Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating: 3 stars
This novel fell somewhere in the middle for me. A lot of this book is taken up by a journey the two main characters make, and the story is filled with descriptions of the landscapes they traverse along the way. While this could be dull for some, I personally enjoy being able to picture everything in my mind in detail, and I’m not bored by descriptions of lush forests or golden sunlight- as long as they aren’t repetitive or overdone. Isobel and Rook also encounter all types of dangerous creatures on their journey, and the reader gets to learn more about their world and the types of things that live in it along the way.
– dense forests and golden fields, colorful landscapes and vibrant skies
– a decaying monster with mushrooms for eyes, enchanted dresses that drop rose petals as they sway
– Rook’s desperate politeness and need to bow back to each curtsy is adorable
– the plot is a bit plain; this is a love story and not much else
– I wasn’t totally satisfied with how things ended up
“What must it be like? To meet someone, to forge a connection, all in the span of one golden afternoon—only to find out that for her, each passing minute was a year. Each second, an hour. She would be dead before the sun rose the next day.”
Alright, issues I had. Rook seems a bit childish for someone that has been alive so long he can’t remember his own age. Isobel seemed to forget how dangerous everything was the second Rook was nice to her, and she wasn’t nearly as angry with him as she should have been. “And while he was, to be fair, entirely at fault for dragging me into the forest in the first place, he had nearly died last night protecting me.” I’m sorry, but I don’t jive with that logic. Thankfully we move past this whole captor/captive dynamic about ⅓ of the way through the book, so not a major deal. But- Isobel and Rook do go from hate to love in a very short time, and it took me a while to accept the change.
Also, I had some trouble picturing the size and location of Whimsy/Autumn/Summer/etc. Isobel and Rook make it from Whimsy to Autumn to Summer a lot quicker than I would have imagined them being able to, and I couldn’t seem to find a map of the world anywhere to put it into perspective. I would have liked to know more about the history of their world and their politics. The author did do a great job of portraying how time feels different to the fey than it does to humans, and showing the ignorance of each from the other’s way of life. Rook knows nothing of having to cook your food before you eat it, and Isobel can’t imagine living so long you lose track of your age. The problem with all these differences between them was that it made their relationship and pairing seem unrealistic, and created my biggest issue with the romance.
“‘My Craft isn’t just something I do. My Craft is who I am. If I drank, I’d lose myself and everything I care about. I know it’s hard for you to understand, because you’ve never been mortal, but the emptiness I’ve glimpsed within your kind frightens me more than death. I wouldn’t consider the Green Well even as a last resort. I’d rather get torn apart by the Wild Hunt than become a fair one.’
He sank back down, absorbing my words. I’d expected to offend him, but he only looked a bit dazed, as though something had struck him over the back of the head. Perhaps the effort to comprehend what I’d said left him reeling. From his perspective, after all, human emotion wasn’t a blessing—it was a misery and a curse. Why wouldn’t I want to be rid of it?”
The beginning of the book and the traveling portion was fun to read because we were discovering the world and learning about the dangers. There were monsters and chases and things were treacherous. Once Rook and Isobel got to the court, there was still a looming danger, but the pace slowed down a great deal. At times this novel reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Isobel had to make sure she didn’t say or eat the wrong thing, half of the fair folk were either pretending to like her or too busy caring about themselves to notice her, and she had to watch out for the tricks and traps that could spring up anywhere. Isobel had to hold onto what it meant to be human throughout the story, and hold onto her resolve to not cave to the pressure of giving up her humanity in exchange for being free to love who she wanted. While I did enjoy the author’s writing and the fantastical quality the book had, I wish there had been more adventure and more progression in the plot. I was looking for more than just a love story, and unfortunately that’s a lot of what this ended up being.