I finally read it! I was drawn in by Charlie Bowater’s beautiful cover, the description sounded interesting and ACOTAR-esque…. and then, I realized it was severely over-hyped. I read this book in two hours, as it’s quite tiny, and I’ve thought about it over the last couple of days. I’m really unimpressed. All of the ideas were there, but it was majorly lacking execution. I know a lot of people really loved this novel, but for me it was a bit of a miss. This review is probably going to be a fair bit shorter than others I’ve written, purely because I don’t have much to say or that I know how to express for how I felt about this book.
As always, the book title, cover and description will be found below. My review is spoiler filled, so beware! Go read the book and come back, tell me what you thought! Did you love this novel? Or, like me, were you disappointed by the hype?
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 among them. 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, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of 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.
I had really high hopes for this book. It started really interesting; a young girl, providing for her family with the artistic gifts she’d been given. She works well with fairies who are feared, and has a long list of clientele. However, once she’s given the opportunity to work for the Autumn Prince, everything goes South. It had every opportunity to work, it was so promising, but it majorly fell short.
This book really didn’t work for me. The comparisons being drawn to A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas were too strong. It was like the author had tried to write that novel herself, and it backfired. The idea of courts being separated by seasons, humans being afraid of fae, an artist who paints falling in love with a fairy prince who could be seen as a monster…. I’m surprised Rogerson hasn’t been called out for plagiarism.
To start, I absolutely could not connect with the characters. Isobel didn’t have the ‘main character’ feel I was looking for. I was a bit bored with everything she was doing and saying, as it felt extremely predictable. Her family didn’t largely feature, which makes me wonder why they were introduced at all. Rook, the autumn prince who can turn into a raven (which just makes me think of Rhysand from ACOTAR because he turns into a feathered monster), was a jerk. I really didn’t like him. Their relationship felt like that of Bella and Edward in Twilight. Somehow she loves him, and he loves her, but their relationship felt messy and abusive. I absolutely loathed how he treated her, and actually had to put the book down and debate whether I wanted to move forward with the rest of the novel.
All of the other characters did not have the time to be developed or expanded on. I couldn’t connect to them whatsoever. I was trying to talk to my friend about the book the other day and we were struggling to even mention the others by name, because they weren’t memorable in the slightest.
The real problem with this book for me is that it feels like a previous draft of A Court of Thorns and Roses. So much so that two days after finishing An Enchantment of Ravens, I sat down with my copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I went through the entire book pulling out plot points that were similar. After this, I found it really hard to see this book as it’s own.
While this book was a miss for me, it was a hit for a lot of people. My feelings are contrary to most of what is on Goodreads right now, though that doesn’t surprise me. Did you read An Enchantment of Ravens? If so, what did you think? Leave me a comment!