Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

SorceryofThornsSorcery of Thorns is one of those books that felt like it was written just for me.  I had such a good time with this book and couldn’t put it down.  It’s this wonderful combination of spirited MC, plenty of action, witty dialogue with laugh out loud moments and well – just everything.  I loved it and it put me on a book reading high.  Plus I wanted to speed to the end but also didn’t want to ever reach that point.  I could literally read this again, right now.

The thing is, this doesn’t include a magical library so much as magical books.  They have feelings, some of them are grumpy, some of them are evil and they all communicate with our main character.  We book lovers have a way of talking about our books as though they really are characters don’t we?  We discuss our TBRs and how the books on there  ‘wait patiently for us to pick them up and crack open the pages’.  Well, here is a story where the character not only talks to the books but feels their emotions.  It’s like a dream come true to be honest – although I think some of my books would have long since given up talking to me, they’d be sulking too furiously or probably trying to throw themselves at my head in a desperate attempt to garner some love and affection.

Listen to the hype about this book people.  It’s real.

We start off by making the acquaintance of Elisabeth as she’s about to undergo something of a scary task – the delivery of a grimoire to the Great Library where she lives and is apprenticed to become a warden.  Elisabeth has lived in the library for as long as she can remember.  Left on the doorstep as a youngster she was accepted into its folds by the Director who took a shine to her because of the way her face lit up when she saw the books.  She now endeavours to become a Warden at the library although her mischievous nature doesn’t always win hearts.

A bit of background.  Austermeer is a place where sorcery exists but is regulated.  Grimoires are kept locked away in the five great libraries and are only broken out of their chains upon special request.  Grimoires are precious but also dangerous, they can, with the slightest damage, easily transform into havoc wreaking monsters known as Malefics and this is, in fact, exactly what happens one evening when Elisabeth is awoken in the dark of night and finds a Malefic on the loose.  Acting quickly to prevent bloodshed Elizabeth stops the terror in its tracks but then finds herself accused of instigating the crime and taken to the City to be investigated.  Nathaniel, a sorcerer himself, and his butler, are set the task of bringing Elizabeth back for questioning.  Now, Elizabeth has been brought up in a very small, self contained environment, led to believe that sorcery is the root of all evil and so she thinks that Nathaniel will take this opportunity to kill her in some sort of ‘accident’ but Nathaniel is the least of her worries.  The politics, treachery and polished society of Austermeer are far more of a threat and it soon becomes evident that a much bigger plot is afoot.

I couldn’t even begin to count the ways in which this worked for me but here’s a snapshot.

Firstly the characters.   Elisabeth is like a breath of fresh air, a bit gangling and clumsy even, not refined in particular but she’s just good fun, a bit plucky and not always worrying about her appearance or thinking about how she fits in.  She’s clever too and quite capable of getting herself out of a spot plus she’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind.  Then there’s Nathaniel.  The sorcerer who, yes, does become the romantic interest but, let me be clear, the romance isn’t the main focus of the story, although the chemistry on the page was so compelling that I probably wouldn’t have complained even if it had, and Nathaniel is not only great mind candy but his way of speech is downright entertaining, I found myself laughing at his dialogue all the time.  But, the absolute show stealer is Silas.  A demon no less.  OMG – I loved Silas.  He’s a demon with impeccable manners and fashion sense.  I just couldn’t get enough of this character.  He is wicked and and makes no bones about telling people not to trust him but I just loved him and want more.

Then there’s the dynamics of the relationships.  Firstly there’s the pop and sizzle between Elisabeth and Nathaniel which really was just lovely to read.  Elisabeth starts out with lots of prejudices, she comes across as the country mouse to Nathaniel’s sophisticated city mouse and although it takes a little while she eventually starts to see that she’s been living in something of a bubble.  Many things have been misrepresented to her and so what starts out with a pride and prejudice feel on her part finally comes down with a bump when Elisabeth begins to understand that she’s not been told the complete truth.  Then there’s the Batman/Alfred the Butler feel, or more appropriate maybe Howl and Calcifer feel, to Nathaniel and Silas’s relationship  So, so good.  Did I already mention that – well, one more time couldn’t hurt.  These two have known each other forever and they have that easy feel of being there for each other, second guessing what’s needed, and ignoring each other quite willfully.

The writing is really persuasive.  It’s easy to visualise.  The libraries are beautifully described.  The characters all stand on their own two feet and the dialogue is great to read.  The pacing was also really good, I maybe had one slight lull after the dramatic start but I think that might have been driven more by my own impatience to get to the meat of the story.

And, the action is highly entertaining.  There are coach chases (this being set in what feels akin to the Regency period), all sorts of drama involving breaking into libraries, necromancy, sorcery and a jaw dropping finale in the Grand Library that I’m not going to tell you more about – because of spoilers obviously – but that I loved – it was brilliant.  And that ending.  What?  No.  Give me more.  NOW.  Ahem, I’m shouting now so it’s probably time to leave this alone.

Basically, in case I came across as a little shy with my feelings – this book was just brilliant.  I adored it and in fact, even with that tiny little lull this book gets the full 5 star treatment.

So, the burning question I suppose is do I now need to rush out and grab a copy of An Enchantment of Ravens??

My thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy through Netgalley.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating : 5 stars


41 Responses to “Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson”

  1. Shannon @ MediaShadowReads

    I just read this book yesterday and boy did I love Silas too!!! Also.. weirdly small thing but I loved that Elizabeth and Nathaniel’s names weren’t shortened… I don’t know why but I just really liked when they spoke each others full names, made the chemistry sizzle just that tiny bit more!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, that’s a great point. I think that’s maybe one of those things that you don’t always pick up on that really makes a difference. The thing I also forgot to mention, and it’s a similar point to the one you make, is the language and way the characters spoke was slightly old fashioned, not really like reading a classic but good enough to transport you. I find it a little bit jarring with books that are being written in a certain period but where the actions and talk are just too modern – face palming, eye rolling, etc.
      Silas though – and the ending! I definitely want more.
      Lynn 😀

  2. evelynreads1

    Great review! I just got a copy and am excited to pick it up!


  3. Tammy

    I can’t wait to read this, Lynn! Everyone seems to love it. From what I’ve heard, it’s much better than her first book. I have read An Enchantment of Ravens and liked it, but I didn’t completely love it.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed this – perhaps I’ll leave the first book then because it will have some tough competition after this one.

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    You completely sold me on this book – and how could it be otherwise since it’s a book about books, of all things? 🙂 One of the details that most stood out was your initial descriptions of books as sentient beings, and I laughed out loud at the mention of grumpy books… This goes straight to my “wanted” list, and thank you so much for this intriguing review!!!!

    • @lynnsbooks

      This book just really worked so well for me – I hope you love it too.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Can’t wait to see what you make of it.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’m going to start this one soon! I enjoyed her first book, but this one seems universally loved by all judging from the rave reviews I’ve been seeing everywhere!

  6. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom

    The covers for An Enchantment of Ravens and this book are probably some of the best YA covers of the past few years 🙂 I haven’t read either of these books, but people sure do seem to like them…

    • @lynnsbooks

      This one is brilliant. Haven’t read Enchantment of Ravens but the cover was gorgeous.

  7. waytoofantasy

    Lynn!!! I’m so glad you loved this! Join me in squeeing about it! 😀
    I haven’t read her other book either, but I definitely have plans to check it out now.

    • @lynnsbooks

      This was so good. I would definitely like to take a look at her earlier book and we can be the squee club.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Rebecca

    Okay, so it’s been so long since I’ve loved a book THIS MUCH!!!! I adored it and can’t wait to share my review later this week!!! Glad to see you loved it too 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yay – can’t wait to read your thoughts. I thought it was so good in so many ways. I was just smiling and laughing and downright ridiculously happy whilst reading it. Give me more of this good stuff.
      Lynn 😀

  9. June : My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

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  10. Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

    Oh my god, I’m so giddy just reading your review!! I wasn’t a huge fan of her first book, so I was iffy about trying this, but consider me converted. it sounds AMAZING in every sense.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I loved it, I really did. I didn’t read her first book so I have no basis for comparison, and I was curious about if I should backtrack – but perhaps not. Maybe the author was cutting her teeth on that one.
      I hope you love it if you get a chance to pick it up – it made me happy.
      Lynn 😀

  11. bkfrgr

    Awww, this sounds so so cool! What a great review!! Am off to add this to my next purchase list … I wanna read about books with feelings right now! 😀 😀

  12. My favourite reads so far this year | Books and travelling with Lynn

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  13. jessicabookworm

    This sounds great – It has gone on my wish list! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Oh yes, this was so very, very good – definitely one that you would like too.
      Lynn 😀

  14. TTT – Favourite Fictional Characters from 2019 | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] – from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.  I loved this character, he’s so intriguing, did I mention he’s […]

  15. sjhigbee

    This one sounds like it was written for me – and what a fabulous review, btw – I need to track it down… Thank you, Lynn.

  16. TTT : BFFs | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Silas – This is a character that I met recently in Sorcery of Thorns and loved.  Oh Yes,I would like to be friends with Silas.  He certainly isn’t predictable, […]

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    […] Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (not entirely sure there will be more but I’m hopeful) […]

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