Wow so. Wow. I finished An Enchantment of Ravens late last night and it was beautiful? I’m still a little bit in awe, but I shall compose myself. *Don’t think about perfect pumpkin roll Rook or you will never get through this review*
An Enchantment of Ravens is about portrait artist Isobel who lives in a town called Whimsy on the edge of the courts of the Fair Folk. The Fair Folk cannot Craft™—meaning create, even to attempt to cook would turn them to piles of ash and dust—so they prize human Craft, especially gifts like Isobel’s. She paints their portraits and the Fair Folk pay in enchantments. All is going well until Isobel paints Rook, the autumn Prince, she makes the grave decision to paint him as she sees him, with damning human sorrow in his eyes. Betrayed by his weakness, Rook spirits Isobel into the Fair Folk lands so she can stand trial for her “crime.”
First thing to know about An Enchantment of Ravens is that Margaret Rogerson’s writing is deft, sharp, and lovely enough to leave me gasping and turning the pages, hungry for more.
The second is that Isobel falls among my favorite heroines. Her voice, her thoughts, were both sensible and passionate, and realistic. Often I read YA fantasy where the heroines lose all good sense in the midst of a book, whether for love or magic, and it was so refreshing to see Isobel keep her whits about her. She was neither swept away by love/magic, nor completely immune to it, and I loved her for it. (She actually reminded me a bit of two of my recent favorite heroines, Sarai from Strange the Dreamer, and Maya from The Star-Touched Queen.)
The last thing you need to know is that you will fall hopelessly in love with Rook and there’s just nothing to do for it but accept this sweet, vain, proud, SHAPESHIFTING pumpkin roll Prince into your life and smile because it happened. Honestly what a brilliant creature he was. I honestly could not even handle his equally infuriating and adorable nature. I mean…oh gah. AUTUMN PRINCE YALL. AUTUMN PRINCE WHO IS VAIN AND A BIT INSECURE AND WINGS AROUND AS A RAVEN AND SOMETIMES A HORSE AND IS SAD™
Basically you need to put An Enchantment of Ravens on your list for Fall. It releases September 26th (and believe me I’ll be going on and on about it until then so you won’t forget!) Perfect if you love Holly Black, Roshani Chokshi, and Laini Taylor. Perfect if you want your faerie tales well aware of the old lore, with teeth and romance and monsters.
Rating: Five Stars
Thanks SO MUCH to Simon & Schuster for sending this my way.
Adrien was prepared for a lot of possibilities, when the time to learn each other’s identities came. “Ill-timed coincidence” was not exactly the one he was hoping for.
“Adrien,” Plagg says warily, bobbing up in front of his face. Adrien feels Isobel’s expression crumple into–into the kind of expression he’s not supposed to wear. One of the many kinds of expressions he’s not supposed to wear, actually, since it’s not as if there’s any shortage of those.
“Ladybug called me Isobel,” he croaks.
“Yeah, well, she doesn’t know any better,” Plagg says. Which is true. Nobody knows any better, except for Plagg and Chloe, and Plagg only knows because he’s magic and Chloe only knows because when he was ten some photographer he doesn’t even remember anymore put him in a frilly orange dress for a shoot and told him to prove to the camera that he was the prettiest little girl in all of Paris, and that had gone … about as well as could be expected, Adrien supposed.
“That’s not my name,” he says, dull and quiet.
“Since when do I not know your name?” Plagg snorts, and Adrien smiles humorlessly, because–of course Plagg knows his name. Plagg knows his name better than anyone else in the entire world.
He needs to transform. He needs to help Ladybug. He needs to fight.
He needs to hear her call him “Chat”.
“Claws out,” he says, reaching out to Plagg. Plagg dives into the ring and everything in the world becomes that brief shining moment of green light and motion–the moment he interrupted Ladybug during, the moment he interrupted Marinette during, the moment where his body is remade and made right, sleeker and stronger and really his body–and then Adrien is Chat Noir and everything is better.
Being Chat is always better, no matter how bad everything else is.
Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) is the distant cousin of the main Crawley household and the mother to the late Matthew Crawley. She trained as a nurse during the Boer War. Isobel, along with her son, arrive at Downton Abbey after receiving a letter informing Matthew he was Robert Crawley’s heir. Isobel’s nursing skills arise when she shows interest in the Downton Cottage Hospital. When encountering a local farmer dying from dropsy, she shows Dr Clarkson (the village Doctor) a new technique to cure the disease, saving the man’s life. Isobel is later appointed Chairman at Downton Cottage Hospital, which is co-shared with Violet Crawley.
In series two, Isobel persuades Robert and Cora to turn Downton Abbey into a convalescent home for injured soldiers so those critically injured could have beds at the hospital. Isobel, alongside Cora, took up a position of charge during the war, resulting in frequent clashes between herself and Lady Cora. As a result, Isobel left Downton Abbey’s convalescent home to work in France with the Red Cross, though later returned when she discovered Matthew was injured in the war. Isobel was the one to suggest that Violet and Cora keep Downton as a convalescent home after the war to help soldiers rebuild their lives.
Isobel and the rest of the Crawley family show their support for Bates who is arrested on charges of murder. She, along with many others in the household did not believe Bates was a murderer. She attended Bates’ trial and supported his new wife Anna Bates and other Downton staff who were called to stand during the trial.
While originally opposed to Matthew’s relationship with Lady Mary Crawley, Isobel helps persuade her son to propose to Mary again after the death of his first fiancé, Lavinia Swire.
During series three, Isobel is one of the few to stand up for Sybil and Tom Branson, feeling they should return for Mary and Matthew’s wedding. When Matthew announced he wanted Tom to be his best man, Isobel is delighted with his decision.
During this series, Isobel strove to help women working in prostitution after finding out her former maid Ethel had turned to prostitution after falling on hard times. She supported Ethel in the decision to give up her child and rehired Ethel as her maid, despite the protest of others, including Mrs Bird who resigned in protest. She goes to the Thirsk fare with Dr Clarkson and gently lets him down when she comes to the conclusion he wants to propose, thus maintaining their friendship. The last time she sees her son is at the birth of his son George.
Series four, and like her daughter-in-law, Isobel is deeply mourning the loss of Matthew and discusses with Mary and Tom about the loss of their spouses. Like Mary, Isobel gradually leaves mourning and spends more time with her grandson, saying he can call her Grandmama, so Cora can be Granny. She decides that Sybbie can call her Aunt Isobel.
An argument breaks out between the Dowager and Isobel when Violet suspects the new Gardner to be stealing. Isobel, believing him to be innocent, works on proving his innocence and is proven right. Despite their quarrelsome nature, when Robert is away in America, Isobel nurses the Dowager when she falls ill with bronchitis. Isobel finds an admirer in Lord Merton (Mary’s Godfather). After spending some time with Violet and Isobel.
In series five, Isobel is still being pursued by Lord Merton and the local Doctor, Richard Clarkson, and though Violet tries to help her, Isobel seems less than interested. She, along with the Dowager, goes to Lord Merton’s estate for tea where he later proposes to her. Giving Lady Isobel a couple of days to think over his request, she accepts, though she is hurt when both his sons treat her with disrespect. Weighing up both the pros and cons of the marriage to Lord Merton, Isobel comes to the conclusion that the marriage would fail and turns down Merton’s proposal, to which Violet remarks that would make Dr Clarkson delighted.
In series six of Downton Abbey things are drastically changing for the upper classes. After the Great War, richer families are finding it hard to keep onto their large estates. For Isobel all is well until there is a problem with the local hospital; it is suggested that the hospital join with a larger hospital to better its treatment. This small change is alarming for characters like Violet. Isobel, however, is all for the changes as, ‘she thinks that people deserve to have the best treatment’. There is a disagreement of positions between Violet and Isobel, ‘it’s a test of strength between Violet and I most of the time… the hierarchy is changing.’
How would Penelope Wilton like the series to end for Isobel? ‘I’ve had a lot of torment and trial for my character’ Penelope says, ‘so I think a vibrant middle age would be something she’s looking forward to.’
if you must know, I’ve gotten used to having a companion, a friend…you
know someone to talk things over with. You have your own lives, and so
you should. But Isobel & I…had a lot in common…and I shall miss
Additional Scenes in the PBS Airings of Downton Abbey
Sorry about the delay, I got them all typed up and then the internet crashed. I was about to type them all out again via phone but it’s back finally, phew.
In the past, I divided these all up by scene, but given everything, I’m lumping all of this episode into one post. I apologize for any typos, it’s been a very long day. As I noted, I did not check the end of the episode, so please message me if I am missing something.
Bracketed lines are in the UK version and are there for context.
PBS Season 4, Episode 2 - Original UK Episode Series 4, Episode 3
- Additional line of Carson to Bates before he and Mrs. Hughes talk about the guests arriving - Additional scene between Robert and Cora in their bedroom after first kitchen scene - Additional lines to the scene with Violet and Isobel in the village - Additional Ivy and Jimmy scene after the Robert/Cora scene where they talk about gambling - Additional lines with Molesley talking to Mrs. Hughes when he comes to help at dinner - Additional lines in the scene where Edna hands Tom the drink
Transcriptions, except for the last one (which is here, thanks rempet!), are under the read more.
Isobel’s crystal blue eyes practically devoured the sight of Fin the moment he walked through her office door. It didn’t matter how long they’d been a part or how long they’d been together he still made her heart beat fast and butterflies flutter in her stomach. Of course Isobel wouldn’t tell him that, always keep them guessing, always keep them hooked, that was her motto. In truth it was probably her first broken heart when she was just a young and innocent girl at court that had scarred her for life. She never wanted to feel that vulnerable and hurt again, Fin was the only man she let in and if he knew what she had done to him, well Isobel wasn’t sure what would happen.
When he agreed to go somewhere else with her she practically lit up. His smile was contagious and that voice, well there were a million reasons why she had never to this day let Fin go. She revelled in making him jealous watching the emotions play out on his face, betraying him and showing her how much he wanted her. Isobel stood up grabbing her coat and shrugging it on. “Where would you like to go darling? Something to eat? I am a bit famished, been working all day you know. Need some air from all this glitter and paper.” She chuckled lightly slipping her hand in his and giving him a cheery smile.
Downton Abbey fans won’t believe their eyes when they tune in to ITV’s new comedy drama Brief Encounters next month.
There’s Penelope Wilton, a Dame no less since she was recognised in
this month’s Birthday Honours and best known as the well-mannered Isobel
Crawley, answering the door to a policeman while dressed in a low-cut
pink lacy negligee. ‘We are women in the throes of a sexual
awakening,’ Penelope’s character Pauline tells the startled young PC,
who’s been called to her home to investigate claims that the property is
being used as a brothel. ‘So if you don’t mind, would you please
It’s a huge shift for Dame Penelope, who spent
nearly six years playing Isobel Crawley. Was she trying to distance
herself from the gentility of Downton? ‘Actually no, I was just trying
to find a good script,’ explains Penelope. ‘And the scripts for
this are good. They made me laugh and I don’t come across many that do
that. I thought they were an interesting mix of comedy and drama, while
most scripts tend to go down just one route.’
‘It’s been such fun to do
this, and in many ways it’s not been so different from filming Downton.
On that I was down south filming in the freezing cold, on this I’ve been
in Yorkshire filming in the freezing cold. But the costumes are
slightly different. (x)