A River Enchanted was the last book I read in February. It’s a Scottish inspired folktale fantasy with a historical fantasy type feel. The story is set on the magical island of Cadence, which is divided in half by two feuding clans, and where spirits rule the isle.
The story follows multiple POVs: Jack, a harp player who is called back to Cadence after 10 years of studying music on the mainland; Adaira, the Heiress of the East; Sidra, a healer, and her husband Torin, the chief of the guard.
The aspect of this book that I love the most is the writing. Ross’ writing is lush and lyrical. This book is very atmospheric, and the island itself seems to live and breathe on the page like its own character. I also enjoyed the emphasis on music through Jack’s harp.
I also really enjoyed getting to know the characters and all of their relationships to each other. Sidra and Torin really stood out to me, especially Sidra. I loved her character, and I felt like I understood her and got into her head and heart more than the other characters.
While I liked Jack and Adaira, I felt like they, and their relationship, paled in comparison to Sidra and Torin.
This is a very slow-moving book, and thankfully I like slow-moving stories. It really takes its time building everything up—especially the mystery of girls on the island going missing.
It’s worth noting that this book was pitched as House of Earth and Blood meets The Witch’s Heart. While I haven’t read the latter, House of Earth and Blood is a strange comparison title. Literally the only thing these two books have in common is fae, but they’re called spirits in A River Enchanted and are very different from Maas’ fae.
My biggest critique of this book is that I wasn’t a fan of the melodramatic ending. This could have been a five star book if it had ended differently.
This is a beautifully written story, and if you like historical fantasy with lush, almost cozy fantasy vibes (and a gorgeous book cover) then you might like this one!