Title ~ Sorcery of Thorns
Author ~ Margaret Rogerson
My Rating ~ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre ~ Fantasy (YA)
Pages ~ 464
Publication Date ~ June 4th (USA) June 13th (UK) 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
Firstly, I want to thank Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a finished copy of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson for an honest review.
First Thoughts ✨
The first chapter of this book was very dark, which I loved. I love dark, fantasy novels. It starts, in the middle of the night, we meet Elisabeth (our main character), we are shown how little she values herself in this first chapter with her saying If I fail, I will die. Then at least I’ll have a use. They can burry me in the garden to feed the radishes. This was the first quote I tabbed, we are punched in the face with Elisabeth’s sense of worthlessness, which in YA novels is rare, as most heroines are confident straight from the start. After this, we get to learn a little about the special books in this novel, the Grimoires, I loved that we we’re instantly given some sort of sense on what was going on and why they were doing their said thing. Normally in Fantasy novels, it’s hard to get a grasp of what is happening, especially at the start. I think this novel starts brilliantly, in the way that we’re instantly transported into this world.
Overall: My entail impression of the book was really positive, it had a very good start.
I was completely submerged in this story from about page 50ish. In my opinion, the story really starts at this point. Elisabeth is of with the illusive sorcerer, Nathaniel Thorn. We then get to see Elisabeth’s adventure out of her only home. She’s only ever known the Great Library of Summershall, I loved to read about her travels and her impressions upon the new things she saw. The story, through the middle sped up, which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I didn’t understand the need to speed anything up as i thought the pace of the novel was great, everything was flowing smoothly. There was a big battle scene (the first one) – which was, in my eyes, absolutely pointless. Nothing really happened, or things were reversed. This was my first no-no of this book. After the speedy middle, we were drawing lines in the sand, and carving stone. This was the last act of the book, everything was coming to a close, and the little mysteries throughout the novel were being played out. I liked the ending parts of this novel, as things were clicking into place and everything started making sense.
Overall: I loved the beginning, disliked the middle chunk of the story, and liked the ending.
Elisabeth: The pace and story arch of Elisabeth Scrivener was one of the best I’ve read in a YA heroine, in a long, long time. At the beginning, she despised sorcery and her henchmen. She thought all sorcerers to be evil. Through out the novel, she realises that that is not true. She grows very close to Nathaniel and his demon Silas. Elisabeth is depicted as a very smart individual, which she mostly is, until the latter part of the novel. She becomes very rash at some points, and I found myself cringing at her at the end. Elisabeth started of as a brilliant character, and downgraded. She became a good character.
Nathaniel: I adored the male lead in this novel. He was witty and resilient. He has a secret and a very dark past. I love complicated characters, which may be the reason Nathaniel had an intrigue to me. His powers were also very cool. He could make statues come to life, he could set fire to things. His magic yet strong, it wasn’t infinite, which I liked. I don’t like when magic has no limitations. He was weakened after long use, but he was still really strong, which made for cool battle scenes. Through the story, Nathaniel is troubled by his past and heritage. I loved how this played in the Nathaniel/Elisabeth relationship. Elisabeth really helps him overcome his anxieties. Though, much like Elisabeth, Nathaniel’s character downgrades at the end of the novel. He also becomes rash, which was very unlike him at the beginning.
Silas: Nathaniel’s henchmen/butler combo was my favourite character by far. He was constantly insulting Elisabeth about her being human, and her weird ways. Silas really played this book up for me. He was genuine where he meant to feel nothing. He was gentle where he meant to be ruff. He also carried Elisabeth so many times in this novel. Literally carried her. She would always get knocked out, and he brought her home. Silas kept reminding Elisabeth of how not to trust him, as after all he is a demon. I loved that about him as it showed, no matter how caring he may be, he will still do what is in the best interest of himself.
Overall: My favourite is Silas, then Nathaniel and lastly Elisabeth. The characters were very central to the plot/story.
Last Thoughts 💭
This was on my most anticipated books of the year list and it didn’t let up. Margaret Rogerson’s writing was phenomenal. She describes things like no other. It’s classical, yet it fits so well in the YA setting of this novel. I really enjoyed the Jane Eyre/Pride and Prejudice setting of the world. It felt very in that era. The characters were done very well, and the story was a rollercoaster. There were many ups and downs. The reason this became a four star read is, the middle/latter part of the novel. It just didn’t show up, like the rest of the novel did. Some things were to convenient, and done very quickly, but because 350/464 pages were so good it had to be a four star read. The last chapter also, maybe setup for a second book? Which would make me very happy, I would love to see these characters and world again.
guys, I hope you enjoyed! This book was a blast – I can’t wait for it to come out so we can discuss it together! thank you for reading – nick.