“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”
Read in June 2018
My Rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
May be spoilery
I hate it when anticipated releases don’t meet my expectations…
Dear lord, this book was a pet-peeves fest. I’m not even kidding, ninety-eight percent of it was cringe-worthy. From insta-love to egocentric and stupid main character, the story checked all the no-no boxes for me. There is absolutely no world building or context AT ALL throughout the whole book and the storyline is messy. You know it makes me think when a kid tries to tell you his day at school? It probably makes sense to him/her since, but you can’t understand all of it because it’s vague, disorganized, he gives at the same time too many and not enough details and he misses the basis of the storytelling structure. Well, this is how this book felt for me.
So let’s get started with the few information we got, Isobel is a skilled painter ‘a prodigy portrait artist’ as the synopsis says, and her clients are fae. Why? Because in this world, fair folk can’t do anything crafty or they die. Why? Well, it’s not explained, it’s the way it is, so stop asking questions. One day she has her first royal client, Prince of the Autumn Court, she meets him on page 19 (pages number will get important, I swear), paints him. He leaves and she finishes her painting. But you know she is so good a painter that in her painting she puts human emotion in the prince’s eyes and that gets him angry and he takes her away to stand trial for her crime. What follows is the cherry on the cake.
“One raven for uncertain peril. Six for danger sure to arrive. A dozen for death, if not avoided. The enchantment is sealed.”
Dear friends here begins the cringe festival: on page 42, she doubts everything she ever knew, get on psycho-mode and imagines a relationship between her and the prince in her mind. On page 48 she actually uses the word “love” to define what she feels for him. Do you see what I mean? It all happens so fast that there is no way for me to have any affection for that pairing. So she’d known him for 10 pages or so in total and only painted him and start saying things like “this wasn’t the Rook I knew”, like, really? You’ve seen him like a full day and you can pretend you know him? Also, Isobel kept saying she knows how dumb her feelings sounded so soon after meeting him but did nothing to act less foolish. Needless to say, there was no chemistry between Rook and Isobel, indeed, same as hers, his feelings came out of nowhere and had no roots whatsoever.
“He was astonishingly vain even by fair folk standards, which was like saying a pond is unusually wet, or a bear surprisingly hairy.”
Other than that, the physical description of Rook was painful, with pages of how oh-so-perfect every cell of his body is. And the WORST part of this book (yes, because believe it or not, there is worse than what I just said) is how Isobel is so full of herself. She keeps refereeing at herself as ‘the best’. Believe me when I say I love confident characters but the fact that around page 50 we had already witnessed at least five of her egotistical displays, I was sick of it. One of the best quote showing that is the following: “He was arrogant, self-centred, and obtuse—unworthy of me in every way.” Here, that’s on the house.
The only thing that made this book 1,5 star is the flowery and pretty writing style. It wasn’t enough to make me like the story a tiny bit though. I know I mentioned the lack of world-building already, but that ended up leaving so many loose ends unanswered questions that I thought this book was not a standalone. The journey solely exists to force and justify interaction between the love interest, but since it seems like the only goal of this book is this “forbidden love” it fell kind of flat. I was so bored the whole time, the only scene that sparked my attention was when Rook nearly died because he tried to cook.
So yeah, I should have listened to most of the reviews out there. I’ll listen to you, friends next time, I promise.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it?