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.
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice and, you guessed it – I’m about to say it again. I am all about world building and a pliable atmosphere. Atmosphere is a key storytelling ingredient that so many just brush over. The thing is, while a good romance can get a reader invested a good atmospheric setting envelopes the reader. It allows them to live and breath the world. If I can smell the brine on the air, taste the salt – feel it then you’ve got me. Hook, line and sinker.
Which brings us to Sorcery of Thorns. Let me tell you, if you think I raved about Everless and Song of the Current then just wait to I get into the pure
freaking magic that is the Great Library of Summershall. Gothic, whimsical and lush, Sorcery of Thorns reads like a love letter to book lovers.
Margaret Rogerson’s sophomore novel is yet another clear case of why-oh-why-did-I-not-pick-this-up-sooner?!? The hype surrounding Sorcery of Thorns was unreal. Everyone, and I do mean everyone was reading it. People either loved it or hated it but it seemed that all my bookish friends were raving. It’s safe to say that I was a little intimidated by it’s reputation in the community. Basically though, the real take away from my review is this; learn from my mistakes! Don’t pass over Sorcery of Thorns!!! You won’t regret it and that’s the Alexandra-seal-of-approval.
Right from the get-go I knew that Sorcery of Thorns was going to be my next obsession. For starters, the protagonist is a
badass sword brandishing feminist who literally lives in a Hogwarts-esque library. And, said library is enchanted, housing demonic grimoires and novels which, when provoked, turn into monsters. And, if that isn’t reason enough, you’ve got a swoon-worthy, complex love interest who’ll make your toes curl. And oh yeah, there’s also demon butlers who turn into cats.
Speaking of enchanted libraries, remember when I mentioned atmospheric settings? Well, be prepared to be swept away because the way Margaret Rogerson writes Summershall is just – well there just aren’t any words. I could practically see the dust motes dancing in the musty, stagnant air. I could feel the dampness permeating the drafty, stone walls. I could smell the mild, earthly scent of the leather bound volumes and the crisp notes of old parchment. But that’s not all. These books, and the libraries themselves are alive. I can’t tell you how many times I spat my chai latte when Lady Primrose’s Complete handbook of Historical Parsonages scoffed, sniffed or huffed. Or when Lady Primrose and Throckmorton’s Peerage got into it, spitting ink and pages at each other over an argument. Classic.
But that’s exactly the kind of wholesome content you’re signing up for when you read Sorcery of Thorns. The entire book consists of witty, flirtatious banter, morally grey characters who are actual cinnamon rolls and a non-stop, punch-you-straight-in-the-feels plot. And, don’t even get me started on the romance. Basically, and in case you still haven’t gathered, Sorcery of Thorns is a booknerd’s dream come true.
Now I know that when it comes to plot and characters I’m being super vague. The thing is, Sorcery of Thorns is a book shrouded in a veil of mystery. A fantasy standalone, I am a firm believer that Sorcery of Thorns is a book best read without too much prior knowledge. After all, the blurb is elusive for a reason. You’ll just have to take my word for it and read the book. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Bottom line: you have to read this book.