All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Sorcery Of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page Count: 464
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: ★★★★
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received an ARC of this book via Netgcalley from Margaret K. McElderry Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating and review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Death, Summoning
If she does not suffer from the lack of company, I fear it is because she sees grimoires as her friends in place of people.
If there were ever a book to warm a book lover’s heart, Sorcery of Thorns would certainly be one to do so! Do you like a book about books? Well, look no further. Not only is Sorcery of Thorns brimming with magic, sorcery, demons, and the like, but books–grimoires to be specific–take front and center.
Elisabeth Scrivener (an ironic name, no less), was raised in the great library. Having been taken in as a orphan, she grew more accustomed to books than people. What I noticed shortly into this read was that, while Elisabeth always remains front and center, the weight shifts from her to another character. This shift takes place about halfway through the story, and gives a sort of disjointed feel in the story’s arc. I did like, however, that the story wasn’t all about the main character. It felt similar to how Brienna in The Queen’s Rising and it’s sequel is stationed.
Besides Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas are the other more prominent characters found in the story. Nathaniel, a sorcerer, and Silas his…aid…become entangled with Elisabeth when a grimoire is disturbed and breaks free from the library, wreaking havoc. Elisabeth, sworn to protect the world from these monstrous books, sets out to stop the creature, but is blamed for the entire incident. This leads to an investigation of the library, and in turn, uncovers a deadly plot that a powerful figure has in mind. In order to stop more bad from happening, Elisabeth begins to question what she has grown up knowing, and if this knowledge is actually the truth.
This story represents how we may grow up knowing one thing, but that doesn’t exactly make it true or the right thing. Furthermore, the idea that something is only black or white, good or evil, is challenged and dissected.
He wasn’t attempting to disguise the fact that he was evil, only clarifying the nature of his misdeeds. Strangely, that made her feel that she could trust him, in this matter at least.
This, in particular, is represented by (my favorite aspect of this entire book) Silas’ character. He’s complex, mysterious, and allegorical. Beautifully written, his character brings about its own unexpected difficulties with his upfrontness and honesty. While the reader is told he is one way, one hopes that he’ll magically change his nature. But he can’t. What I thought was so interesting, and applaud-worthy, was how Rogerson wove so many ideas into one. I like how she kept many typical ideas about demons (i.e. they are bad, their service requires a grave cost, they aren’t human, etc.) and used it to further the complexity of her story.
Despite the majority of what I liked, two things stood out to me that caused issue. First is the world-building. While there were some details given, there could, and should have been so much more included in the setting. I felt that I could figure out where I located, but the surroundings were murky and not instrumental in any way. Secondly, that odd shift halfway through the book that I mentioned earlier simply didn’t sit well with me. I believe it is because the plot progression also slows quite a bit at this point, and makes the read disjointed. Even with these issues, however, I really enjoyed this story. The characters, the topics, and how they all interacted was engaging, and very enjoyable.
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Moderate, but with minimal gore.
My Rating: ★★★★
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