Sorcery of Thorns

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 May 2019

Member Reviews

From page 1, I was completely hooked into the story. I mean, realistically, I was hooked from the synopsis. You had me at magic library. I loved the idea of having magic books (grimoires), and a elite group of librarians who are sworn to protect them. Seriously, just a fantastic idea for a story. 

I will admit, that the entire time I read this book, I pictured both Nathaniel and Silas as Ciel and Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) [Sebastian = Nathaniel, Silas = Ciel]. And it definitely worked for me, I mean, they're both demon butlers essentially 😭

However, the entire last half of the story completely sucked me in. I stayed up extremely late one night in order to finish reading it, and I just really loved all of the characters and the twists and turns that the plot took. I never really knew how it would end until it did, which was a perfect way to end it if you ask me. If you enjoy just a really fun fantasy that has bad-ass demon servants, magic libraries with crazy living books (think of the books in Harry potter, the one's with teeth!), and swoony romance, then please do yourself a favor and purchase this book from your local indie or add to your TBR! Teacher friends, this is definitely one you'll want on your classroom bookshelves! 

I cannot wait to see what Rogerson will bring to the table for her next book as she has just become an auto-buy author (Joining Victoria Schwab, Kristen Ciccarelli, and Tricia Levenseller among many others!), I'm sure whatever it is will be just as fantastic!

Thanks again to Simon and Schuster & Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for my honesty!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, which is why I did not download it. Unfortunately, the story did not grab me the way I was expecting. The writing is beautiful, but I just did not care about the characters or what happened.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so much fun! I loved the magical world that was created and how strong the heroine was! I am definitely going to re-read this one!
Was this review helpful?
I read and enjoyed this author's first book, "Enchantment of Ravens". This book is a bit of a lighter romp, even though it contains necromancy. It's very YA. There's a lot of fun stuff.

Elisabeth has been raised in a Library with a capital L. In her world, books contain life and power. If they are damaged, they can become monstrous, dangerous creatures called Maleficts. Great Libraries are for containing books of power, and Elisabeth wants more than anything to be a Warden, one of those who watch over the books and keep them from sorcerers. She's 17.

After the worst happens to a very powerful spellbook, Elisabeth finds herself headed to the big city with the one sorcerer that she has met, the scion of a powerful family of necromancers, the only one left because of a family tragedy. His name is Nathaniel. He's 18 years old. 

Elisabeth and Nathaniel (never Nate for this one!) and his demon familiar Sebastian end up working together against a plot against the Great Libraries, put in motion by one of the very seats of power. The bad guy doesn't take long to show his true spots.

Elisabeth is larger than average and very strong and damage resistant. The book actually gives an interesting reason for her unusual abilities. Elisabeth is also fearless, a paladin who unhesitatingly throws herself into the cause of right and justice, after she reconsiders exactly what justice is. Some reviewers more familiar with anime than I am seem to think that Elisabeth and Nathaniel are reworked versions of characters in an anime series. I don't know about that, but Nathaniel certainly feels like he could come out of an anime. His hair is black as midnight, his eyes are green and glow emerald when he uses his magic, he dresses in a very dapper manner and is always there with the lighthearted quip. He's adorable, and I feel a bit uneasy about my fondness for him because, hey, the kid is all of 18 years old and I'm enough older than that... but it's a book so it's fine. 

Although some of the subject matter is dark, this feels like a very frothy book. It's put together a bit haphazardly, but contains enough stuff that I like that I didn't look at it very critically. There is a cute couple and a demon familiar with white hair who turns into a white cat. Sebastian the familiar is cut very much from the anti-hero mode. He is small and innocuous, but absolutely deadly. He is fastidious and polite, but warns Elisabeth that if he is ever set free of a familiar's bonds he will be worse than anything they are trying to fight. He's woobified Loki, he's every bad-but-is-maybe really- good? character ever, but I still kind of liked him. The demons in this book feel very similar to the Fae in the author's previous book- they are vulnerable to iron and must keep to the letter of their promises. 

What else? There of course must be a ball so Elisabeth can wear a pretty dress. There must of course be a garden behind the manor where the ball is being held so there can be a dramatic scene. There are books with personalities who end up being part of the most heart-rending sacrifice in the book. There are Great Libraries with secret passages and starlit windows. This is YA without a lot of the angst and drama that I dislike. The two main characters certainly have their past problems, but they are far more focused on the problem at hand than obsessing over past pain. In this way the book almost feels like a throwback to an earlier style, and I've got to say I'm here for it. It's simple and fun. I need that once in a while, and I'd like the author to give me more to read.
Was this review helpful?
I loved every page of this book. It was such a fantastic read with beautiful prose. I highly recommend A Sorcery of Thorns!
Was this review helpful?
This was a very exciting book about the magic found in books and libraries.  I loved how the books take on a life of their own and are seen as these living, breathing things that play a huge part in the story.  The characters were easy to relate to, and the action kept you reading until the end.
Was this review helpful?
I loved everything about this book! It is also really nice that it is just a single book, not the start of a series. While I would love more of the characters and the lively grimoires, it is also nice to feel that the book simply reached a conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
Elisabeth is an apprentice librarian at a great library, until one night when someone attempts to destroy the library. This sets Elisabeth off on an adventure with a sorcerer and his demon servant as they attempt to save the rest of the great libraries, as well as the world, from the evils that lurk in the libraries. 
I really loved this story! Margaret Rogerson's writing is simply gorgeous. There were so many beautiful quotes within this book. I loved the way she brought the libraries to life, with the hierarchies of the wardens and apprentices, and the structures of the grimoires. It was thrilling, and made me wish so dearly that I could be a library apprentice like Elisabeth. 
The plot and adventure of this book were thrilling as well. I loved the setting of the magical libraries, the grimoires, and the societies. Seeing how the plot and the characters interact with the magical books, and how the books were at times the villains and the heroes, was thrilling.
The only downfall of this book for me was the pacing. As much as I loved the plot and the overall story of this book, I thought the pacing seemed just a tad off, and toward the end I was just ready for the story to be over with. Since Rogerson's debut book was so much shorter (almost 200 pages shorter) I can imagine that this will improve with her next book. 
Overall, I thought this was a gorgeously imaginative story that I will absolutely be recommending to the patrons in my library!
Was this review helpful?
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

I LOVED THIS BOOK. 
I mean, awesome librarians who protect, guard, and fight books of magic that become monsters?? A sorcerer with a demon familiar who act like family? Really there is so much here that seems designed for me, it was impossible for me not to like this book.  

This book as magic, betrayal, adventure, and so many other elements I absolutely love. It also helps that I adored the characters. Elisabeth has been training to save people from dangerous grimoires her entire life and she isn't going to let the ignorant public get in her way. She's witty, kind, and so very easy to love. Nathaniel has some great dialogue with Elisabeth and I love how their relationship evolves. He has some problems which add more interest to the story. Then there is his demon familiar Silas, who almost stole the show for me. I think his role was written so well, and it is made clear many times that he IS a demon-- this isn't a fairy tale and this isn't a fact that should be forgotten. These characters and what happens to them almost broke my heart. 

To touch back on the lovely romance, it is a slow burn-- my favorite!! Seeing these two come together, realizing their feelings for each and the depth of it was so, so beautiful. They are a couple I absolutely rooted for the entire time and may be in fact relationship goals. 

Look, the story had me hooked. The opening scene brought me in with the atmospheric writing making me travel with them and the dangerous book. Then the last quarter or so was so suspenseful and intense I was flying through it. I had to put the book down with only 5% left to go to work and had contemplated calling in late in order to finish it-- IT WAS THAT GOOD. 

100% recommend this book. It is one of my new favorites and I plan on reading it again. 
If you are looking for a good fantasy standalone with lovable characters, engaging plot, and a romance that doesn't overshadow the story then pick this one up today!
Was this review helpful?
This was such a fun read. It is a story about a librarian who discovers an evil plot and tries to stop it. I cannot rave enough about this book! It has adventure, fantasy, magic, libraries (!!!), demons, books, and literally the perfect characters (both good and bad). The world-building is captivating, the relationships between certain characters are just so fun (um, hello, Elisabeth and Katrien – could I also be your friend, pleeeease?!), and the story just grabs you. I literally read the whole book in a day and felt that I wanted more. My one complaint was the abrupt ending, which I so wish Rogerson would have expanded – but I do think I’m being selfish here, because I loved the story so, so much!
Was this review helpful?
I love that the story opens with the preconceived notions that the three MC's have towards each other, That sorcerers are evil, that librarians never dabble in magic and that demons can never feel empathy and concern. It is very much a book about dispelling myths and not judging a book by its cover. It is also a crazy adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning pages, wondering if people are who they truly seem. 
It was definitely a 24-hour read for me!

The tension between Nathaniel and Elizabeth is ridiculous and surprisingly totally believable. I am also such a softy for hate to love tropes in books, so it definitely had my attention. I would say though that Silas really took the prize on character development and making you care about him. The whole time you are reading Silas is an enigma. Is he good? Is he bad? What are his real intentions? and is he really a demon to the core like people around town say he is? in the end what Silas goes through, what he reveals and what we learn about him really added to the story and turned out to be some of the best writing I have read in a while.

This book was quite big and somehow I still wanted it to last longer, I wanted more of the story and that was the part that was truly magical. This book was equal parts character-driven and plot-driven which really kept you moving through the book at a steady pace, I honestly didn't feel like there were any lulls in the reading.
Literally couldn't put it down.

Last but not least the themes that were covered in this book were varied and powerful in their own right. Women empowerment, facing your fears, judging others, learning that there is a fine line between right and wrong, lgbtqia+ characters, discovering a new part of yourself, just to name a few! 

It had it all book wardens who protect great libraries, sorcerers, adventures, soul, love. I never thought there would be a story that would rival the stories of Belle's library but I finally found it! However, I think I will stick to being an archivist because me holding a sword? that wouldn't turn out well.

Stories like this are great for everyone out there, so I really encourage parents, young adults and even children who are up for the challenge to immerse themselves in a world they will not want to leave behind.
Was this review helpful?
Wow wow wow. SORCERY OF THORNS is one of those books you could eat with a spoon. The story world feels rich and totally immersive. I loved the library where Elisabeth grew up. A library full of books that are literally dangerous?! So cool.

Elisabeth makes for a truly compelling heroine, too. She’s smart, loyal, and clever. She cares very much about doing the right thing, even when her heart and her head war with each other over what that right thing is.

Okay, and this is very weird, but I loved the demon character, Silas. In SORCERY OF THORNS, demons are creatures from another dimension who wield great power. Elisabeth has been taught that demons are evil, untrustworthy creatures, and yet she begins to suspect that Silas cares for Nathaniel and protects him, which should be impossible. I loved watching her hunch play out, and waiting to see if she’d be proved right, and to what extent. Also, OMG the end of this book! I have so much love for the ending.

Thinking about Nathaniel, I’m kind of burned out on the bad-boy-you-shouldn’t-love-because-he-isn’t-capable-of-returning-your-affection kind of thing lately, so I feel like Nathaniel had a pretty high hill to climb with me in terms of whether I’d actually like him. And honestly, by about the middle of the story, I really started to like him a lot. By the end, I was a true fan.

I haven’t read Margaret Rogerson’s first book, but you can read Gabrielle’s review. And after reading SORCERY OF THORNS, I absolutely have to get my hands on a copy of ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS. If you liked the Thickety series by J. A. White or The Great Library series by Rachel Caine, you definitely want a copy of SORCERY OF THORNS in your hands as soon as possible.
Was this review helpful?
This book was everything! The story was so original, the writing was perfect and the characters were some of my favorite characters I have ever read about. 

I was first intrigued about this story when I found it was set in a library with books that are basically alive. I knew I had to read it, and it definitely did not disappoint. 

I loved Elisabeth. She was so brave and kind, but my favorite part of this whole story was Nathanial and Silas. Any time these two were on the page, I needed more!

I loved that this book was a standalone and the ending gave me all the feels. I highly recommend this book. It was one of my favorite books I read this year!
Was this review helpful?
This book.....I don't know. I didn’t expect a lot from it since I personally didn’t enjoy An Enchantment of Ravens that much, but I picked Sorcery of Thorns up anyway because of the Bowater cover and the interesting plot. I’ve heard mixed reviews before going in, but I wanted to see for myself if this would end up being better than Rogerson’s debut. It…..was? But also wasn’t? 

To sum up the plot, Elisabeth is an apprentice at one of the six Great Libraries of Austermeer that works to preserve grimoires. Her entire life is dedicated to magical objects, though she and her fellow librarians detest sorcerers (who are, by all accounts, all white men, even the demons are all white men). One night, she witnesses a murder and is framed for it. She’s brought in for questioning by the head of the Magisterium….BUT because this is YA, she naturally ends up stuck with a hot powerful sorcerer as she’s awaiting trial for a crime she didn’t commit. 

Elisabeth….I don’t even know where to start. I’ve never come across a more passive protagonist in my LIFE. She doesn’t make decisions for herself, she’s 80% of the time passing out or falling asleep whenever it’s convenient, and more than twice she ends up overhearing important conversations while hiding in a not-so-obvious spot. She’s an idiot, she depends on everyone else for just about anything, and just plain annoying. I mean, this pretty much comes across as lazy writing to me. 

Other than Elisabeth, the other characters are equally just as shallow and passive. Their entire personalities could be described with one word (Nathaniel = ~sarcastic~, Silas = mysterious, Ashcroft = evil!!111!!1!11) and they really don’t go beyond those adjectives. There’s no substance to them, and neither does the plot. It’s so bland, and when I hit the halfway point I had to ask a friend what was going on because it just felt like it was going nowhere. The stakes were meh at most and I really. just. wanted. it. to. end. 

THE ROMANCE(???) came out of nowhere too. One second she’s watching him have a nightmare, then another second they’re kissing in a garden??? what??? There is no build-up whatsoever apart from him acting all discount Will Herondale on her, and I’m genuinely confused as to how the whole romance subplot was handled. 

I think that this book had a lot of potential. The world and plot are certainly interesting, but the outcome was sort of like stale bread. It took me over a week to read this just because I really didn’t care enough to pick it up.
Was this review helpful?
I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about this book as I wasn’t a fan of the authors first book, An. Enchantment of Ravens, however, I decided to give this one a shot as it sounded amazing and I had been hearing such wonderful things about it and I’m so glad I did because I really enjoyed this one!! 
.
The world was so intriguing to me, and I loved the characters! I’d definitely recommend this book!
Was this review helpful?
SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens) is a fantasy novel with a strong young adult heroine: Elisabeth who has been raised since an infant at Summershall, one of Austermeer's great libraries.  She aspires to join the ranks of the librarian wardens who forbid sorcery while guarding the kingdom's magic books, called grimoires. These books hide spells and centuries old secrets while having the capability to turn into powerful monsters.  Salt and iron chains are two tools to keep them in check, but one (The Book of Eyes) is released and Elisabeth attempts to destroy it.  Instead of being hailed as courageous, she is suspected of the criminal sabotage, perhaps even murder.  A sorcerer, Nathaniel Thorn and his "demon," Silas, are tasked with transporting her to the capital for interrogation.  More adventures ensue – including several battles with a magical sword named Demonslayer. Gradually, these three characters question their preconceived notions and begin to develop trust and respect for each other, something which is sorely needed as the danger grows.  

With many chapters ending in cliff hangers, SORCERY OF THORNS is an entertaining fantasy and a great choice for summer reading. This new title received a starred review from Kirkus while School Library Journal recommends SORCERY OF THORNS for readers who enjoy novels by Robin LaFevers and/or Naomi Novik.
Was this review helpful?
Rogerson has another powerful fantasy in Sorcery of Thorns.  Once again she deals with the realm of magical sorcerers and powerful evil entities. What’s unique here is that books – grimoires - are alive with powers that sometimes need to be kept chained up. Elizabeth has grown up in the library and her dream is to become a warden, a keeper of the books. When she’s framed for murdering a librarian, she leaves the library determined to discover who was the real killer.

A powerful sorcerer is also seeking answers to library bmurders and threats to the established library system. He joins with Elizabeth in investigating the mysterious events. The relationship between the sorcerer Nathaniel and Elizabeth will draw readers in. They make an unlikely but interesting pair. Then there’s Silas, Nathaniel’s servant, who is one of the most interesting characters in fantasy literature. 

The characters are strongly drawn and are the best part of Rogerson’s book. But the very image of books chained up and begging to be freed is another inventive element. There’s a lot of creativity here and the action is swift and intense. Readers who loved her earlier book, An Enchantment of Ravens will not be disappointed with this newest title.
Was this review helpful?
This author’s books so far have been kind of middle of the road. I think she writes good characters and a strong romance, but I can just never get fully hooked. I spent a lot of time just kind of skipping around to the romantic/action parts. It also feels unnecessarily long. Idk. I still liked it. I will read the author’s other works. But I will never be 100 percent satisfied with them.
Was this review helpful?
Actual Rating - 4.5 stars
I read Margaret's first book last year, when I saw the synopsis (and cover... duh) for her second book SORCERY OF THORNS and she had my attention immediately. Great libraries, magical grimoires, sorcerers and monsters. Are you intrigued yet?

I feel like every book nerd will be enchanted by this story. The libraries will make you green with envy, there are magical books, a sassy and swoon worthy sorcerer, and a badass leading lady. Oh and did I forget to mention a murder? Watch this story unfold when Elisabeth is wrongfully accused and forms an unlikely partnership with Nathaniel Thorn. Nathaniel and Elisabeth must work to save the libraries, but what they uncover could bring their world to ruin.

I honestly loved reading SORCERY OF THORNS, the plot and the characters kept me want to stay up late into the night getting lost in the pages of this book. The settings were beautifully described and truly mesmerizing. I am a sucker for a sassy character and Nathaniel was perfection. Elisabeth doesn't put up with his shit, but he finds a way into her heart anyways!

If you're on the fence about reading this book, I highly recommend it. Seriously, it's a book and fantasy lovers dream. Such a unique storyline, I can't remember the last time I've felt this spellbound (Hehe, see what I did there? Magic and books?). SORCERY OF THORNS is available now on all platforms, you don't want to miss it.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an advanced copy! :)

Teens are going to love this exciting and romantic romp through a magical fantasy setting teeming with sorcerers and demon servants. The plot moves along at a pleasant pace and I was never bored while reading - I did have some trouble connecting to the story for about a third of the book, but I think that was more a me-being-reading-slumpy thing. There is adequate queer representation here (one character is stated to be aromantic, the love interest is on-page bisexual, and another character was coded to be aro-ace) and a few side characters are non-white, but I am hoping to have even more diverse characters and relationships next time! 

I really like the lush way that Margaret Rogerson describes romance and boy-oh-boy she did not disappoint! Definitely be prepared for a "romantasy" when picking up either of her books.
Was this review helpful?