Review | An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Published September 26th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre/s: Fantasy, Young Adult
An Enchantment of Ravens is possibly one of the most beautifully written books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I can't get over what an wonderful experience reading this book was. It was so magical and the author's writing made everything seem so vividly real. It was like I was with the characters on there journey. The book almost feels like a tale that has been around forever.
'...my imagination was conjuring up increasingly unrealistic, maudlin scenarios, but wallowing neck-deep in misery, I was powerless...'
The book follows Isobel a painting prodigy. Working as a portrait artist for the strange and dangerous fair folk, she is able to earn a living and protect her family. Until one day she finds out from a regular client that she will be getting a visit from the autumn prince, who will be her first royal patron. While painting his portrait she makes a terrible mistake that has extreme ramifications for both the prince and for herself. That's all I am going to say because, I think the less you know the more enjoyable this book is to read.
'I paint not because I want to, not because I'm good at it, but because it is what I must do, what I live and breathe, what I was made for.'
Margaret Rogerson has perfectly captured that fairytale feeling and created characters that were so easy to love. The protagonist Isobel was extremely well written and I enjoyed the style of commentary as it was both easy to understand and at the same time whimsically complex. As an artist myself I was very happy to see how much detail was put into Isobel's profession. From the pigments and how they were made to the descriptions of light. Also when your painting or drawing, how the the most subtle thing can completely change how a person is perceived. Whether I enjoyed it so much because of the fact art is such a big part of my life or not, I don't know, but it was truly excellent to read.
'I was chilled to the marrow of my bones. The wintry calls of the Wild Hunt's hounds rose again in my ears, and I saw Hemlock's white, wild eyed face receding into the darkness.'
I wasn't expecting the hilarious quirks of humour that were weaved through contrasting the more serious parts. But they were extremely funny and I got lost in laughter quite a few times. The smugness and sarcasm thrown back and forth between both Isobel and Rook was one of the best things. I realise the book is short and a lot of things happen throughout, however it never felt rushed to me. The tension between characters was built slowly and it made for a great addition to how great the characters were already as separate individuals. Close to the beginning there were a few jumps in time that I didn't care much for and wished were done in a more subtle way. Also I wished that we instead got to see more of the process of Isobel's painting of Rook however that's about the only criticism I have for the entire book which is astounding.
'My skin crawled, a thousand many-legged insects skittering from my scalp all the way down to my toes.'
Some of the things about the Fair Folk were so original, for example the fact that they were so oblivious to the most natural human things was really great. Also how they found it uncomfortable to not be polite and well mannered was the funniest thing of all. Lately in the more current books I have been reading the humour has been cheesy or way too complex for it to be the slightest bit funny, but this was totally different. I'm so glad because I was starting to think I had lost my sense of humour.
'I froze on top of a boulder to look back. My nose spasmed with the effort of getting enough air, flaring red. Heat evaporated from my ears. The persuer had stopped...'
It would be great to see more tales from this world as there is so much I would love to know, especially when it comes to the magic. But no matter what Margaret Rogerson writes next I will definitely be reading it.
5 REALLY MASSIVE STARS!!!