I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on 2019-06-04
Length: 464 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, 2019 New Release Challenge
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.
All. The. FEELS! I’ve never been a fan of standalone books. Most of the time it’s because I feel rushed through the story, the characters aren’t fleshed out and the climax happens and then there is no closure. Y’all Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson is none of that. It is a standalone YA fantasy unlike anything I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I’ll be able to put everything I’m feeling into words. This book is written for us book nerds. A librarian is the heroine, books literally come to life, and MAGIC….lots and lots of magic.
Elisabeth is an orphan, a ward of the Great Libraries, left at their doorstep as a babe and raised among the shelves by librarians and wardens. Naturally she is a curious young woman, constantly finding herself in trouble of some kind, and fully devoted to the books she was raised with. Her devotion is fanatic level, but think about it a sec. When you are raised to believe in one way, isn’t it natural to defend that way with your life? This is Elisabeth. Raised to believe that all magic is evil and that the libraries protect against that evil, she finds herself at a crossroads when she meets a young sorcerer.
Nathaniel Thorn first encounters Elisabeth when he visits Summershall (the library where she was raised and now works). Needless to say he was intrigued by the “menace” as he calls her, and when events lead to her being framed for possible murder, he’s the one that insists on escorting her to the main town for trial. I love Nathaniel. To be honest, you really don’t know where he stands. It’s kind of obvious to the reader his infatuation with Elisabeth, but he hides it from her well. He is a deeply broken man, and the only surviving member of his house. His magic is green (like the color of emeralds and I kept picturing him in Slytherin robes throughout the book) and his demon is alabaster white. I was fascinated by him, as much as Elisabeth is.
The plot of the story revolves around someone releasing class 8 and above books, turning them into monsters that kill those that get in their ways. The question is why and how are they breaching the Great Libraries. In addition to that, Elisabeth is being introduced to life outside the library’s walls. While overwhelmed she is enthralled with the beauty of it all. She also learns that good and evil cannot be equated to white and black but really shades of gray. Then there is that touch of romance that is oh so sweet.
Overall I really enjoyed Sorcery of Thorns. The writing is flawless, and the imagery jumps off the pages. Silas who I didn’t mention above is my favorite character, and you’ll understand why when you read it. I highly recommend this book to any lover of historical fantasy.
Quote (because there are SO many amazing words in this book, I had to share at least one):
Ink and parchment flowed through her veins. The magic of the Great Libraries lived in her very bones. They were a part of her, and she a part of them.