An Enchantment of Ravens

Seventeen-year-old Isobel lives in the town of Whimsy with her Aunt Emma and her two younger sisters. Unruly and ill-mannered, March and May aren't Isobel's blood relations--"[t]hey'd begun life as a pair of goat kids before a fair one had too much wine and enchanted them on a lark." Now, they are members of Isobel and Emma's patchwork family; Emma became Isobel's guardian after a fairy beast brutally killed Isobel's parents.

As Whimsy's physician, Emma maintains a stable home for the three girls and Isobel adds fair folk enchantments to the family's fortunes by using her Craft: portraiture. Craft is, quite simply, the ability to make something, be it clothing, art or even food. The humans of Whimsy "could transmute substances as easily as [they] breathed, but for fair folk, such creation did not exist." In fact, "it is so contrary to their nature it had the power to destroy them." But the fair folk covet human Craft, and Isobel, as Whimsy's best portrait artist, has no shortage of magical patrons. When Rook, the autumn prince, returns to Whimsy for the first time in hundreds of years, he commissions a work. Isobel paints him as she sees him--with deep sadness in his eyes--not truly understanding that the other fair folk will see this human emotion as weakness. The autumn court moves to strip Rook of his crown and, desperate to save himself, Rook drags Isobel to the autumnlands to "stand trial" for her crime.

As the two run from the Wild Hunt, fairy beasts and the house of winter, it becomes clear that more is amiss than the painting; something is rotten in Rook's homeland. An Enchantment of Ravens offers a beautifully built world and swiftly paced adventure with exactly the right amount of danger, heroics and romance. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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