Mildly Enthusiastic Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

While I read a lot of what some of you more discerning readers might consider crap, especially if it comes in a fantasy envelope, I rarely enjoy it without question. This time I did.

er-anenchantmentofravensAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Category: Books

Find it on: LibraryThing

What it is:
A fairy tale for (young) adults. Isobell lives in Whimsy, a land for people selling their work to fairies. She is a gifted portrait painter who has learned to manage the tricks of the fair folk rather well – until she meets a very special fairy.

How I found it:
I don’t remember but I think I expected a different book and mixed them up – luckily.

Summary judgment:
It’s surprisingly lovely.

Best things about it:
I was surprised to be so, ahem, enchanted by the world Rogerson creates: it’s got the charm of a fairy tale in which you just buy the premises of the magic world and enjoy being in it. However, it’s more developed than most fairy tales, with characters more fully drawn and quirkier. The tension between the romantic leads feels real and you believe all the reasons why they can’t be together even though you know eventually they will be.

Worst things about it:
It’s just a simple pleasure reading that you can’t boast about having read but for what it is, it works. I just wish it didn’t try so hard to be a teen book because Isobell didn’t need to be 17 – she felt older.

Other pluses:
✤ I liked all the details about fairies and their world: they made sense.
✤ While you have the general sense of where the book is going, the reveals don’t feel boringly obvious.
✤ The simplicity of the story and the sole focus on Isobell’s point of view work: they make for a clean, controlled narrative.

Other minuses:
Honestly, I’m good.

How it enriched my life:
I read it while nursing and it made the whole thing so much better.

Cover notes:
While the illustration leaves me indifferent because it doesn’t have enough character to be memorable, at least it’s competent. (I do wish they’d found someone who could create an oil portrait style illustration though to go with the story; wasted potential.) I wish they kept the typography simpler because the embellishments don’t work.

Rogerson has another novel in the works and I might read it if I come across it.

Recommended for:
People who are not embarrassed to read a good, romantic fairy tale.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Next time: Since I’m back from the short hiatus, I’ll try to keep up with the once-a-week schedule. Next Emma, the movie




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