Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread 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, Rook spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously wrong in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending on each other 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.
I put off reading An Enchantment of Ravens for literally years. I’ve owned this book for so long and have said at least multiple times a year that I’m going to read it. Well, I finally did and I’m pretty glad I did. I wasn’t blown away or anything but it was very good and I enjoyed reading it.
I’m a big fan of books about faeries and usually I feel jealous of them because of their power and beauty, but that is not the case here. Humans are technically the powerful ones in this world. They aren’t immortal, nor can they do actual magic, but their “Craft” isn’t something the fair folk can do without crumbling to dust. Usually, humans don’t have any advantages against the fae and it’s so refreshing to see a different take on this.
The fair folk are still as ruthless as ever, but they really do have disadvantages. They can’t even cook food so everything they eat is rotten but glamoured to look fresh. At first, I felt a little sorry for them, especially when (spoiler) the green well gets destroyed and one of them asks ‘how will we make the humans love us now?’ (this isn’t a direct quote I can’t remember exactly what was said). It’s so unusual to see a book about the fae where they are the ones in awe of humans and not the other way round. It was very interesting.
My biggest issue with An Enchantment of Ravens was that it felt very insta-lovey. Which isn’t the worst thing and I get it’s because this is a standalone, but I feel like the pacing could have shifted slightly so this didn’t feel so sudden. Or it could have said more specifically that a lot of time had passed, as I know Isobel was painting Rook’s portrait for a while and that’s how they got to know each other.
I really liked Isobel as a main character. Firstly, she’s blonde and I feel like you don’t see blonde female main characters very often, as a natural blonde (I’m currently ginger) I really love this. Which is silly but I’ve always loved seeing blonde characters (I’m weird). Secondly, she was ridiculously brave and actually quite cunning. She did everything she could to save herself and Rook and I was quite impressed. Kinda hated that she was only 17 though and Rook was god knows how old.
As a standalone novel An Enchantment of Ravens works very well. There is a great deal of worldbuilding that doesn’t feel too overwhelming, there was just the right amount, and the characters had a decent amount of development. I do think the book would have benefitted from being slightly longer as some things seemed to happen too fast (falling in love) but at the end of the day this is fiction so I didn’t care too much about that.
Check out Young Creative Press on all socials
You can also check out my StoryGraph here
Like this post? Why not read this one too: Re-Watch Review: New Girl S1-EP4