Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

An Enchantment of Ravens

An Enchantment of Ravens

Fall 2017 Fiction
Ages: 14 & Up
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481497589
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Part fairytale, part magical realism, part romance, An Enchantment of Ravens is a heady journey into the world of Whimsy, where mortals reside, and the dark but all-alluring world of the immortals, or fair folk, hovers outside.

Plucky 17-year-old Isobel, a mortal, has coveted gifts as a portrait painter. Pandering to the vanity of the fair has helped her protect and care for her family. The fair are charming and seductive, and not surprisingly, also very dangerous. Isobel holds her own with them, plying her treasured skills in exchange for their enchantments.

It's not a bad system, for a while. The plot thickens, though, when Rook, the handsome autumn prince comes around. Isobel mistakenly ruins his portrait– she paints feeling, a strict no-no. Feelings make immortals appear weak, and thus humiliated, the prince is furious. There are threats and a kidnapping and Isobel's carefully stitched life unravels fast. Magic, trickery and a reluctant romance ensue.

Rogerson paints a detailed and vivid picture of the two worlds–the faerie world and the world of Whimsy where it's summer year round. Character color pops off the page through delightful juxtapositions. The first scene in Isobel's parlor, for instance, featuring a vain but seemingly likeable immortal sitting for his portrait as Isobel offhandedly observes he's "a creature who could murder me without rescheduling his tea."

Rogerson's writing – her nuance and sharp contrasts, especially –is the strength of the story. It's a solid, skillfully-written story for readers who love exactly that kind of thing. The characters are incorrigible, in a likeable way. If in one scene there's a breathlessly beautiful gown, in the next maggots ooze from a corpse. There is exhilarating danger, a romance, heroines and heroes, an unpredictable setup, villains, and all of it racing to a fantastic finish.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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