An Enchantment of Ravens is a fairy-tale fantasy about a girl named Isobel who is a portrait artist to the fair folk. In the town of Whimsy, the fair folk come and purchase craft from the artisans. In return they exact payment in the form of spells. Isobel has learned at the tender age of seventeen to be very exact in her negotiations because the fair folk are not honest in their negotiations and what seems an innocent wish for true love may become an obsessive infatuation. When Rook, the Prince of the Autumn lands comes to have his portrait painted Isobel see’s something in his eyes that she must paint on canvas. Unfortunately what she paints is a humanity that the fair folk do not wish to see, and Rook spirits her away to stand trial for her error. During this journey she and Rook come to an understanding finding friendship and love which is against the fair folk’s laws.
I was captured by the charm and spirit of this novel. The author painted her words so they flowed lyrically across the page. The melding of commonly heard folk tales such as the fae can’t speak a lie, with a new fair folk history made the story both familiar and foreign, making it easy to huddle into my blanket on the couch and immerse myself into this enchanted land.
Isobel for being a seventeen year old girl, was wise beyond her years. She was essentially the adult in her household, responsible for her two sisters and her aunt. When she is spirited away by Rook, she gives in to the adventure, worrying about her family, but also seeing new shapes and colors in every hill and tree opening her eyes to the world as a whole rather than Whimsy’s summer colors and sounds. I loved how her emotions were painted in colors.
Rook was an interesting hero. He was one of the fair folk and his glamour was beautiful, but underneath that glamour was a reality that contrasted with that beauty they all wanted to portray. That contrast between fae reality and glamour was found throughout the story giving this a real fairy tale feel, more Grimm than Disney. He and Isobel’s love ran a similar juxtaposition from her innocent first love to gritty heart wrenching pain. I loved how this novel ran from one spectrum to the other in a rainbow of colors from light to dark and back again. The story and the feelings all those colors imbued captured me completely.
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