Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: McElderry Books
Length: 453 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Acquired through OwlCrate
Release Date: June 4, 2019
What initially drew me to ‘Sorcery of Thorns’ was the allure of libraries. Also, a female main character whose passion to solve conflicts revolved around the knowledge of the library she loves. After reading the story, I was left asking more questions, but mainly out of disappointment!
‘Sorcery of Thorns’ tells the tale of Elisabeth Scrivener, an orphan training to become a warden at a Library where books are held more for their dangerous capabilities than their knowledge. Elisabeth becomes a suspect in a sabotage scheme, and she is forced to turn to Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer and his demonic servant (sworn enemies to wardens) for assistance.
The world of Austermeer (and its Great Libraries) was beautiful. I enjoyed reading about a kingdom governed by sorcerers, with Wardens protecting sacred grimoires. I really appreciated that Elisabeth used her knowledge of books (grimoires) to guide their way during their quest. She uses compassion and patience to handle the grimoires with respect, which is normally not how they’re used in Scrivener’s world. Even Nathaniel isn’t used to such respect, yet he is on his own personal journey that he must overcome. Their banter throughout the novel is lighthearted, even during their adversarial moments. Although a warden’s apprentice and a sorcerer are the most unlikely travel companions, they learn to understand each other’s motives as they delve further into the journey.
What I didn’t appreciate was that I felt that Elisabeth’s story lacked some character development. Throughout the book, Elisabeth was built up to be a character that was very unique: an orphan with a strong communication and kinship toward grimoires. She also possesses certain abilities that stun the strongest demons surrounding her. I sensed that Elisabeth’s roots would be revealed as the book came into a conclusion, but it didn’t happen. Elisabeth endured many hardships as she fought to clear her name, and she needed to rely on some quick thinking in many scenes in the book. I was just surprised that her lineage story lacked some pieces.
While the side characters’ actions were enjoyable to read (I think Katrien and Silas were my favorite characters in the book), I felt like the book could have done more to show Elisabeth’s abilities. Even though I was disappointed, I still appreciated reading this engaging fantasy tale. I would recommend this novel for those who enjoy reading about libraries, magical books, and the people who are in love with them!
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
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.
Have you read Sorcery of Thorns? If so, what did you think? Feel free to share!
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