Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Fae, Magic, Young Adult, Romance
After finishing An Enchantment of Ravens, I spent a great amount of time pondering about its rating. On one hand, it was clear to me that 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!