Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date: June 4th 2019
Format: arc | Source: publisher
Genres: young adult, fantasy
Rating (So Far):
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.
Full disclosure of two sorts to start: I received this book from the publisher, which in no way affected my review. Secondly, I haven’t finished it quite yet despite the ample amount of time from the publisher that I’ve had to read, and I apologize for this. I wanted to keep my blog tour commitment so I’ve decided to write a partial review of the half I’ve read so far, and update my review once I’m finished. I can already tell I will love the entire thing because I read 150 pages in one sitting.
Sorcery of Thorns really does have the most arresting cover (I can’t wait to see the shiny finished copy, out now!!)- if that wasn’t enough the description alone is pure Morgan bait: magical grimoires and libraries and mysteries and rooomance of the slow burn, snarky variety. Rogerson has a compelling writing style that captivated me from the get-go. The descriptions pull you right into this magical world of library guardians and alive books. It’s quite immersive and lush.
Elisabeth is my favorite sort of main character- very curious, a bit odd, a bit of a troublemaker, albeit with goals and friends and a quick-thinking attitude. Her first meeting with Nathaniel Thorn was EVERYTHING. It sets up their personalities rather nicely. I also always enjoy characters raised in naiveté being thrown into the wide world and watching them not only interact with said world but learn and grow because of it.
I find the worldbuilding itself fascinating, particularly the prominence of demons in this world’s magic/sorcery and how not everything is what meets the eye. Plus I’m always a sucker for vaguely historical fantasy with large manors and carriages and ladies wearing dresses while fighting! I’m excited to delve into Nathaniel’s past and learn more about his seeming friendship with Silas (who I keep picturing like the lizard footman in Cinderella, hah). The pacing is excellent, with lots of action & adventure but plenty of breathing room to sink into the pages and get to know the characters. It reminds me a little of The Dark Days Club, which I also really enjoyed.
Margaret Rogerson writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. You can find her on her website, Goodreads, and Twitter @MarRogerson.
Thank you again to Simon Teen for including me on the blog tour. Are you looking forward to Sorcery of Thorns? Have you read it yet? As I said, I will update my review post haste when finished. Let me know your thoughts!