC
Pages: 304
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

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.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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An Enchantment of Ravens is a stunning debut novel that will lure readers in with the gorgeous prose, and keep them glued to the pages of the book with its vibrant characters. It might be Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, but she pens An Enchantment of Ravens like a pro and will leave you in awe. This is a YA fantasy novel that will stick with me for a long time.

The book shines for its unique take on magic. In Rogerson’s world, humans have the ability to Craft, basically they all have a talent that the Fair Folk are able to purchase. It was refreshing to see this different sort of power dynamics. Margaret Rogerson takes common themes and elements from fae mythology and puts her own twist on them. The magical world was beautifully and subtly built throughout An Enchantment of Ravens, and most importantly, it was easy to envision. Rogerson’s writing is lush, gorgeous, and vivid, especially when it comes to the protagonist, Isobel’s artistic skills. This is the perfect sort of prose for a book like this – it’s poetic, but does not rely on anything that’s overly flowery.

The book stands out for its cast of characters. The story opens up with Isobel learning that the Autumn Prince will be visiting her to commission a portrait of him. But Isobel makes a life-endangering mistake when she winds up painting him with sorrow in his eyes, something that could strip him off of his powerful status. Isobel is the perfect sort of character for a book like An Enchantment of Ravens. She exhibits selflessness, bravery, and intelligence throughout the book. She is also a character who thinks before she speaks or makes any decision. Her love for her eclectic family – her sisters started life as goats and are a fun, troublesome pair – and her utmost passion for her art shine through the pages of the book.

Of course, I’m sure you’re all dying to know more about this Autumn Prince who punishes Isobel by whisking her away to the autumnlands to make her face a trial. From the very first meeting of Rook in Isobel’s studio, I was enchanted by his character. He is initially quiet and very restrained with his emotions, and as the story progresses, you see more of a cocky, but endearing side to his character. While the fact that he kidnaps Isobel might be frustrating for readers at first, it’s important to know that he treats her with respect and is never cruel to her. It might take some time to warm up to his characters, but by the end, he will have wooed you over. His backstory comes to the surface, and you begin to really care for him.

The romance between Rook and Isobel that builds throughout An Enchantment of Ravens isn’t one that’s in your face. Instead, it’s a little slow, and a lot subtle, and it works perfectly here. It’s sweet, and endearing, and will occasionally have you swooning. Perhaps the best part of their relationship is the absolute trust they forge between each other, making it a romance that’s healthy, despite the initial circumstances, and realistic. I would personally have liked a bit more time to have passed before they declared their love for each other, but that’s a personal preference and I don’t see other readers taking issue with it. This book isn’t just a romance. At the center of the book are the fae politics, and the Wild Hunt in particular plays a pivotal role. The plot is adventurous, strife with dangers, and fast-paced. There’s no way you will not be entertained throughout the story.

With this book, Margaret Rogerson has turned me into a fan of her books. Everything about An Enchantment of Ravens is a delight.  The original take on faes, the well-developed characters, the surprising humor, and the slow-burn romance are a treat for fans of YA fantasy. Oh and best of all? It’s a standalone that wraps up brilliantly! Tell me you can resist that?

Are you excited to read An Enchantment of Ravens? What are some of your favorite fae books?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • OMG soooo… This book passes Nick’s test???? I’d been avoiding this book because I had seen people compare it to ACOTAR and, well, no thank you. But it has a non-love-triangle romance? And a healthy, swoony one, at that? Plus a good ending that wraps up well? Maybe I will give this book a chance. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Nick!

    Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Girl, this is so your kind of book. The ACOTAR comparisons annoy the heck out of me because this book is so much better and so different. You should give it a try. You’re missing out on a favorite otherwise!

  • kindlemom1

    Crap Nick, stop adding to my pile!
    Seriously though, sounds like I need to get this one.

    • Oh but you NEED this one!

  • Fantasy and stand alone! And good? Sold 😀

  • No triangle and standalone? In YA? How refreshing! Great find Nick!

  • The cover for this book is amazing! I’m not super into YA these days (although I am finally getting around to reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and enjoying it) so I’m not sure I will be rushing to read this. But I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    • The cover is super gorgeous. I love Gentlemen’s!

  • Super intrigued by this one. Not my normal type of book but sounds like it has a lot of things I love. Definitely checking it out and adding. Great review!

    • Oh you should give it a try! It’s light on the fantasy elements which I know is something you prefer.

  • YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED YOU’VE MADE ME NICK. I think I’ll be reading this one next week, I had such high hopes because I WANTED this to be a book that I could say would stick with me for a while as well. And is it weird that the cover conveyed the writing style to me?


    • I really hope you love it, Amber! I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

  • I LOVE the sound of this one…and of course I love that gorgeous cover too. I had this one down as a maybe but your review just made me move it up to a definite yes. lol! I also really love that it’s a stand alone. I feel like I’ve been sucked into so many different series lately. Great review, Nick!

    • YAY! I think you’re going to adore it! I loved that it was a standalone too. 🙂

  • This sounds intriguing. I don’t read a lot of Y/A, but this sound like one I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Nadene!

  • Oooh I did not know this was a standalone! OKay- this was not on my list because… well, Ravens. And Idk, how involved are these birds? Do they turn into bird people at any point? Bird people is a total dealbreaker. I like the sound of it, I do! A slow burn romance and great writing are all splendid. And humor! I love it! But… I need to know more about the birds, is what I am saying. Great review Nick!!

      OK yes, Rook can turn into a raven! I still hope you give it a try despite your dislike/wariness of birds!

  • Greg Hill

    Looks like a nice YA fantasy. The unique take on magic, the Wild Hunt and a slow burn romance- sounds like good stuff. Beautiful cover too , of course.

    • Yes that cover is so gorgeous isn’t it!

  • OMG yay! I’ve been dying to see what people think of this one, because it almost sounded too good to be true. Like ACOTAR but not problematic and boring. 😂 The magic system, characters, and romance all sound awesome — which is a feat in and of itself, considering the kidnapping angle.

    • Ugh honestly, the ACOTAR comparisons annoy me because this book does not deserve to be even put in the same sentence as that misogynist pile of poop! I hope you love it when you read it!!

  • A standalone you say, you should definitely open with that. I’m always wary of YA fantasy reads because I get sucked into a series that I wasn’t planning on. I think this sounds brilliant just from the summary to be fair. Also, have you seen that cover? How could I not want to read this. It all sounds awesome and I want to read this so bad. I’m meant to be being sensible on my spending. I could have been happy not knowing this book was out there and now I’ll end up spending more money than should because I need this and I lack impulse control. Oh well, it sounds like it’s worth it.