A brief synopsis:
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.
Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (3.78 stars)
My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (4.5 stars)
I read this book over a week (I think) and I loved it so much! The only downside was the fact that I wanted it to be so much longer, because I just couldn’t get enough of it. The book was a different take on the fairy genre of stories, and it was nice to read about a different fae.
Isobel: Isobel is a fierce female protagonist and it was such a relief to have a female character that remained independent and had morals she wanted to stick with. Isobel knows what she wants, and won’t sacrifice it for anything. The only thing that would make me like her more was if she was a Fae-hating Lesbian.
Rook: Rook is hilarious. I laughed more in the scenes with Rook than I did with any other character. The fact he is the Autumn Prince and believes he can do what he wants is also a contributing giggle factor. It is nice and refreshing to see a male character who thinks he can do what he wants, and actually be told that he can’t. All that aside, I love Rook and he is my ideal cinammon roll.
March and May: These two. They aren’t really main characters, but I have such a soft spot for them. They are evil and horrid creatures and I just love them so much.
Gadfly: A main/side character depending on the part of the book. Gadfly seems really nice but he is a bastard. Don’t believe the false niceties, and just think of him as Fae – crafty and manipulative. I want to slap this arsehole so much.
This book is filled with the most beautiful writing I have read in a long while. The descriptions are on point, and really make you feel like you are really there alongside the characters. All the posts and quotes online about how the autumn is crisp and golden etc have nothing on this book. I feel like Margaret Rogerson writes how everyone wants to write, but can’t.
I loved this book and the language and imagery and everything else, but the immediate romance put me off that half a star, and my asexual butt couldn’t get past this, which is why I voted the 4.5.