AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS
by Margaret Rogerson
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.
Wow. You call that romance? I’m sorry, but even I was looking for a book with a good romance, this is not where I would come. I honestly did not feel any build up of relationship between the two characters or any real devotion of love. There was just nothing there. Yeah, they interacted a lot. Perhaps they had some funny moments, but absolutely nothing would have me believe that these two had fallen in love with each other realistically. Absolutely unfortunate.
Yet, what’s more unfortunate, is that this seems to actually be the plot of this story. I’m so disappointed. I didn’t realize so much of the story was going to be about their romance (which is probably my fault because I didn’t re-read the blurb before I started the book). But if you are going to make an entire romance story, then at least make it good. The whole reason their supposed relationship existed or blossomed or whatever was because they ended up just wandering back and forth in the middle of the forest for days. Literally! They just kept changing their minds about where they were going, like it was freakin’ filler content. Ugh!
That Writing Style
I think the saddest part about this story is that the writing is gorgeous. Honestly! I fell in love with the writing style immediately and got so excited to read the story only to be left to fall on my face 20% into the book because nothing was happening. Because I got so bored, I couldn’t even enjoy the beautiful writing or wonderful imagery. I just started skipping large sections of description like I was hunting for a plot somewhere and just never really found it. Quite a shame. And a waste. Good writing can’t make up for lack of story, sad to say.
No Real Tension
Another aspect that didn’t help this story was how little tension existed. Whether between the characters or in the plot or in the scenes that were supposed to be exciting and nerve-wracking, there was just nothing there. Nothing brought me to the edge of my seat. In fact, I fell asleep on this book a couple times and the ending was just… so anti-climatic and boring. There was definitely not enough build to the end and not enough struggle.