SORCERY OF THORNS | Margaret Rogerson
Hardcover: 464 pgs
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
Sorcery of Thorns is the fantasy I didn’t know that I needed in my life. This was a magical adventure that I will most likely reread sometime in the future.
Elisabeth is an amazing protagonist. She is a fearless young woman with great courage and a large heart. Her brazen actions are the sum of her passions and care for others and her “go get ’em” attitude is just so incredibly endearing. I won’t say she’s perfect but her inability to give up, her special connection to the books and the libraries, and her camaraderie with Nathaniel and Silas keeps me invested in her story. Elisabeth felt like a kindred spirit to all book lovers, because a place with books is the best place of all.
“You like this place?”
“Of course I do. It has books in it.”
I loved the relationship between Elisabeth and Nathaniel. Their interactions were never dull, especially since Nathaniel is an endless well of charm and wit. His quips gave me life throughout the entire novel. Their slow-burn connection built up organically, and thankfully, the romance didn’t detract from the story as a whole.
While I adore Elisabeth and Nathaniel, my favorite character is Silas. His quirks and personality are incredibly similar to Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler (an immediate mark of approval). His chemistry with both Elisabeth and Nathaniel is strange yet delightful, and the three of them create an oddly comedic and engaging dynamic.
Strange. This is unfamiliar territory. Young women are usually more than happy to devote a sizable portion of their brains to the task of contemplating my splendor.”
The world is whimsical and gorgeously illustrated. The libraries, in particular, are wondrously detailed. However, my favorite aspect of this fantastical world is the grimoires, which have specific idiosyncrasies. There’s just something truly magnificent about books with voices and feelings, and the books’ personalities add so much more charm to the story.
Of course, this book isn’t pitch perfect. Nathaniel’s fear of his lineage could have been given more depth and the villain’s motivation could have been more intricate. Elisabeth’s only female friend could have been more involved and the climax could have been a bit less fade to black. But that’s nearly all that I can moan about.
The magic, the demonic bargains, the libraries and their magical books that can speak and display emotions, the monsters made of ink and paper, the adventurous spirit, and the wonderful character make Sorcery of Thorns a new favorite of mine.