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An Enchantment of Ravens

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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.

300 pages, Paperback

First published September 26, 2017

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About the author

Margaret Rogerson

4 books12k followers
Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she's not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
May 14, 2021
4.5 stars
description
Before I begin, just letting you know that I got my copy from Uppercase - a lovely monthly book subscription box.
description
It was so exciting to read a book that the author signed!!
I was alive in a way I never had been before, in a world that no longer felt stale but instead crackled with breathless promise.
Isobel lives in Whimsy, a little pocket of fairyland, along with her aunt and March and May, her twin ex-goat siblings (ex-goat because...well... they used to be the family's goats until a fairy decided that they'd be more fun as humans) .

Fairies are hungry creatures
- anything from freshly baked bread to stunning works of art. They devour it all but they cannot lift a finger to do it themselves without crumbling to dust.

Isobel is a portrait artist of the immortals and she know she is in a precarious position - a wrong flick of her brush could irrevocably offend the fair folk.
Walking along a blade’s edge was only fun until the blade stopped being a metaphor.
The autumn prince, Rook, desires a painting and Isobel obliges but adds an unexpected touch. She sees a flicker of sorrow on the prince's face and on an impulse adds it in.
This wasn't like me. So many years of being cautious, and in a matter of minutes I'd started slipping up.
Wrong. Move.

Little does Isobel know, any form of weakness - especially human emotion - marks the autumnal prince as a target.

So, Rook does the logical thing and kidnaps her to stand trial for her crimes.

But the journey to the Autumnlands is treacherous and the stakes are high.

The Alder King is awakening and the Wild Hunt's hounds are snapping at their heels.

Soon, Isobel will learn that the only thing worse than a fairy feeling an emotion is when the fairy falls in love.
Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?
I was very impressed!

This totally feels like a non-edgy Holly Black (am I the only one?). I love Holly Black for her intensity but now I'm going to have to watch Margaret Rogerson for her whimsy.

The world Rogerson created blew me away.

Her interpretation of the fair folk - with all their weird quirks and cruel intentions - brought them completely to life.
...all around me sat empty people in rotting clothes, nibbling on flyblown trifles while they spoke of nothing of consequence with fixed smiles on their false faces.
I adored all of the small details thrown in - especially how Isobel chose payment for her craft, often choosing the most mundane of enchantments.
"You are the most admired Crafter of thus age...and yet you request eggs."

“I quite like eggs,” I replied firmly, well aware that the enchantments he described would all turn strange and sour, even deadly, in the end.
All those little bits completely drew me into the story.

I even (mostly) enjoyed the love story
, though it did tread on some of my biggest pet peeves - over-the-top instalove.

( It bugs me when characters spend less than a week together an suddenly it's love. )
Isobel, I love you wholly. I love you eternally. I love you so dearly it frightens me. I fear I could not live without you. I could see your face every morning upon waking for a thousand years and still look forward to the next as though it were the first.
It's just like, calm down already. Keep the pants on.

Other than that, I really did enjoy my time with this novel! Definitely an author to watch!!
Ah, but you were not a pawn. All along, you have been the queen.
Audiobook Comments
Read by Julia Whelan and wow - she did a fabulous job. Her tone and pitch was just completely perfect. Loved this listen!

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Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
257 reviews4,850 followers
September 26, 2017
Margaret Rogerson was born to write.

This was my most anticipated novel of the year, and I nearly cried when it showed up on my doorstep. So first and foremost, thank you, Simon and Schuster, for sending me a gorgeous physical copy that I will take 10 billion photos of.

This is the type of story that leaves an impression on you. If you're a writer, have a notebook handy, because you're going to want to highlight or jot down literally HALF this book because the language and prose are that gorgeous. I'm not joking when I say this is absolutely hands down the most beautiful book I've read.

I don't say that lightly. I want SO BADLY to share so many quotes with you all in this review but since it was an ARC, I feel that I should wait a little longer. UGH.

That being said, If you have any love for original fairy folklore, this book is for you. It holds true to so much existing folklore, but at the same time, it is totally unique and a free breath of air. The plot is completely unpredictable, in my opinion, and while it was in majority a traveling book, the adventure aspect had me totally hooked. I also found myself laughing out loud at several bits - like okay.. the fairies have to be proper or they get all freaked out. You'll see what I mean. It's great.

Isobel is an artist. Let's pause there. Holy wow did Margaret research her art terms. That, or she must be one herself. She described (perfectly) everything from making paint/pigments from scratch to blending colors in ways that most writers would miss.

Alright, alright. Moving on... Isobel paints portraits for the fairy folk, because since they aren't able to do craft (i.e. cooking, painting, writing...) themselves, they are quite taken by it and collect any human craft work they can get their hands on. Isobel, being the clever girl she is, has found a way to trade her portraits for enchantments that make her farm life easier.

One particular fairy, who I won't spoil yet, tends to keep coming back to her for more and more portraits and in return, he helps her with such. (I ended up loving this character as much as I loved Rook because UGH so much sass, I love him. *whispers into the void...Can he please have his own book?* )

And then one day, said fairy is all like 'Oh by the by... the Autumn prince is gonna show up tomorrow and you're going to paint his picture OK BYE.'

So Isobel freaks out. I would too.

Anyway, said prince shows up in a SUPER COOL WAY that I will not spoil, and as you can tell from the synopsis, his name is Rook. And he's adorable. I literally cannot.

I don't want to say much more aside from what you can glean from the synopsis because let's face it, the book is too good to spoil, but in short - faeries don't have 'emotions' save for love really... and that's even rare. Isobel sees a sorrow in Rook though and dares to paint it on his face. When Rook receives the final painting, he's pissed, because sorrow makes him look weak. He drags Isobel from her home and whisks her off to fairyland to 'stand trial'.

But the journey is nothing like they imagine.

All in all, every minute of this is breathtaking, heart-wrenching, and you won't want to leave this world. My only complaint is I feel like there were too many loose ends (and the ending felt a little rushed) so as I read the last page, I was like... what? There has to be more, right?

So my hope is that Margaret plans to write us 9023032984234 more books. And at LEAST one more in this world following Rook and Isobel. That being said, she totally got me. While I did see the plot twist about *someone* coming, I did NOT see the ending coming. Holy crap. So like, I loved it, but I was also like... what? I NEED MORE....

Ps... I drew a hand-lettered quote that you can get via my Etsy, linked below!

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
September 4, 2017
This wasn't like me. So many years of being cautious, and in a matter of minutes I'd started slipping up.

An Enchantment of Ravens is not badly-written, but it is definitely not a book for me. I really wish I'd read some reviews before starting it and noted the comparison to A Court of Thorns and Roses. ACOTAR fans should love this.

This book is for fans of that particular brand of YA romance where a smart, level-headed young woman meets (and is kidnapped by) a prince and her brain instantly turns to mush. My initial liking for Isobel quickly turned sour as she threw sense to the wind and started going all googly-eyed over a fae prince she has known for about five minutes. Declarations of love come about halfway through, but it is clear where the story is headed almost instantly.

Isobel is a portrait artist and the number one choice for fair folk looking to bask in their vanity and enjoy the experience of human Craft for a while. Though immortal, the fae cannot create any kind of art without turning to dust, so Isobel's work is very popular among them. Then she finds herself with a very special client - the autumn prince, AKA Rook - and everything changes.

Isobel paints human sorrow into Rook's eyes, therefore humiliating him in front of his fellow fae. He returns, takes her prisoner, and they start trekking through the fairy lands to the autumn court where Isobel will stand trial for her crime.

I wasn't expecting this to be a journey book and probably wouldn't have picked it if I'd known. There are a few exceptions but, in general, I'm not a fan of books where most of the plot consists of the characters travelling from one place to another. And is it just me or does the reasoning all seem a bit... lame? Rook’s reputation is ruined because she paints human sorrow in his eyes? Yeah right. More like an excuse was needed to get the two of them to go road-tripping together - and give Rook the opportunity to take his shirt off and to save Isobel multiple times.

I was expecting something more from this. Some more magic, more political intrigue, more relationships beyond the central love story... but it is sadly little more than a predictable romance.

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Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews109k followers
June 14, 2019
This book was the ultimate comfort food for me with its lush prose, soft characters, and romantic fluff. The protagonist is down-to-earth, practical, and sweet, the love interest is endearingly arrogant, and the world is the most whimsical, atmospheric version of autumn. A common criticism seems to be that this is a very average fairy tale, but I actually really enjoyed the quiet simplicity of the narrative. This is not a drawn-out five-book series. It doesn’t try to be anything grander than it is. It’s a simple, nice, magical love story, and it’s freaking cute, so screw it, I’m giving it 5 stars. My only criticism is that I need more fluff.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
601 reviews86.9k followers
November 20, 2017
4.5*
This was super enjoyable! It was kind of corny at times and quite romance driven which is very hit or miss for me, but I actually really loved the romance. This is definitely one of my favourite faerie stories that I’ve read! More thoughts TK in my wrap up
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,153 reviews97.7k followers
August 14, 2021

ARC provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

“You are like a living rose among wax flowers. We maybe last forever, but you bloom brighter and smell sweeter, and draw blood with your thorns.”

Let me preface this review by letting you all know that all I want in this life is to read books about the fae. Seriously, give me a rainy or snowy day, a big hot cup of tea or coffee, and a book involving anything to do with faeries and I'll be a happy woman. I was completely captivated and entirely immersed in Margaret Rogerson's debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens.

This story is about a young human girl, Isobel, who is from a city, Whimsy, which lives in a constant state of summer. She is a very talented painter, who focuses on portraits for fair folk subjects from the fairy courts, and in return they grant her different enchantments. But she has to make sure the wording is precise, because the fae in this book are rather mischievous creatures that excel in trickery.

Isobel is very well known by the fae for her painting Craft. See, in this world, even though the fair folk are magical and immortal beings, they are unable to ever create. This means painting, drawing, writing, even tasks like cooking. And Isobel is the most talented and beloved painter among the fair folk. She has many regular fair folk clients, but her world completely changes when she gets a much unexpected message that she will soon be painting the prince of the autumn court, Rook. Isobel gladly accepts, but makes the deadly mistake of painting exactly what she sees, which is mortal sorrow in his eyes.

This simple and overlooked minor detail ends up making Rook look weak and all the fair folk to look down upon him. Rook then rushes back to Whimsy to collect Isobel herself, and together they embark on an adventure to right the wrong of painting human emotion on a fair folk that is supposed to feel nothing. That is, until Isobel and Rook start to develop stronger feelings for one another and they break the Good Law that the Adler King set in place, which states that a fair folk and a human can never love one another and that it will be punishable with death.

Besides Isobel trying to correct painting the emotion, while also trying to keep her emotions in control, we have the Wild Hunt that has fae beasts constantly after them, too. We also have the Green Well, which will change you into a fair folk with just one sip, but for a very high price in an artist's eyes.

And right before our eyes, we get to see a beautiful story of sacrifice and love be painted. Also, this for sure has A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas, feels to it. I just seemed to be constantly reminded of ACOTAR while reading this story. Maybe it is because both stories star fae and take place for a majority in the spring court, but either way this feels like a YA ACOTAR, but Rook is way better than Tamlin.

This story held very true to fae folklore and mythology: the fair folk cannot lie, they have negative reactions to iron, they are very vain and very overly confident, they eat "interesting" food, and they wear glamour to hide what they truly look like underneath. I loved all of these aspects and the way they were seamlessly incorporated.

Isobel is an amazing female protagonist that I felt honored to read about. She was so selfless and was willing to do anything to protect her family. Also, she wouldn't let anyone or anything interfere with her passion for art and it warmed my heart completely. She was so smart, so caring, and so determined.

And Rook... Well, Rook was pretty exceptional as well. Yes, he was cocky and arrogant, but what fae court prince isn't? Rook was easy to love, too, and he also has the power to shape shift and I was completely living for any scene with Isobel interacting with him as an animal. Especially one bed time scene in particular! (I promise, this sounds way more risqué that it really is.)

The side characters in this book were simply amazing, too. Lark, Gadfly, Aster, March, May, Emma, I loved them all. I can only hope that Margaret Rogerson does not stop creating stories set in this world. There is so much potential here, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

My only real complaint is that I just never really believed, in my heart and soul, Rook and Isobel's feelings for one another. I feel like it doesn't make sense on either of their sides, either. Like, Rook was burned once before and Isobel had a family tragedy that made her very weary of all things fae in general. Yes, she spent a few weeks painting his portrait, but they even said they didn't speak that much to one another. It was like a weird type of instalove, which never felt 100% authentic.

Yet, the true love story of this book, in my eyes, is the love between humans and being able to have an outlet to create art. I truly believe this story is a love letter to artists of all kinds, or people in general that can't imagine a life without being able to create. I loved this underlying message, and I loved how Isobel never took her gift for granted, but instead used it as a solution to a problem multiple times.

This story was a gift to read. The imagery was expertly crafted, the prose was beautiful, the characters were fantastic, and the story was absolutely addicting. This three-hundred page stand alone YA fantasy is very fast paced, immersive, and very easy to read. I read this in two sittings and once I turned the last page my only wish was for more.

Also, can Charlie Bowater do more cover art now, because this cover is nothing short of breathtaking. And it's a perfect match for the beautiful story that is inside. I completely recommend this upon release (September 26th, 2017) and I have nothing but high hopes for Margaret Rogerson and this stunning debut novel! I wish her all the success in the world and I selfishly hope she doesn't leave this fae world anytime soon.

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The quote above was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,373 reviews9,450 followers
October 23, 2017
I just read the most wonderful book! Oh, how fun it was to get my Fae on 😊



Isobel lives in Whimsy with Emma and the two adopted little girls.

Isobel is a most wonderful painter, this is her craft. She paints for the fae. Her most regular client over the years is Gadfly.

****Might be some spoilers ahead****

So one day, Gadfly tells Isobel she is to be visited by the autumn prince the next day to paint his portrait. Well, of course this freaks Isobel out. She rushes around trying to buy up all the paint she might need. On her way home she is attacked by an evilness from the fae world. BUT, the lovely autumn prince saves her.

This autumn prince is named Rook. I mean it's fitting because he can shapeshift but he mostly shifts into a raven. My heart, yes! I'm in love with him ❤️



While Isobel is painting his portrait they start to enjoy each other's company but Rook is whisked away to fight in the great hunt. He sends someone for the painting and is mad at what she drew. So he decides to drag her to fae land to have a reckoning of sorts.

They get into all kinds of trouble along the way and there are some funny moments with their banter. I loved it.

Anyway, they make it to the spring court where Gadfly is and after a day, all hell breaks loose! Isobel and Rook are fighting for their lives!

But let me just say, I got my happy ending 😊💕

Happy Reading.

Mel ❤️

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
October 1, 2019
I wiped off my fingers, but it wasn't the mold or maggots making my stomach revolt... No, it was the knowledge that all around me sat empty people in rotting clothes, nibbling on flyblown trifles while they spoke of nothing of consequence with fixed smiles on their false faces.

Let’s just rename this book An Enchantment of This User, because this book’s main strength is that it’s so engaging you cannot focus on the flaws. This is one of those books that is just so. freaking. addicting. Were there cringey moments? Totally. Could this book have done with some editing? Yes. But would I totally recommend this? Yes. I was promised morally grey fairies, a great romance, and imagery, and this book delivered - perfectly - on all three fronts.

Let’s break it down.
No. You surpass us all." Beside me she looked colorless and frail. "You are like a living rose among wax flowers. We may last forever, but you bloom brighter and smell sweeter, and draw blood with your thorns.

LET'S TALK FAIRIES. Because hoooooooly shit, guys, this kind of fairy aesthetic is my freaking shit. Fairies in this book cannot feel - or at least, we think they cannot. So this book becomes one about the virtue of emotion. And not emotion from romantic love - emotion in general. One of the side characters has an arc totally revolving around her own emotional heart, without even a romantic element, and it's become one of my favorites.

The instalove is… real. Okay, I hate when reviewers lie, so I’m not going to: Rook and Isobel have some major instalove going on, and that’s the point. But to me, their actual dynamic as a couple was fantastic. Honestly, guys, ever since Laini fucking Taylor, queen of instalove that gives me feelings, I have given up on my anti-instalove crusade and joined the anti-boring-couples crusade. TLDR: Isobel and Rook were an entertaining couple. Instalove is fine as long as I’m not bored by the couple themselves. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk bye don’t @ me

Okay, I’m going to make a blanket generalization and I don’t care if you liked this book or not, you have to agree with me here: the writing of this book is fucking masterful. The last time I got chills from a writing style alone was Anna-Marie McLemore’s Wild Beauty, and we all know how that turned out. Fantastic writing can fix a ton of issues, and An Enchantment of Ravens has that fantastic writing down pat.

Like, okay, I don’t want to be dragged by my lovely friends in the comments and I don’t want people to get me wrong in what I’m saying: this book had its trashy moments. A lot of them. But even the trashy moments ended up just becoming part of the fun for me because I was so freaking entertained. Good couple dynamic + best writing of the year = good book.

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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,794 reviews27.9k followers
January 29, 2018
This was pretty underwhelming, which is a huge bummer, because I really wanted to like it.

A lot of people might compare this at first to ACOTAR because of the fair folk and their courts, but - surprise! - fairies and their courts are actually longstanding fairy lore that go back centuries. Sarah J. Maas didn't make all that up on her own.

Anyway, as I said, I really wanted to like this, if only for the cover.

But, alas, the world building felt unfinished, the purpose and direction of the story was unclear to the very end, and the characters were a group of bland strangers I never truly got to know.

I love fairy court folklore and had high hopes for this book; however, the only thing that truly impressed me here was the fact that I finished it, which again: bummer, especially since Rogerson has a very fluid and engaging writing style.

As such, despite my lackluster response to this book, I could probably be convinced to attempt another book by her, provided the blurb sounded interesting. And I got it on sale.

In the end, I’m glad this at least has a purty cover, since I have it in hardback via Uppercase. So at least it will look pretty on my shelves if nothing else.
Profile Image for Samantha.
401 reviews16.6k followers
December 6, 2017
While this book had some problems with pacing and I would have loved to see some plot points expanded, I don't care. It was still an enchanting read for me.

This is a book not everyone will enjoy. It can be accused of some insta-love and other rushed plot points. BUT I DON'T CARE. You know those books that just hit so many beats for you that you can ignore many flaws? That is this for me. It has an eerie, magical forest with creative fae beasts I haven't seen described in such a way before and you know how I feel about enchanted evil forests! Plus this was the fae as they are supposed to be... mischievous and somewhat wrong. Plus all the raven imagery. Idk.. I had a great time with this but it's not for everyone.

Review to come on my channel :)
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.8k followers
December 18, 2018
to compare this to ACOTAR is a disservice to not only the reader, but to both books, as well. it sets an impossibly high standard, one that only leads to disappointment (because we all know SJM is the queen of fae). so having seen a lot of negative reviews in regards to how this book is pitched and the comparisons made, i decided to go into this with a completely open mind and no expectations whatsoever - which i think is the only thing you can do in this particular situation. and it completely paid off because i quite liked this!

the story itself is interesting. not exactly unique, but just the right amount of captivating to keep me engaged in the plot. stories about fae are pretty common, so i really enjoy how this introduces some aspects i havent previously read and provides new things to learn about that particular world.

the writing also has a brilliant flow - so much so that i read this in nearly one sitting because i just wanted to keep reading. there is such an effortless quality to how this is written that you can go from page 1 to 100 in the blink of an eye. its just that inviting and easy to consume.

i think people who go into this expecting it to be exactly like ACOTAR in terms of plot and quality will be a bit disappointed with this. but its a strong enough story in its own right and should be treated as such, because it definitely provided a full afternoon of light and magical entertainment for me!

4 stars
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,425 reviews9,023 followers
February 1, 2023
After reading the reviews, it seems An Enchantment of Ravens is a divisive tale. People either really like it, or they don't.

I am so happy to report that I am part of TEAM REALLY ENJOYED IT!!!



Isobel, a human girl, is a highly skilled and renowned portraitist. Her number one clients, the fair folk, a race of immortal beings with sinister dispositions.



Her first royal client, the Autumn Prince, Rook, proves to be a lesson in self-restraint for our sweet, Isobel.

She finds him captivating and over the weeks of their sessions, she finds herself becoming more and more enamored with him.



She sees something in Rook that she hasn't seen in any other fair folk she has previously painted. Emotion. A raw, uncensored 'human' emotion.

More specifically, sorrow. She paints his portrait, displaying that feeling in his eyes.



Upon seeing the portrait, Rook unexpectedly flies into a rage. How dare she paint him as such?

Before Isobel realizes what is happening, he goes all Lord Grantham on her...



...and snatches her away to travel to the Autumnlands to stand trial for her insolence. However as their journey begins, they notice that something seems to be amiss in the world of the Fae.

Soon the two find themselves being hunted and even worse, falling for one another.



This was a beautifully written story of forbidden love. I was sold, hook, line and sinker.

My one issue, it wasn't long enough. I was left wanting more!



I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a little whimsy in their love stories.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,009 followers
April 23, 2022
I was gladdened by the sight of those vicious thorns more than I could say, and wondered whether the stories would have gone any differently if the princesses had been the ones telling them.

A book about star-crossed lovers, art, and a fae prince who shape shifts into a raven? YES, please!

✘ plot
In Whimsy, humans practice Craft: cooking, artistry, writing stories, even designing clothing - all of which the fair folk are drawn to, despite their own lack of capabilities to create. Isobel is a brilliant portrait artist, so it's no surprise when the prince of the autumnlands, Rook, visits her for a painting. Isobel makes a fatal mistake, however, when she chooses to depict the haunting sorrow she sees in his eyes.

As fae folk must never be shown with mortal emotions, Isobel is forced to visit the lands of the fair folk, to stand trial for her crimes against the prince. Everything shifts, though, when their relationship shifts into a beautiful love - for love between mortals and fair folk has been banned as long as time has stood, and the punishment is death.

✘ isobel
Isobel is such an enjoyable narrator, right from the very first page. Her thoughts are full of quips and snide remarks, and there's a down-to-earth sense about her that I feel like gets lost easily in the high fantasy genre. She feels wise beyond her years, yet at the same time, it's believable to think of her as a seventeen-year-old girl who's just had to grow up a little too fast.

I was especially fond of her no-nonsense attitude and outlook on life, particularly when the story progressed and her character developed into a young woman who had to learn that not every dilemma in life can be faced with pure logic; sometimes, you have to just go with your heart.

He tried to turn away, but I touched his shoulder. Marvelously, he stilled. He was a head and a half taller than I, and the forest leapt to obey his power, but with that one touch I might as well have clapped him in irons.

✘ rook
Rook. ROOK. What can I even say? He's so adorable and haughty and self-obsessed and childlike and fun. Despite being a prince (which he reminds Isobel of often in his own self-satisfaction), he is so bewildered by human lives, and some of his assumptions and questions are so freaking cute.

As the book progresses, there's such a tender and kindhearted aspect of his personality. His kindness is seen as a weakness among the fair folk, and it makes him a target, but he's just trying to get by in life, doing what is right and living with the fearful knowledge that everyone wants to dismantle his throne. If you like those "precious cinnamon roll" types like I do, Rook's your guy.

"Is that so terrible? You say it as though it's the most awful thing you can imagine. It isn't as though I've done it on purpose. Somehow I've even grown fond of your - your irritating questions, and your short legs, and your accidental attempts to kill me."

✘ side characters & fair folk
- Gadfly, who is Isobel's oldest and most prominent patron. There is so much I want to say about him, but I can't, because it would be a huge spoiler. All I will say is that I loved Gadfly from the moment we met him, and he made me cry like the big baby I am by the time it was all said and done. What a delightfully written character.

- March and May, Isobel's younger "sisters". They're actually goats in human form , and they're freaking ADORABLE. They butt heads, and eat everything, and destroy things, and bounce around on tops of cabinets, and basically act like... well, goats. I loved them so much.

- I also want to touch on the lore in this story and how it affects the fair folk. They can't touch iron, they're held to a standard of politeness that reaches compulsive levels, and they cannot lie. They pay for favors through enchantments rather than money, but are mischievous, wicked things who tend to trick the other parties into enchantments that go sour. All of these things are so prominent in the story and it showed that Margaret Rogerson actually did her homework. As someone who was obsessed with fairy lore as a kid, I'm so here for this.

✘ final thoughts
This book was a delight from start to finish, and I could barely stand to put it down for anything. I already am desperately hoping for more stories set in this world, because I could not get enough of the precious romance, or the world and magic system, or the fun characters. My only complaint was that it came dangerously close to insta-love, but even as someone who hates that trope, it didn't really bother me due to the way the relationship progresses.

I loved this story so much, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good high fantasy/fae romance. This was easily one of my top reads of 2017 so far and I can't wait to see what Margaret comes up with next!

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for the beautiful ARC copy in exchange for my honest review. All quotes are from an unfinished copy and are subject to change.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.7k followers
October 27, 2017
“Where are half-stars when you need them?”

- Katerina, A Frustrated Goodreader

An Enchantment of Ravens is a great example of why half-stars are essential. It does not deserve 3 stars. It was ideal to make my mind drift and explore uncharted territories, to forget all those tiny and huge daily things that make me lose my sleep. Why not give it 4 stars then, Kat? one could wonder. Well, because I feel that those past months I've matured as a reader - and reviewer - and I came to accept that 3 stars is not a bad rating, and that 4 (and especially 5) stars should be saved for the books I truly enjoy. 3 stars means that it was a pleasant reading experience, but it did not sweep me off my feet. Even though I wanted to so badly.



In An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson painted in earthy pigments, inspired by the rusty autumn leaves, the story of a young artist, Isobel, and her encounter with a Fae Prince, Rook, the tornado that brought change to her otherwise stale life. They embarked on a journey that led them to dreadful beasts and cunning fae who hid their ugliness beneath fancy glamours and lavish clothes, they faced and fought their own nature, and battled against their demons, only to emerge stronger, and to experience a love powerful enough to destroy them.
“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

Isobel and Rook's story was marvelous, on its own. It featured a likable heroine who craved adventure, or simply something different from the endless summer and predictable routine that comprised her life, and a hero whose world was full of politics and intrigue, and love was considered a weakness. They passed various stages, from anger to mistrust to shy friendship before their feelings drowned them, and their interactions were both delightful and heated. What bothered me, though, was the feeble world-building. What other edicts did the Good Law pass? What the World Beyond was like? Why was Whimsy so special? What about the Winter Court and the Wild Hunt? Why did all Crafts physically affect the Fae so much? All of those subjects were scarcely and superficially touched, and they were mentioned as if their content was already known, I was constantly restless because something was missing. And the world-building was not the only thing missing.

There was magic. I could feel it in the air, on the tips of my fingers and my tongue, it caressed my skin but it did not consume me. The writing was whimsical, there was rare beauty in it, but it escaped my grasp. I finished An Enchantment of Ravens a week ago, but as hard as I may try to recall the feelings it provoked, and the impression it left me, I come up empty. And it saddens me to no end, because this novel was full of potential, ready to burst and burn burn burn, but it never did.



Some leniency is required, though, because An Enchantment of Ravens is Margaret Rogerson's debut, and despite its flaws she proved that she can write, and I have to commend her for her creativity and imagination. I am positive her future works will reflect the magniture of her talent!

You can find this review and more on BookNest!
Profile Image for Vibur (hiatus).
42 reviews226 followers
January 23, 2022
WHAT. THE. SHIT. WAS. THIS.
(rant. alert.)

First off, the writing.
The writing is in that weird territory between beautiful and... rubbish. I mean, points for creativity and all, but this was page after page of overly descriptive tripe.
"Butit'ssobeau-ti-ful!"—again, the voice inside me that loves to spout off arguments against my better logic. Oh, the writing is "beautiful" alright, for being stuffed full of useless, trifling fluff about nothing. See, the problem isn't the stupidly indulgent detail itself—it's that there's no point to said stupidly indulgent detail. The writing is showy to the nth goddarn degree. And I admit, I'd have loved it, if there'd been more to it than the author embellishing the entire shit out of the settings—if there'd been more to it than stupidly and gaudily dressed-up descriptions of trees, ugh.

The characterisations are nonsensically in-con-sist-tent (I'm angry, alright?). The characters flip-flop all over the place like half-cooked pancakes, and, wooow, I'd have never guessed this was the same person from, uh, ten paragraphs ago. I'm sorry, but what pile of wishy-washy shit is this person's, um, "personality" meant to be, again?
And the plot's a goddarn literal dumpster fire. There I was, inhaling the poisonous plumes of its stupor as I gasped for air, the life suffocating out of me, insides all smouldering to dust... until, I was, at last, nomore.

Alright, the point is, the plot's poorly, poorly put together. Nothing happens in the first half, apart from some road-tripping in the middle of… someplace (well, don't blame me, the worldbuilding's nothing but absent). Now, I pushed through, hoping against hope the plot would pull its shit together.
(It didn't. If possible, it got, well, shittier, and the flies, too, would be as repulsed as I was at this point.)
No lie, I've never read a more (less?) eighth-assed ending than this
(Was there a "conflict"? Well, I didn't notice a goddarn thing, because the plot points were that poorly written.)
—aaand guess what? This reader doesn't want to write more of this review than this novel deserves, and will now retire to sleep to replenish her ailing, tired spirit.

1.0/5
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,031 followers
February 24, 2019
First off I’d like to start by saying that this book has been compared to the A Court Of Thorns And Roses series a lot, which was in part why I put off reading it till now(I was afraid of disappointment), but the second I finished the first chapter I knew this was not going to be anything like the A Court Of Thorns And Roses series.

Yes, in this book there are Fair Folk and they have courts, but when have Fairies not had courts! I would be more bewildered if they didn’t have courts. And more over, the Fairies/Fair Folk in this book have a lot more orthodox ties to the ideology of what Fairies would be before Fantasy and Young Adult literature started an evolution. The fairies are definitely more animalistic and wild than the Fae Sarah J Maas adapted and they are bound by attributes such as being incapable of lying, and being harmed by iron, which is more traditionalist but it is also a concept that has not been explored quite as much.

The book is definitely more character driven, now I’m not saying there’s no plot, the plot is there but as you read it’s mostly about how the characters come to realize that they’re falling in love, and that’s how half the plot comes into play. The first half of the storyline is that Isobel paints mortal sorrow in the eyes of the Autumn Prince’s Portrait which causes uproar in the Autumn Court because to the Fair Folk emotions are weakness and feelings are a crime. The second half is that Isobel and the Autumn Prince fall in love, which violates the Good Law that states no mortal and Fairy can fall in love, if they do it’s an offence punishable by death and so the plot unravels before our eyes.

Isobel is a great protagonist and I loved watching her handle herself so wonderfully in the Fairy Courts. Isobel is a painter, the greatest if her generation which makes her the most coveted artist to the Fair Folk. She lived in a town called Whimsy which is full of people willing to sell their Craft to the Fair Folk. The reason Craft is so coveted among the Fair Folk is that they can’t perform any Craft of their own, if they even try to do the smallest of Crafts they will die within a few instants. Doing business with the Fair Folk is a very perilous task, for the Fair Folk will twist your words in an instant if they are given the chance. A deal worded wrongly might even lead to the destruction of your life.

In my opinion, I think Isobel was very clever at times where many people would not know what to do. She has been doing business with the Fairies ever since she could hold a brush in her hands, and has perfected her dealings with them. Watching her survive this arduous journey proved to be very engrossing.
As deadly as they are, I must say watching the Fair Folk interact with humans is ridiculous. The Fairies are so blind to the ways of the human species that they don’t even understand the basest of our needs, and therefore watching the Autumn Prince be constantly confused or amused by our protagonist gets hilarious.

I loved this book and the Fair Folk it presented. It was a delightful read and I recommend to anyone who likes the concept of Fairies and new outlooks on Fair Folk. Like I said in the beginning of this review, many people have compared it to the A Court Of Thorns And Roses series, but I think no one can truly know if you will like this book till you read it. I had a great time with this book and these Fairies Margaret Rogerson created, I rate this book 4 stars.

"And we wouldn't live happily ever after, because I don't believe in such nonsense, but we both had a long, bold adventure ahead of us, and a great deal to look forward to at last."
Profile Image for Cardan Greenbriar.
90 reviews905 followers
February 17, 2020
*i decided to increase my rating in the re-read cuz i guess while re-reading i got the self-taught hacks and cheats on where to skim and where to read slowly and absorb every word



oh who the fuck am i kidding Rook is just that hot

i mean look at him: description

ok sorry, this
description
perfectartby


just remember: to enjoy this (if you don't like an ocean of forest description, skim the part which looks like a huge brick, trust me it'll 'enhance' reading experience*


Original review:

"No human had ever visited a fairy court and lived. Or at least, none had ever done so and remained human. I was a master of the Craft, escorted by a prince, but I had to wonder whether I truly was a special case, or if every mortal deluded themselves into thinking they were an exception to the rule."



DANG

After reading Sorcery Of Thorns I fell in love with that book, so somehow I ended up with this and I was sooooo excited. *takes shaky breath* entering this book was like rushing off to a colorful balloon in a distance only to find out that the balloon was half-deflated.

what happened with me
I sat down, on a sofa , with this book, I started it and after 40 pages... I.GOT.DIZZY!

The Story Expansion of book synopsis
Isobel-is-a-child-prodigy-painter-who-lives-with-her-aunt-Emma-and-twin-sisters-March-and-May-paints-fair-ones-(aka faerie)-in-exchange-for-enchantments-to-her-house-such-as-chicken-eggs-and-spells-to-protect-her-house-this-and-that-prince-rook-comes-{MEGA ATTRACTION THE ONES WE SEE IN NON FANTASY NOVELS}-Isobel-ends-up-painting-his-eyes-wrong-read-back-of-the-synopsis-Isobel-and-Rook-go-on-for-HALF-OF-A-BOOK-TRAVEL-10/22 CHAPTERS YOU GUYS 10 OUT OF 22 CHAPTERS!!!! FILLED WITH DETAILS OF MOSSES, TWIGS, BIRD SOUNDS, STONES, SWEAT, AND IN THE LEAST AMOUNT ... INTIMATE WONDERS AND ATTRACTION (which obviously needed to be more)
That's where the writing went wrong.

The fair ones of these courts were so weird. mostly they behaved like well-mannered zombies, which was kind of terrifying, they did not know how to use any sort of craft AT ALL. i guess it was a threat to them as well, but their behavior and hidden hatred towards mortals was actually jealousy.

"I wiped off my fingers, but it wasn't the mold or maggots making my stomach revolt... No, it was the knowledge that all around me sat empty people in rotting clothes, nibbling on flyblown trifles while they spoke of nothing of consequence with fixed smiles on their false faces."




But come onnn. I felt like reading Peeta and Katniss during their 'walks' in the Hunger Games.
And then there were unnecessary details.

here is ONE very long paragraph (my apologies):

"Dim as it was, the forest glowed. The golden leaves flashing by blazed like sparks caught in the updraft of a fire. A scarlet carpet unrolled before us, rich and flawless as velvet. Rising from the forest floor, the black, tangled roots breathed a bluish mist that reduced the farthest trees’ trunks to ghostly silhouettes, yet left their foliage’s luminous hues untouched. Vivid moss speckled the branches like tarnished copper. The crisp spice of pine sap infused the cool air over a musty perfume of dry leaves. A knot swelled in my throat. I couldn’t look away. There was too much of it, too fast. I’d never be able to drink it all in—I needed to absorb every leaf, every chip of bark, every flake of moss. I clenched my fingers in Rook’s mane, ravenous for my paintbrush, my easel. Sitting up straighter, I let the wind rush over me and fill my lungs to bursting. It still wasn’t enough. After seventeen years of living in a world that never changed, I felt as though I’d just flung off a stifling wool sweater and felt the breeze on my skin for the very first time. Nothing would ever be enough again."




*sighs*
and every page had a paragraph like this. Look i get it that she is a child prodigy and an artist. I get it how painters describe EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, but some don't, and even if 'detailed' description of something was needed then make it Rook's handsomeness or his behavior towards Isobel. not-the-forest-please-for-the-love-of-sanity.


The characters:
Isobel: A 17 year old prodigy, who describes everything ... in a forest. period.

Rook: The autumn prince. Caring. Passionate. and has tendency to get hopeless and sulk.

Gadfly: Thank goodness for his presence in this book, he entertained me so much. Gadfly plays a very important role in this book. He's Isobel's client for a while. As being spring prince he does have quite power but Gadfly has his own intentions to bring Isobel to Autumn-lands and Spring-lands. and of course he plays the perfect gentleman all decent and restrained.

Lark: Gadfly's niece. Living in spring court. Lark reminded me of 2 things. One, the rhyme on baby t.v. that was my favorite when I was a child.
description
she behaves like this as well

Two, of that curious energetic 10 year old girl that hosts you when you go to somebody's house and she accidentally ends up giving you food poisoning or breaks your leg.
Like Gadfly, she also kept me amused. of-course.


The writing
'_'
ohhhh dear lord, i wish painting books contained this much details rather than fantasy novels.
and also some of the quotes from this book made me cringe
here's one:

ummm errr

"A storm gathered in my breast; the butterflies fell fluttering weakly to the ground.

With a sharp intake of breath, Rook looked away."


description





continuing with story
somewhere around the end of their travel, Gadfly (prince of spring court) takes them to his land, they spend some days there but here is the thing: there is a law, it's called the Good Law

Dictionary
Good Law (law): that a fair one and a mortal should not fall in love together.
Green well: a source of water river/well/spring with that type of water that when someone drinks from it they 'die' and become immortal

during their travel Rook and Isobel fall in love with each other. this becomes a problem because they are breaking the good law. A ONE hella problem.

"Love between us was impossible. I forced myself to confront what would become of us if I allowed this feeling to take flight. There were only two options: drink from the Green Well, or condemn us both to death. "



I liked the story, really did, about how Rook was attracted to Isobel from the beginning and vice versa, how he takes care of her 'mortal necessities' and learns them, how he protects her, stands up for her. Rook's and Isobel's relationship i just loved it! I adored Rook from the beginning, he was so gentle and caring towards Isobel. Even the way he looked at her showed so much affection.


"He really is in love with me,I thought. My heart leapt forward like a startled deer. Seeing a confession of love in his eyes was nothing like hearing it declared aloud. This was a look that would make time stop, if it could. Soft and sharp at once, an aching tenderness edged with sorrow, naked proof of a heart already broken. Here I stood in a dragonfly dress, holding his arm, and he knew our time was almost over."




I really wanted this book to become my favorite, bummer it didn't. I had absolute no negative thoughts about this book before reading but i will say that the author's writing has improved so much, the next stand alone by Margaret is MAGNIFICENT! do give it a try

Have a happy day in the forest!
and paint trees and be happy!


description
Profile Image for Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks).
301 reviews13.9k followers
May 8, 2022
An Enchantment of Ravens was a fun quick read. I absolutely love high fantasy novels involving the fae, and this book fit that description perfectly. It had a lot of cute romance, epic magic, and a slight hint of darkness around the world of the fae.

To see my review on my blog, click here!
This book was an entertaining read, but I wouldn't say it was perfect. I’ve seen a lot of hype for this book, and a lot of it deserved, but it does have some faults. I felt that it was a bit rushed in some areas, and there needed to be a bit more exposition in order for the stakes to be fully understood. I felt there wasn't much explanation for a lot of things, and instead, we were just told we should be worried about this one thing we know nothing about.
In terms of plot and characters, this book was really fun. I liked Isobel and Rook as our main characters. Isobel was smart, talented, but also flawed. At first, I felt her and Rook's relationship was a bit insta-love-ish, mostly because although weeks passed for them, it was only a few pages for us. Luckily later in the book, the insta-love-ness (wooh lots of hyphens) of their relationship was pointed out and redeemed. Rook as a character was one of my favorite parts of this book. It was very funny to see him interact with Isobel considering he has no idea how humans work. While the plot itself wasn't completely original or mind-blowing, a talented girl is forced into the fae world by a beautiful fae prince, there were definitely original aspects that I enjoyed. Isabel was 100% done with Rook after he kidnapped her, and it was great to witness their interactions.
I also loved the setting and lore. For such a short, stand-alone novel, Rogerson really thought out the everything in this world. For example, there was the idea of Craft (painting, cooking, sewing, etc) being something only humans can do, and that's why the fae keep humans around and interact with them. Many books with fae say either the fae keep humans for entertainment, but it’s nice to see a reason why the fae can’t be the ones providing said entertainment. I also loved the take on what it means to be fae and be immortal vs human and mortal. I feel in many fae novels, many problems would be fixed if the human could only become fae, but here you can see why that's not a great solution, and why our protagonist would rather die.
What hurt this book the most, in my opinion, was the short length (under 400 pages). Most of the issues I felt were with a lack of exposition and twists in the plot, which could have been fixed by just a few more chapters. You can tell the author, Margaret Rogerson, had many places she wanted this book to go, that are only barely touched on. For example, there are dark tones in this book, but you don't truly comprehend and feel that while reading. Also, the climax of the book was a little too fast-paced, and due to the quickness of it, it was harder to feel invested and be absorbed by it. If these parts were just a little bit longer, I feel like it could have been astounding.
From what I was just saying, you may be wondering why I gave it 4.5 stars if I had those many problems with it. Trust me when I say the stars are deserved. Despite its faults, the writing style was amazing, and by far the best aspect of An Enchantment of Ravens was the world building. Rogerson built a beautiful and complex fantasy world in under 400 pages, something many authors can't quite grasp. Also, this book was surprisingly funny at points (I caught myself laughing out loud quite a bit, which isn’t common for me) and the plot itself was really fun. PLUS it's a stand-alone, which makes it so much better because this entire fantasy world is built and explored in only one book, something that is rarely done as well as its done with this book.

Overall, I reccomend you give this book a shot if you like adventure, romance, and fae worlds. It isn't the most fantastic book out there, but it is definitely enjoyable and a memorable read.
Profile Image for Swaye .
172 reviews38 followers
February 14, 2018
WTF DID I JUST READ.

This book is like Hotel California. You can check out any time you like (and you will, mentally, many, many times - trust me!), but you can never leave!

After the Twilight series I never dreamed another really goddamn awful book would come along that would have the strange, voodeedoo power of compelling me to read to the very last page, despite every ounce of good sense begging me to kick it to the curb. And yes, I know a pretty cover is not a good reason to read a book, I should have known better, I only have myself to blame, yada yada, but I'm claiming ensorcellment and sticking with it!



Now, normally a 300 page book would take me about 2 or 3 days at the most, but this was an arduous 5 day slog. The "what the fucks" come at you pretty thick and fast, and when it seems absolutely impossible to get any worse or more bizarre, it does, and with serious melodramatic gusto! Here is actual footage of me reading this book:



So, with that happening every few pages, sometimes every few lines, a mere 5 days is rather a miraculous feat in and of itself.


It's not that the pacing is slow, in fact its just the opposite. Everything happens too quickly and nothing feels well thought out or believable. As many bewildered readers before me have mentioned, there are heaping helpings of the dreaded insta-love, which is ALMOST forgivable in the very beginning because our protagonist (who we never find out the real name of, lets call her Margaret) actually knows its ridiculous and never fails to mention its ridiculosity every time the big L-word comes up. Buuuuut, she goes hurtling headlong into it regardless!

Then, not to get too spoilery, but I couldn't quite wrap my head around what she was kissing when his glamour fell away? His fangs? His decaying lips? I'm all for "it's what's on the inside that counts" but COME ON, Margaret, that's pushing it!

By the time I got to it I wasn't surprised that the ending was a mashed together, all-too convenient happily ever after, in which there are so many loose ends it is a wonder that this book is a standalone. (A fact for which I, personally, am extremely grateful. I'd rather pretend this never happened.)

In many, many reviews of this book I have read variations on the phrase, "But I have questions!" And to those sweet, summer children I say: There are no answers, dear ones! Our new friend Margaret was either recounting a fever dream or tripping serious balls while writing this. We can only hope that she is okay now and move on with our lives.
Profile Image for Viktoria Winter.
105 reviews449 followers
August 16, 2017
Disclaimer: This book is a spring banquet of ripe grapefruit wine, a summer morning beneath swaying willow trees, an autumnal bonfire deep in the woods, and a wintry dusk backset to the wind.

….At least it made me feel that way. Rogerson killed the imagery game. It was glorious.

description

I’ve been waiting for a very long time for a book like this to come out. I’ve always been obsessed with faeries and elvish folklore, and while I’ve read just about every book related to those mythologies nothing ever seemed quite right. Sure, all of the characters had pointy ears, magical powers, and lived somewhat near the forest, but that’s about where the similarities cut off. I wanted a story where the Fae were humanoid with tree roots for limbs and flowers for lips, where they worshipped nature instead of just lived in it— something closer to the rendition of Celtic folklore including the Wild Hunt, changelings, and caverns beneath the earth. And I’m so happy to say that An Enchantment of Ravens was that book for me.

Our narrator is a young portrait artist named Isobel who lives in a village called Whimsy where it is eternally summer. Her Craft— a form of human creativity that cannot be done by Fair Folk without risk of harm—is legendary for someone her age, and various Fair Ones come to visit her parlor to be painted, if only for a small price. All masters of Craft receive enchantments as a form of payment, but if worded wrong these wishes can go awry. Isobel always wishes for practical things and words them right, much to the delight of her regular client and wish-granter Gadfly. But upon one of his usual visits, Gadfly tells Isobel that she should expect the Autumn Prince soon. And while she gets to know Rook more intimately than any of her other clients, she accidentally paints mortal sorrow into his eyes. For this, the price is grave, and now Rook must take Isobel to his home, the Autumnlands, to stand trial for what she has done. However, they might never make it there with what lurks between her world and his kingdom.

The writing, the plot, the characters, the romance….everything in this book is a treat. At first I thought that it might be a bit fast-paced because it’s just a tad smaller in length to some of my more recent reads, but that’s definitely not the case. It was well thought out from the start to the finish with no “filler” scenes or rushed pivotal moments. I took my time reading this book and it really helped me delve into the setting so much so that I felt a deep connection with the main characters by the commencement of the final page.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the deal-breaking moments for me was the rendition of the Fae. The Fair Folk in this book cannot lie, are harmed by iron, have humanoid skins they wear as a disguise to hide their more monstrous forms underneath, live in places made of all things natural, and (my favorite) don’t have emotions. Supposedly.

description

One thing that always stood out to me amongst these other faerie novels was that the authors were quick to include emotion of some sort amongst their kind, wherein the original tales depicted the Fae as cruel, often vindictive and evil characters that didn't feel human emotion and rather loved to toil with it for their own reprieve. That being said, the only romance featured in this book is saved for the main characters—which I thought was a wonderful decision as opposed to the usual minor “ships” that are often sidelined and then forced to fulfill plot devices. Also, it made the story seem more like a fairytale which was entirely the vibe I got from it (a morbid, eerily beautiful fairytale at that).

“He was no more able to understand the sorrow of a human’s death than a fox might mourn the killing of a mouse.”

Not to be dramatic, but I think I’ve found my favorite YA male protagonist as well. I had gone into this book believing that the Autumn Prince would be brooding with a side of dark humor (you know the type, I’m sure) but you can imagine my utter surprise when I find that Rook is, in fact, quite the opposite. He is good-natured, apologizes whenever he thinks he’s upset someone even when he hasn’t, doesn’t understand human emotion and finds it terrifying, and has a deep love for autumn. There were many hysterical moments between Rook and Isobel but I won’t mention them here because they’re something you should experience on your own. However, I will say that when someone bows or curtsies to a Fair One, that Fae must return the gesture immediately.

description

His character development is prominent throughout the story, as is Isobel’s, but I won’t mention more for fear of spoiling you. Rest assured, there were many things I picked up on that had changed from the beginning to the end, and they changed for the better. I also adore the way in which his physical descriptor was written: And I think it’s important to note that he has ADHD, something my brother suffers from, and I found it refreshing to see this trait with a main character for a change. Did I mention that he can also transform into a dark horse and a raven?

description

I’ve already re-read this story three times and each time brings about stronger emotions for me. This is one of those books that you’ll want to revisit frequently because it plays with your heart in ways no other stories have (at least that’s the case for me)! The ending was wild, and while everything was answered and little to no ties were left untangled, I still want more. As of now I believe this is a stand-alone, but if there were ever a sequel in it’s future there would be plenty of things to write further more from where this book ended. If not that, then you can expect I’ll be dabbling in my fair share of Fanfiction. Enough said: READ THIS BOOK.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
419 reviews1,623 followers
April 3, 2018
2 Stars

“You are like a living rose among wax flowers. We maybe last forever, but you bloom brighter and smell sweeter....”

description

If you listen very carefully, legend says you can still hear my drawn-out sigh, drifting in the wind…All these mystical, magical things were supposed to be enchanting but I just felt meh.

And it starts off really good! This has a gorgeous setting with a captivating depiction of fae. Rogerson's clever use of description builds picturesque scenes and there are so many fun elements introduced in the first few chapters, including:

- Twin-goats turned into mischievous children
- Pompous fae obsessed with self-image, but more than a little out of touch.
- Creepy half fae and half-dead human zombie spirit deer thing
- Fae who literally die if they create anything (‘craft’)
- As such, a whole town who creates for the fae in exchange for magical favors
- Fae who often twist the favors into not-so pleasant loopholes (see goat-children)
- The town is literally named Whimsy

BUT, it took less than three chapters for this to turn into another story where the sensible heroine goes ga-ga after instalove. Isobel is a master of craft and cleverly receives practical favors from the fae in return. She’s firmly established as smart and careful doing whatever she can to keep her family safe. ...And then Rook walks in. And I just don’t understand? She was sure she loved him… because why? She’s sees sadness in his eyes, and she wasn’t aware fae were capable of human emotion? Just because he’s hot and able to love doesn’t mean you love him, girl! There seriously wasn't a full conversation before she was dropping the L-bomb.

Don’t get me wrong-- conversation does happen! Over a meandering, long journey that exists simply to force interaction between the love interests. Seriously. Rook decides Isobel must stand trial for her heinous actions (She painted him with sadness in his eyes, guys!) and they take off towards Fairy-Land. But then they change directions five-times, more zombie-deer show up, they end up at a spring party and just… a bunch of other random crap? There wasn’t really any plot outside of, “these guys are totally going to fall in love, and they aren’t supposed to.”

However, there were several things I liked about the ending. There is some devious fae twisting-and-turning, and Isobel’s intelligence comes back as she proves she is capable. But by then it was too late, I’d already forgotten to care about the characters.

And there's no good resolution for anything? Everything is either
1.) solved way too easily,
- like the incredibly evil and built up Alder-King
- ALL his oppressive laws.

2.) it's not really solved at all?
- Like the fact that Isobel is going to age and die while Rook stays the same forever?

Overall:
Lots of pretty people and pretty words, not enough substance. There isn’t really a plot outside of the forbidden instalove, so if that’s your thing, you’re in luck.

I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Simon and Schuster for the opportunity!

(Also, all this talk of ‘crafting’ am I the only one that remembers:
description )
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
January 17, 2018
Thanks Simon & Schuster for the free review copy!

I'm so appalled at this book because it's so long since I've read a book and thought, "How did this get published?? It still needs so much work." This genuinely feels like the first draft of a book, there are SO many technical issues that don't make sense.

This book is trying to be acomaf… except with the worst parts of Twilight sprinkled into it. First of all, there is such a power imbalance between fae & humans that is emphasized and often exploited. Fae are clever and trick humans and that’s part of the folklore, but for a romantic relationship to exist between the two, it sets up a very manipulative and sketchy dynamic. At one point when he’s mad at her, he pins her to a wall and Isobel is fully aware of her helplessness. It just was an uncomfortable dynamic that I think unwittingly could have been a metaphor for women who can’t help themselves out of abusive relationships. And he constantly holds his age over her head, belittling her with his immortality. At every turn Isobel reminds the reader about how helpless and weak she is as a mere human, and it was exasperating.

Next, Isobel falls in love with Rook so!!!!! quickly!!!!!!! I don’t consider this similar to Twilight so much as I consider it a hallmark of any YA novel, but still. The romance in this is SO lame and badly done, too quick, too unbelievable. Her obsession with him not only as a partner but as someone more mysterious and ~better~ than her was really disturbing. She reminded me of Bella because of her meekness, her malleability of character. Also, Rook really does nothing to justify her loving him. It felt very much just like the author stated it but the characters don’t really match up with that description?

And that seemed to be something to occur often. For some reason, the plot of this just didn’t work. The best way I can describe is it that the author had the outline of a plot but then filled characters into it that just weren’t right. Their motivations felt off and I felt like I was being tossed back and forth in a tidal wave because their emotions and the direction of the plot kept changing. Bottom line, this wasn’t convincing. And it’s the first book I’ve read in a long time where I think there’s some genuinely weak storytelling here.

Furthermore, the characters' words and actions were completely different. She falls in love with him on page 3, yet later on she acts like she's so angry that he's taking her to autumn court? then she wants to escape because she misses her family, but she doesn't want to leave him? again, back to the tidal wave thing. i couldn't figure out any of the characters' motivations, and the world building was just as weakly written, if not worse. nothing made sense. Rook said he was taking her to go on trial at the autumn court, and after like 50 pages of stumbling around the woods, they never even step foot in autumn court once in the book ?????

The writing style in this book was also giving me whiplash. Some sentences were so uniquely phrased and vivid, but others rested on clichés i’ve read a thousand times in other YA books. Also sometimes the narration would fall into second person and Isobel would say, “Now let me tell YOU about a time . . .” and it really disrupted the story. It felt very out of place in this sort of story, whereas I may not have minded so much had this been middle grade or contemporary. But something about the breaking of the fourth wall made the story seem tacky, the narrator less real.

I’m just a plain sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, but it didn't even deliver on that front. I think it was an ambitious idea, but not at ALL well-executed.
758 reviews2,358 followers
December 21, 2017
I remember once I studied a lot for a math exam and was 200% sure I'd pass but then I actually took the exam. I'm having that feeling now that I've actually finished reading the disaster that was This Book.

Rtc, like shit I'm tired, this was supposed to be Good.

///
Please let there be a Ronan Lynch with a pet raven named Chainsaw, thank you.

Buddy read with my favorite wife, Elsie (who I'll tag once I'm less lazy)
January 14, 2022

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DNF @ 42%



Can I just say that I love how the blonde heroine's arm markings look just like Feyre's arm markings on the cover of ACoTaR? Y'all know I have no lost love for Sarah J. Maas, but in this case, SJM is by far the better writer-- at least stuff happens in her book. The hero and heroine of this book spend ages in a wood, and let me tell you, if I wanted to spend hours in a wood with monsters, I'd dig out one of my old JRPG games and do some grinding.



It's a shame because the book has a good premise. Whimsy is a mortal village set on the edges of the summerlands where all mortals aspire to do "Crafts" (e.g. cooking, painting, baking) for the faeries to buy. It's created a weird economy where no one can afford the cost of the luxuries except the fae, who are unable to do any of them. Our heroine, Isobel, is a self-proclaimed prodigy painter and an expert on all things fae (except when she isn't), and one day she is offered the chance to do the autumn prince's portrait.



Unfortunately for her, Miss Fae Expert painted a flaw in the painting, giving Prince Rook a look of sorrow that becomes an unpardonable show of weakness when he stupidly unveils the painting in front of his court without looking at it first. To punish her, he drags her to the autumn court to meet out justice, but that doesn't happen within the first 42% which is all wandering around in the woods, with sprinkles of instalove here and there, to remind you that this tepid story is, in fact, a romance.



Maybe this book gets better but I've got so many books that I just don't bother finishing if a book doesn't grab me. The pacing and inconsistency in this book is just so off the wall that I can't even give it the "benefit of the doubt" two star rating that I sometimes give to books that I don't finish but think that I might have felt were okay if I was able to finish them.



1 star
Profile Image for ♛ may.
802 reviews3,763 followers
January 23, 2018
Full review posted

It’s really funny because I read this book like 2 weeks ago and I literally remember zero things about it and still haven’t written a review ha ha!! Isn’t this great??!! end me now please

So, let’s be direct about it, this book was a cringe fest
Ahhhhh that felt good to get off my chest.

Now here’s the thing about it, if you go into it with low expectations, expecting a cringe fest with some weirda*s instalove and lots of confusion, then you might be pleasantly surprised bc hey it’s not //that// bad. Problem for me was, I went in with sky high expectations. ;-; sad

Anywho, let’s jot note it out,
- On a positive note bc we all know how much I reek of positivity the world is pretty interesting. It’s magical enough and genuinely captivating with its flowery words
- Really creative plot i.e. the fair folk interact with humans on a professional level as they cannot partake in any human craft – so they hire humans to do it for them (but theyre also evil and mean and ish)
- The mc’s goat sister’s were pretty good too. And I liked the strong family aspect, that’s always my weak spot
- THE MC IS AN ARTIST!!!!
- The fact that it’s a standalone is a bonus for me bc we NEVER get good fantasy standalone and I crave them
- Well….it’s short. So it was easy to binge and be done with :)
- Um…..i think I’ve ran out of positive things to say….
- 🙅 the 🙅 cringe 🙅 insta 🙅 love 🙅
- Y’all probably thing im exaggerating but im literally not THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT FALLING IN LOVE AFTER LIKE 3 PARAGRAPHS I WANTED TO CRY
- This quote in itself:
I automatically tightened my legs around his waist and hooked my arms around his neck, boggling at how high off the ground he’d lifted me. It was almost like riding him as a horse again

- Legit choked on air when I heard the narrator read that line, like…..why, why, please stop
- These kids were //pretending// to hate each other AFTER THE WHOLE INSTALOVE TRIP AND I WAS SO CONFUSED BC THEY PRACTICALLY PROCLAIMED THEIR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER WHY THEY LYING SO MUCH
- And then 0.34 seconds later theyre like making out in the woods????
- Dude, try and be consistent, please
- And then some ish happened but I forgot and then the real conflict started but it literally ended in 2 seconds so that’s great
- Moral of the story: punch me if I believe in the hype again, thanks.

“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

2 stars!!


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Buddy read with marmoosha who has already pretty much ditched me. :|

This is the FIRST book im doing as part of our 24 Hour Readathon feel free to join the readathon if you please
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