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 autumn lands 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.
I have heard so much hype around this book, I had to read it. I was amazed at the writing and imagery. You could easily see where the two MCs were because the author was very descriptive. I went into this book not knowing much other than it dealt with magic and fairy courts. I finished this book in two days and it is easily one of my favorites this year.
You have your two MCs, Isobel, and Rook. Isobel is a mortal, she lives with her aunt Emma and her two twin sisters. Rook is a Prince and is Fair Folk, he is immortal and lives in the courts. In this world, mortals have “crafts” cooking, cleaning, writing, painting, etc. Fair folk cannot do these simple tasks anymore, so they look to the mortals to do it.
Isobel’s craft is painting, she can paint amazing portraits and loses her self in her craft. When she is assigned to paint a portrait of Prince Rook, she starts to see the sorrow in his eyes and paints it. Soon rook comes looking for her to fix the mistake she has made. You watch Isobel and Rook go through this really magical adventure and discover so much, not only about the world but themselves as well.
This is one of my favorites this year, I truly didn’t know if I would enjoy this novel or not. Isobel and Rook just capture your attention with their magical characteristics. The writing was so amazing and descriptive. I lost my self in the descriptions of the forest and courts. It’s truly imaginative.
Overall the magic and imaginative world the author have created just sucks you in. It just enraptures your attention from the start and has you wanting more. I also want to know Isobel’s real name. I’m hoping there is a second book, and if so I cannot wait to see where the author takes us on this very strange and magical adventure.