Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Pub. 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.
This will be a spoiler free review.
I’m so happy I read this while the hype surrounding it was still prevalent on my timeline. I meant that I had people I could talk to about it! I really enjoyed this book, and easily got lost in it. I do want to preface this by saying I listened to the Audible audiobook, and I think that made a difference in my rating. I know a lot of people who physically read it and loved it, but on the flip side, a lot of people couldn’t get into it.
I loved the atmosphere of this book and it kind of reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper – London in the 1800’s, a Victorian feel, albeit a bit more fantastical. But it also reminded me of the Shadowhunter world, well, more so The Infernal Devices. I think there is a pattern here. I must have a soft spot for charismatic player, badass, loner types who portray being cold, aloof like their lives depend on it, but love with their entire being, because that’s Nathaniel.
I liked Elisabeth but couldn’t really connect with her. I think she was strong and brave when she needed to be, and very smart, but I just never really connected with her. I definitely got lost in her trials and triumphs enough that I didn’t hate her, and rooted for her to succeed, just couldn’t connect, unfortunately.
As much as I did love this book, got easily sucked in and lost with the characters, I really wish the book had been dual POV. I also think the book was a tad long and some of the scenes felt a little out of place. I really wish Nathaniel had a POV in this book. I adored his character and wish we had gotten to experience the world from his eyes.
I would definitely recommend this to friends, and if you’re looking for a fun adventure fantasy, with a fantastical Victorian feel, magical books, a charismatic boy and a demon, you won’t want to miss this!