With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.
Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?
Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.
He spun on his heel and bowed, glaring as though he might kill me on the spot.
The Bookish Fae’s Thoughts:
Margaret Rogerson did a great job in terms of worldbuilding. I love the idea of Whimsy, a quaint little town in fairylands, where mortals live and trade their Craft with the fair folk. The faeries on this book are as cunning and mischievous as ever, and yet they never forget their manners. One of the funniest parts for me was the mandatory bowing and how Isobel exploited that to her benefit.
The plot had that traditional fairytale feel to it and that ending was wonderful. I always love a good scheming in the stories I read. My only beef with this book is that the romance felt a little too fast and a bit forced. I didn’t feel like they earned that delightful declaration scene, despite its incredible delivery.
Overall, this is something I would recommend if you’re craving a whimsical fairytale that you can read in one sitting. Her brilliant writing reminded me of why I fell in love with books in the first place.