Happy Thursday everyone! I’m back for my (apparently already off schedule) regular programming. And I’m ready to hit you – figuratively of course, but literally in the heart – with another sweet sweet review. And up this week is… An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson!
I don’t know what prompted me to ask for this book for Christmas. Was I probably taken in by the nice cover? Yes, I am a sucker for pretty things. Did I read the synopsis and think ‘oh look an artist and faeries!’? Again, I’m very susceptible to stories about artists who are women and also fae realms. Did I get what I expected? No, I am sad to say that I didn’t.
The whole world is made of dust, and always returns to it
I guess I should preface this with the fact that the only books with fae in them that I have read recently are Sarah J Maas’ books, which I will admit sets the bar high. But I think this book was lacking a few too many things for me to fully enjoy it. I guess I’ll start with what I know I liked. Isobel as a protagonist was very human in a very non-human world. She was a good painter because she needed to be, she took care of her family, and yeah she developed a crush on a good looking boy. Honestly, very relatable. What I thought was a really fresh perspective was showing a human who violently didn’t want to become a faery, even if it meant immortality, being with the faery she loved, etc. She showed Isobel as a girl who valued her humanity and her skill. Becoming a faery meant losing her ability to paint and I thought that that was a really interesting thing to throw in. The author, Margaret Rogerson, wrote a couple beautiful lines about artistry and art, and I was blown away at the depth of them (check out those big quotations!). The strength of linkage of humanity and feeling to art is obvious, but I really liked how she laid it all out.
We may live long enough to see the world change, but we’re never the ones who change it
But for most of the rest of the story, I felt it was a little lacking. First of all, I don’t think that what was saw was enough for me to say “yes, Isobel and Rook fell in love”. They went on an adventure together, yes they might have gotten a lot closer. Maybe during the painting sessions they talked a lot, but we didn’t see that so it felt rushed and improvised to me. Maybe the first time that I saw what I thought was love was in their banter before fighting the Elder King, but most of their interactions showed what I believe to be an attraction or longing, but nothing deep and built on substance. In addition, I think Rogerson threw a little at us too much too fast. I don’t think that I skimmed the book (maybe I fell asleep for these lines?) but I had NO CLUE what the good laws were. They kept saying that they were going to break it but… what were they doing that made them in violation? (SPOILER: It was being in love, back to my first point).
Another thing that bothered me was that Rook was the Autumn prince and we didn’t even get to see the Autumn court! We literally skipped right over it and never went there. I was expecting some great trial (yes, ACOTAR spoiled me, I thought we were going to get something like Feyre’s trial, sue me), but they hardly interacted there at all. I wanted a deeper characterization of Rook – who were his friends, his family, what was his life like. I think this was attempted through giving him a previous human lover, but she’s hardly mentioned and only in passing, and then we’re expected to have a deep understanding of Rook. I never got that.
That’s not to say that this book isn’t good – it was just not what I want to read anymore. It is really a YA novel that is best suited for younger readers and teens, and people who love simple love stories. Those novels have and hold an important place in literature, and I know I wouldn’t be the reader I am today without reading a ton of those novels when I was younger. I think that I have finally grown up in my reading and that it is time for me to move on from the generic YA novel (does this maybe not bode well for another YA I have lined up to read this summer? maybe…).
Stop being melodramatic! I am not going to kill you in my parlour!
Overall, I think this was a super cool idea that maybe wasn’t executed to my taste. I love artist stories and peril, faerie and human worlds colliding, and the intersection of humanity and fae. But I wanted more from this book than it could give me. I gave this a 2/5 stars on Goodreads (an ‘its ok’).
Let me know if you read it and what your thoughts were! I’d love to compare 🙂
That’s all for now ducks, have a great weekend!