Oh, my goodness, I loved this book so much and I’m excited to learn that author, Margaret Rogerson, is a first-time novelist. I predict readers will have much to look forward to from her. I’m also excited that this rich fantasy book that takes place in the world of faerie is a stand-alone that is fewer than 300 pages. Usually, books like this are several-books-long series with each book numbering well over 500 pages. So refreshing! Fans of the ACOTAR series are going to love it (while they are waiting for the delayed release of ACOTAR #3.1). Fans of Holly Black’s books will like this one, too.
Isobel lives in Whimsy, a town on the border of the faerie lands where humans make their living by trading their craft for enchantments. Isobel is a master portrait painter. When one of her best patrons recommends her services to a 300 year-old prince who has never had his portrait painted, it changes her life. There is definitely a spark between Isobel and the raven prince but love between a faerie and a human is strictly forbidden. They go their separate ways until the Prince returns in anger. His portrait has caused him to become the laughing stock of his kingdom. Why? Because Isobel had the audacity to paint his face displaying human emotion (quelle horreur!!). When Rook basically kidnaps Isobel to bring her to his kingdom to answer to the charges against her, the two unknowingly become a part of a dangerous plot that could either kill them or make them fall madly in love with each other. I was definitely rooting for the latter.
Most of the faerie knowledge I possess is thanks to Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black. Margaret Rogerson has brought something new (to me) with this book in her focus of the fey’s love of human craft. I found the idea that what makes humans special (aside from their humanity) and envied is their ability to create. I loved Isobel’s talent and power and love of her family. I loved Rook’s arrogance, his unintentional humor, his love of Isobel, and his willingness to make huge sacrifices. Two final notes: 1) LOOK AT THE GORGEOUSNESS OF THIS COVER (it’s even prettier in person - so shiny - I must buy one for my personal library, and 2) the audio is excellent! Highly recommended.