Sorcery of Thornsby Published 04 Jun 2019
|Sorcery of Thorns.pdf|
|Publisher||Margaret K. McElderry Books|
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 Reviews
ARC provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been looking for a story all about someone living in a library, surrounded by magical books, while also going on adventure after adventure, for my entire life. And I truly believe that not only did Margaret Rogerson give me that, she is giving the YA literature community a gift from above. I feel like when An Enchantment of Ravens came out most people loved it, but it did seem a little bit polarizing, while I liked it but I never was in love with it. But Sorcery of Thorns captivated me from page one, and I adored it so very much that there was never a moment that I wanted to shut this very magical book and stop reading.
And like I said above, this is a story all about a girl named Elisabeth who has grown up in a library all of her life. She wants to eventually be a Warden, who is a person who protects the library, the people, and the books, because some books in this world are very much alive and are capable of doing some very bad things. But one night, when there is an attack at the library and the surrounding town, she takes it upon herself to defend the only home she has ever known. Yet, this act ends up making her the only suspect in the crime.
“Dreadful things roam the shadows while the human world sleeps.”
So, Elisabeth gets sent away and is forced to travel alongside a nobleman and sorcerer named Nathaniel Thorn, who also has a companion named Silas who happens to be a demon. In this world, the old royal families have all made pacts with demons to give them magical powers, and these pacts are passed down from generation to generation, but at a cost. Also, Silas is easily my favorite character in this book and I would die for him this very instant.
But Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas’s paths all continue to cross while Elisabeth is trying to prove her innocence, while also stumbling upon a conspiracy theory to end all other conspiracy theories about what is really happening to the libraries in this world. And the adventures they go on, the secrets they unfold, and the discoveries they make together, was nothing short of a treat to read.
The thing that I didn’t love about this book, and the reason I am giving it four stars, is because I didn’t love the very vague representation. Obviously, I want authors to write what they want to write and what they feel comfortable with, but this was a little too subtly done for me. Yes, we have a main character that does express attraction to more than one gender, which I am always going to be living for, but we get a very brushed off moment with a very minor character being on the ace spectrum. Also, I think another leading character could possibly also be on the ace spectrum, but the representation in this book is so quiet that you are constantly left second guessing yourself while reading, and it feels bad, even with the excuse that this story is set in a fantasy world because the mentions are so very brief, too.
Overall, I did love this story. It was so unique and so whimsical; I couldn’t resist getting completely swept off my feet. I loved all three characters and their dark backgrounds, while gaining so much hope for their futures. I loved the writing and all the twists and turns that this adventure packed story delivered. I loved the historical setting, which is very reminiscent of The Infernal Devices! I loved the romance even though it was such a slow-burn that I wanted to scream in the best way possible! I just loved it all, and I can’t wait to see what Margaret Rogerson does next! Especially because this is a standalone, but I could totally see more in this world after that last page.
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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Content and Trigger Warnings: anxiety depiction, anxiety attacks, talk of loss of a loved one, captivity, talk of forced institutionalization, and violence.
Buddy read with Sol, Alexa, Kristin, & Alana! ❤
I can't stop smiling. Margaret blows me away every time!
Sorcery of Thorns is equal parts whimsical, flirtatious, and totally hysterical, while still managing to deliver a gut-punch of feels on more than one occasion. This story is an absolute blast to read, and kept me thoroughly entertained all the way through.
First we have Elizabeth, a library apprentice of sorts. She's tall, fierce, yet has the gentlest of hearts. Time and time again, she charges headfirst into danger and drags us with her, and her cleverness and willpower never disappoint. I'd follow her anywhere. Literally.
Elizabeth's world is upheaved when a grimoire (yep you heard me) escapes the library. Mind you, grimoires are no ordinary books. In this world, they are quite alive with minds of their own - and can be very dangerous. Elizabeth, who's well aware of this danger, charges after it (of course, it isn't in 'book' form anymore and is now a rather grotesque lard-of-a-monster) to try and save her town from destruction. And while she succeeds (because she's a badass), she's accused of treason for letting it escape in the first place.
Which means she's shipped off to who-knows-where, now in the charge of a sorcerer.
Only, that sorcerer is Nathaniel and he's quite literally the best.
But Elizabeth doesn't know that, and she certainly doesn't trust him (because sorcerers are evil apparently). And, typical Elizabeth isn't going to sit still while evil-hot-sorcerer-dude carts her away and disposes her body. Naturally, she tries to escape.
But alas! Sorcerer dude Nathaniel isn't going to let her get away (though he'll roll his eyes a time or two because ugh she's impossible). And his butler, of all people, seems to have spooky-special powers that ensure Elizabeth fails in every attempt.
So Elizabeth, our strong-willed heroine, is stuck with hawt and untrustworthy Nathaniel, and his creepy butler-friend-thing-who-clearly-has-powers.
As usual, I'm not going to spoil much more, but suffice it to say, things don't go as planned. Because don't forget! Somehow that grimoire escaped. And if it wasn't Elizabeth, who was it? Ah! There is evil afoot, friends, and as I'd hoped, it forces Eizabeth and Nathaniel to team up and uproot it.
Only, they may be over their heads.
So I leave you with this: Make room in your hearts! We have on our hands a new story with gorgeous prose (as expected), absolute hysterical banter, new precious characters, and a riveting hate-to-love ship. I can't even pick what I love the most - the incredible world-building (omg can this be a movie?) or the brilliant prose. Or the characters, who are as real as they are fantastical.
And! That! End!
The last page. I actually gasped aloud and scared my cat.
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I loved Enchantment of Ravens sooo much! ( I don’t care what the haters think) I HAD to pre order her new book!!! She has beautiful covers!!
Buddy reading with Alexa and Melanie<3
I had admittedly been a bit nervous going into Sorcery of Thorns because I was one of sad few who didn't love Margaret's debut, An Enchantment of Ravens (which honestly still kills me because faeries + the cover are Kristin candy). Plot twist, as you can see from my rating, I ended up giving Sorcery of Thorns a full five stars. Sorcery is almost double the length of Ravens and the added page time allowed Margaret to craft such a beautiful fantasy world and fully develop her characters (which is largely what I felt was missing from Ravens). Elizabeth, Thorn and Silas hold such a special place in my heart<3 I don't think any reader will able to resist the magical libraries, personified grimoires or the allure of sorcery. While Sorcery of Thorns is not a direct retelling of any fairytale, I did get definite Beauty and the Beast vibes during certain points of the story. This is easily the best YA fantasy I've read in 2019 and I urge you to pick up a copy, even if you weren't in love with Rogerson's debut.
Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! ♥