Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Published: September 26th, 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A book about fae, the fae courts and a cocky prince who can shape shift into a raven? Ummm, sign me up!
This story follows a human girl, Isobel who lives in a city named Whimsy. Isobel is a talented artist who is very well known by the fae for her excellent portraits. In this world, the fair folk are unable to create things like the humans can…whether it’s painting, writing or even cooking. Isobel is in very high demand for her exquisite portraits, but everything changes when her next client who wants a portrait done is the Autumn prince, Rook, himself. When Isobel innocently paints human sorrow in his eyes, and he reveals the painting to his court, they then view him as weak. Rook then furiously rushes back to Whimsy to take Isobel and force her to stand trial for her “crime”. Unexpectedly, Rook and Isobel begin to fall for each other as they go on an adventure and fight off the many dangers that face them.
I loved all of the fae aspects in this story. How they wear a glamour (and glamour almost everything), how they cannot lie, how iron affects them and their intrigue (and silent envy) of human Craft.
I adored the heroine, Isobel. She was so brave and selfless and you could see that she would do anything to protect her family. I knew I loved her in the first chapter when she was rewarded an Enchantment from a client and she chose practical things that would be beneficial for her and her family. The hero, Rook, well how could I not love him? He was so confident and arrogant but he also had a soft side when it came to Isobel…what’s not to love?
As for the romance aspect? I LOVE a book with a good romance in it but this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I just never truly believed Rook and Isobel’s love for each other and I found that it all happened too fast (AKA, insta-love). One minute Isobel loves Rook after spending a couple of weeks with him, painting his portrait (and they hardly even spoke to each other!) and then the next day she says she doesn’t, oh and then she suddenly loves him again…meanwhile Rook has loved her the whole time…yeah, it was a bit confusing and I couldn’t really connect or believe in it because of these reasons.
As for the writing, it was amazing. From the beautiful prose to the way Margaret Rogerson described the imagery and characters…it was truly incredible.
Ultimately, besides there being a bit of insta-love…I absolutely loved everything about this book! Rook and Isobel were awesome characters and the adventure that they went on kept me on the edge of my seat! If you loved ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas or you just love books about fae in general (and who doesn’t, right?) then I would definitely pick this one up!