Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: September 26th, 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 3.66
My rating: 4
Format read: Audio
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.
Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?
When I downloaded this book as an audio read I must admit that I went into it with fairly low expectations. When I first heard about it in early 2017 I was so excited to read it. Then again, I had also just finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas and was feeling a certain something about faeries at the time. However, when the early reviews started coming out folks did not seem to enjoy the book as much as I had hoped. Even after the officially release date I watched its Goodreads rating get lower and lower. In fact, I had even deleted it from my TBR pile at some point. But, for whatever reason, I downloaded it from Audible on a whim. I stepped into it knowing that the book is, in essence, a love story with faeries and perilous peril and you know what? I rather enjoyed it.
What I liked
- I’m one of those people that loves to look at visual art, paintings etc, but try as I might it is something I can’t manage to create myself. I just don’t have that talent and that is okay. Something I can certainly appreciate and adore are the descriptions of art in this book. Our leading lady, Isobel, is a marvelous painter and does portraits of those in the faerie courts. The author gave Isobel such passion and talent with her painting that it was like I was standing that watching her paint and feeling that passion. The whole book contained descriptions that I would call artful even when talking about trees or a bird in the sky. Beautifully done.
- There are some seriously shady characters in this book who I absolutely adore. The faeries are incapable of human emotions which makes them do some really questionable and logic driven shenanigans. As the reader you didn’t always understand why they were doing what they did but once things started wrapping up and you got the explanations it was really very interesting and a lot of fun.
- I’m not usually one for love stories but let me just say I really liked the romance aspect in this one. It didn’t feel like the typical and overused refuse that you usually run across. At not point did I feel the need to shout, “But you just met him you blithering idiot!” Points for that.
What I Didn’t Like
- Oh sweet Jesus I got really sick of how pompous our leading faerie man could be. I wanted to reach into the book and throttle the arrogant jerk. Yes, I understand he needed to be pompous as it effected his character growth and general story arc but it just ground my gears so badly if I had to read about his overconfident bravado one more time I was going to choke something.
- Isobel has two sisters in the book. They used to be goats and were turned into young girls by some faerie for a reason I have now forgotten. Therein lies my point. I have forgotten their story because they seemed completely and utterly pointless. You know what it made me think of? A circus side show. There for the entertainment value alone, not to add to the story, and it just didn’t quite work for me.
- The ending of this book had me slightly perplexed. Every single aspect of this book was a build up to what I expected to be a big ending and it…just wasn’t. Not going to give spoilers but I will say that it felt very, very rushed. Chapter after chapter of escalation just for it to climax in a few, short, disappointing pages. Isn’t that just how it goes, ladies? (hah, yes, I just made an intercourse joke. So sue me.)
Is this the most original story ever written? No. We have love and faeries which I’m pretty sure is the centerpiece for ever Sarah J Maas book every written. However, it is still an entertaining read. I would have liked a little more flash, a little more interest added to the conclusion and a little less insufferable arrogance but, really, would it have been a faerie story without the arrogance? Probably not. An Enchantment of Ravens is a simple read with a simple writing style but that isn’t always a bad thing. It suits the story and overall, it just worked for me.