Cover Image: Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Absolutely adored this book! The world building was amazing and it became an instant favourite for me. Can’t wait for the next book by Rogerson
Was this review helpful?
A great YA fantasy, definitely something I will be recommending to customers and friends. This was really the ultimate fantasy for diehard book lovers. The idea of books really coming to life made me so happy. I wish there had been more of a focus on the relationship between Nathaniel and Elisabeth, but that's because I'm a cheeseball. Great read.
Was this review helpful?
I loved reading this book so much! I knew I was going to because there's libraries that are important, libraries that have books that can eat peoples hands. This world of sorcerers and magical grimoires and demons, yeah, it was so interesting to read about!

What I didn't expect for was for this book to be pretty hilarious. From more background bits like books eating peoples hands being common place, to Nathaniel and all his quips, this book was an unexpected font of hilarity!

Elizabeth was pretty bad ass. I guess I should've expected it from the cover having her hold a sword, but I guess I'm just so used to the guys being the ones using the weapons. Sure, Nathaniel had magic, but Elizabeth was the one with the sword and yeah, I really enjoyed that dynamic!

I kind thought the whole bit where she was thought to be working with the bad guys was going to last longer, so I didn't expect the direction that this book went! There was almost a bit of a historical spy air to the middle portion of this book where she's investigating the bad guy's plan and how to stop it was was really fun to read!

Elizabeth was a child of the Library, and yeah, that turned out to be incredibly useful! With Nathaniel's magic and Silas, they were a pretty significant powerhouse group, and I enjoyed how the final confrontation went, it was so unexpected and creative and amazing to read! Such a wonderful ending!

Loved this book so much, and I wouldn't mind another book set in this world!
Was this review helpful?
4.25 stars

*I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for a review*

I read this book almost a year ago but the experience of reading this book  has stayed in the back of my mind. I didn't read the author's previous book but I was extremely interested in the fact that the story has a magical library. Elizabeth is a great main character who has been raised in the library all her life and has great passion for being a warden. Then she meets a sorcerer named Nathaniel and is told by everyone that sorcerer's are not to be trusted but has to put her trust in him when disaster strikes. The library is broken into, her mentor is killed and some of the magical books are released and Elizabeth is named as the prime suspects and has to go through a trial to prove her innocence. While in town she has to stay with Nathaniel and his demon familiar named Silas. She is proven to be innocent but also discovers that a very important person is behind the attacks and is essentially locked in that persons house. This where the story started to drag I feel like the the pace could have been sped up a bit. I did like that her best friend from back at the library was able to communicate and help them plan how to solve the problem. Silas was a great character but I was not a fan when he was unbound from Nathaniel showing his demon side. I know this book is considered a standalone but the ending has a sort of cliff hanger ending so I'm wondering if she may do another book set in this world.
Was this review helpful?
SORCERY OF THORNS is a book that had been on my TBR from the moment I first read its synopsis, months and months ago. So, when I received the opportunity to be able to read an ARC of it, I was absolutely THRILLED. 

It definitely did not disappoint. 

Rogerson is a master of her craft, a brilliant voice in the ever-expanding land of YA fantasy. Her novel - and its writing style - hit all the right points: the world-building was flawless, the dialogue flowed normally (a nice contrast from the ever-so-common awkwardness of mediocre fantasy dialogue), and the characters were engaging (um, we need a Katrien spin-off ASAP!). I found protagonist Elisabeth extremely likeable and fell in love with brooding, sarcastic Nathaniel from the moment he first appeared as the mysterious Magister in the Great Library. Plus, THE GRIMOIRES WERE INCREDIBLE! Aside from bringing lightness and fun to the story - I had a huge smile pasted on my face whenever one appeared - they were so unique, so unlike any magical item I'd read about before, that they upped the creativity of Rogerson's fantasy world even further, bringing it from "fantastic" to "unparalleled." 

SORCERY OF THORNS is, without a doubt, one of my favourite reads of 2019 so far - a fun, new fantasy unlike any seen in the genre before, it will without a doubt be one that will stand out to me throughout the years (and fantasy titles!) to come!
Was this review helpful?
This was a delightful young adult fantasy book that really drew me in from the beginning! The book follows Elisabeth Scrivener, who is an apprentice at a library.....but the books are not as ordinary as they seem! They contain magical powers and demons and other forces, which is such a cool idea! Elisabeth wants to become a warden of the library, but after a magical attack, she gets thrown into an adventure that could change things forever!
-
I really liked the character of Elisabeth! She was easy to get to know, but also interesting and complex and loveable all at the same time! I also thought that the world building in the book! The author did a great job of setting up the context of the story without overly explaining what’s going on, which was nice! It was dark and brooding, but with a flare of positive light! Definitely recommend this one if you’re a fan of fantasy!
Was this review helpful?
Eek! I took shamefully long to read this book because not only did one of my good friend Samm (I loves her) score the physical arc for me, but it was one of my top three most anticipated this year.  I'm so glad I wasn't disappointed!

Margaret's debut novel, Enchantment of Ravens, was really polarizing for many.  You either loved it or were really unimpressed.  I personally adored it and thought it read like a beautiful, sweet fairy tale.  Sorcery of Thorns has an entirely different feel and if you weren't a huge fan of her first - don't worry.  I have seen so many people who weren't a fan of her first book, give this book five stars and so much praise.

This book is honestly a reader's dream - it's literally all about books and protecting them with your life.  The story starts in a library with our main character,  Elisabeth is studying to become a Warden - which is someone who basically gives up their lives in order to protect the grimiors (books) that live inside the library.  You might be thinking this is because they don't want people using the magic inside, I mean that is the trope we see so often - but no.  It's protecting everyone from the actual grimoirs.  All the books have very distinct personalities and abilities.  Some are incredibly dangerous and must be kept safe - the only people who are meant to use these are sorcerers.  If the books get out of hand they can actually transform into a kind of creature that is a whole other level of scary.

Elisabeth has lived at the library her entire life, it's a part of her but most people see her as an odd bird and steer clear of her.  Her mentor has a soft spot for her though.  The story really gets off its feet when one of the higher level books is transformed into a creature and kills her mentor and Elisabeth is blamed for her murder.  Enter Nathaniel and Silas.  Nathanial comes to get Elisabeth to escort her to her trial, but a lot of crazy stuff happens in between the library and the court house and the adventure takes quite a turn and adventure ensues.

I really love the chemistry between Elisabeth and Nathanial - it's slow burning and I swoon a little whenever he calls her a "menace" - yes that hate to love trope is going strong here and we get some amazing banter back and forth between these two.  I completely ship this relationship and it felt so authentic and just natural.  Love everything about it - pacing on point.  We also have Silas - who is Nathanial's servant, who just happens to be a demon that gives him his magic in return for twenty years of his life.  Silas is the star in this book for me, he is the heart of the story and I can't even express my love for this demon.  He's not just a wise-cracking, little side-kick - he's caring and intelligent and just wonderful.  Honestly, I'd be tempted to trade twenty years to have a Silas in my life too.  I don't want to say much more about him because his story is such a treat to watch unfold.

Overall this story is quite a dark fantasy with a very strong and capable female lead.  The villain is horrible - he feels a little too real and will give you some scary political vibes - current.  The stuff he is dabbling in in no joke - chills just thinking about it.  Sorcery of Thorns is a stand alone and there will not be a sequel.  I'm happy about that because I think it ended perfectly.  It made me cry and then it made me smile - I'm good with it.  However, Margaret has hinted that there may be a companion novel someday - maybe even a Silas novel - now that I could get behind.
Was this review helpful?
If you ever dreamed of visiting the Hogwarts library and seeing books like the Monster Book of Monsters then this is the book for you!  Full of dangerous books, witty exchanges and romantic moments, Sorcery of Thorns delivers a fun adventure in a world I found fascinating.  A stand alone novel (almost unheard of in the genre!) that I will likely revisit one day.  This made my book nerd self very very happy.
Was this review helpful?
Another excellent standalone from Margaret Rogerson. She's becoming a staple recommendation that I give my fantasy-loving students. Her writing style is crisp and fun, even when tackling darker content.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! I was totally not expecting to love this as much as I did. This book really has everything I want: Stunning cover? Check. A book loving main character? Check. Action? Check. Slow burn romance? Check. Magic? Check. 

And so much more. 

Sorcery of Thorns reminded me a lot of the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix, something about the magic and the atmosphere. It felt like an older style of fantasy writing but without the clunky tropes. At 456 pages I found it to be a surprisingly quick read, probably because of the great characters and consistent plot development. Elisabeth is our main character and she has been a child of the library her whole life. In her world grimoires, are magical tomes with personalities of their own. They can be very dangerous in the wrong hands and can turn into monsters if mistreated, so they're guarded by specially trained librarians. The story begins when a traitor breaks into the library Elisabeth lives in and sets free the most dangerous grimoire. Even though she pursues and takes down the monster she is found to be a suspect of it's release. The only hope she has of clearing her name and finding out who's really behind the break in is to trust a dark sorcerer named Nathaniel Thorn. And so begins a great adventure of mystery, deceit, magical mirrors, great libraries and sassy demonic servants. (No, really, Silus is perhaps my favorite character of all and you need to read this book just for him). 

I did not read Margaret Rogerson's debut novel Enchantment of Ravens but now I'm dying to read more by this talented author.
Was this review helpful?
The cover of this novel is beautiful, its what drew me to the book in the first place. Being a librarian myself, the premise of the novel sealed the deal for me. A young woman who lives in the Great Library and dreams of one day being a warden-- an individual who protects the kingdom against sorcery. 
For Elizabeth, sorcerers are evil and magic is the work of demons. The library in which she lives is full of grimoires, evil books that have minds of their own and must be contained in order to protect the realm. However, Elizabeth finds herself questioning everything she ever learned once a grimoire is released and wrecks havoc on the kingdom, and the only person willing to help her is a sorcerer, Nathaniel. 

The premise was what really drew me into this world and I did enjoy the novel as a whole. Some parts did drag a little an Elizabeth had a tendency to come off a little childish and very innocent. That being said , the author does intend the novel for middle grade kids ages 9-12, which I find to be a perfect fit
Was this review helpful?
It took me almost a month to finish this book and it was worth it! This books was one of the best YA fantasy books I have ever read. Margaret Rogerson’s writing style was flowery and eloquent while also being concise and structured. The premise of the story was what brought me into this book in the first place, imagine living in a library where all the books are magical and sentient. Sign me up! There were some weaknesses in the story, which I will get into, but they are vastly outweighed by the positives.

The first positive was the wonderful characters. Every character changed significantly throughout the story as it progressed. The main character, Elizabeth Scrivener, travels across the land and encounters many challenges along the way. Her story was so action-packed and filled with intrigue, about the very nature of her character. Silas was another character that was done extremely well, in addition to the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn.

The magic was done pretty well in this book, it was easy to follow who was doing what from the unique color of each person’s magic and the source of the magic, the demons, were explained fabulously. I wish that the limits of magic was explored a little more because often the sorcerers would collapse after magic, but then regain their strength and keep fighting with was a little confusing at times. Also many types of magic was forbidden and only used in emergencies and then this was supposed to explain away why they didn’t use it sooner.

The premise and the plot were amazing for most of the book. I felt really connected with the characters as they fought against evil, but the ending was really open-ended. The story just ends on a cliffhanger, but there is not expected to be a sequel to the story, so that is supposed to be the natural end. I did not like having almost no closure to the story, but I hope that a sequel is planned for this otherwise great read. I would definitely read it. I also added Ms. Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens to my TBR and hope to read it in the next few months.

I received an ARC of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for that.

4.5 stars

Were you guys as excited as I was for this book? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Leave a comment down below. Happy Reading!
Was this review helpful?
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

4.5/5 Stars ♥

I went into Sorcery of Thorns knowing essentially nothing about the book, and I ended up really enjoying it. Sorcery of Thorns is a YA fantasy standalone novel that follows Elisabeth Scrivener, a young woman raised in a library who gets framed for a crime and finds herself having to team up with a sorcerer to stop an evil plot. 

I really liked all the characters in this book. Elisabeth frustrated me a bit at first, but I really warmed up to her. Nathaniel, the love interest (who is also a sorcerer), didn’t appeal to me too much at first but I grew to like him. I didn’t care about the romance in this book, however, I rarely care about romance in books (and the plot was strong enough on its own to keep me engaged) so it didn’t really bother me. My favourite character was definitely Silas, Nathaniel’s demon servant. His character was so interesting to me and I love him so much. 

The magic system was really cool! Libraries in this world aren’t normal, the books are magical and some almost seem alive. Librarians are tasked with basically guarding these books. The way sorcery worked was also super interesting to me, I really liked the idea of the demon servants that each sorcerer has to draw their magic from. 

I did find the world building kind of weak and it did take me some time to warm up to the two main characters, which I why I took away half a star from my rating. I also didn’t like how so many people called this an enemies to lovers romance when it definitely wasn’t, but that’s not really an issue with the book itself. Otherwise, it was a solid read and I would highly recommend it, especially for someone who wants a good YA fantasy without having to commit to an entire series.
Was this review helpful?
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book, but in no way whatsoever did that influence my opinion in the end!

This book begins with Elisabeth, an apprentice to one of the many great libraries in the kingdom of Austermeer. One night, a grimoire being held in her library turns into a Malefict, a magical bookish monster hell-bent on destruction. When Elisabeth saves the day, she's blamed for causing the situation in the first place. Being whisked away to the city, she then undergoes a quest to find the true reason behind her sabotage. 

Sorcery of Thorns brings together magic in Sorcerers, Demons, and magical books while remaining a sort of cozy, warm, fall vibe read. 

The story itself felt like I read it before, thus the reason for the 3/5 stars. I did really enjoy the story, but it was very much the usual plot fantasy novels face, in which a character is sent on a quest to clear their name, and they fall in love and save the day. I wanted a bit more. 

But to say that, there are some redeeming factors, the character Silas is interesting, the world itself is pleasant, and the main character is one of the few tall girls you see playing a protagonist role in fiction. 

The love in the novel felt obvious from the get-go, and there was no slowburn or a whole lot of want for the characters to be involved together. I was happy that they were, but it felt super meh. 

So do I recommend it? Sure. It's a light, easy read, for a rainy day sort of book.
Was this review helpful?
This was amazing! I loved Elizabeth, Nathan is sooo swoons and the setting and world building was great! We need more books based in magical libraries.
Was this review helpful?
I loved that this fantasy story was set in libraries. These libraries weren’t like the ones in our world. They were full of grimoires that could do things, such as speak. However, they could also turn into “maleficts” which were dangerous creatures. It made the library a potentially terrifying place.

I was glad that this story is a standalone. So many fantasy books turn into long series, so it is nice to have the complete story in one book.

I didn’t feel as much of a connection to Elisabeth as I wished I did. If her origins were described, I could have related to her more. All that we know is that she was an orphan and didn’t know who her parents were. I think her mysterious parentage could have created a great plot twist. There was an interesting relationship between a sorcerer and a demon, which was great to read. They became more like family than master and servant.

This was a great fantasy story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A stunning example of what fantasy should be! 

Books, magic, and demons, with a strong female lead - what is not to love? While primarily marketed as YA, the book can easily be enjoyed by a more "mature" audience as well.

As an orphan, Elisabeth grew up in Summershall - one of Austermeer's Great Libraries  that house magical grimoires. Elisabeth has learned much during her years at Summershall. She has learned that sorcerers are evil. She has learned that a grimoire can drive a person mad, and one that is angered or provoked can turn into a Malefict - a monster of sorts, snapping at fingers spitting ink, and even killing, depending on how powerful it is. She has learned how defend against the powers of grimoires. She hopes to become a warden some day, charged with protecting people from grimoires, and grimoires from people.  

One day as the library sleeps, Elisabeth is the only witness to an act of sabotage that takes the life of her mentor, the director of Summershall, and releases a powerful grimoire. Now she is implicated in the crime, and needs to clear her name and save Austermeer from the evil that is threatening to be unleashed. Her only hope is with the sorcerer Nathanial Thorne  and his demon servant who is the source of his magic.

From the very first page, I was drawn in to this story and fully immersed. Highly imaginative and original, full of enchantment, and beauty, and danger, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. .  The story is intricate and engaging, but not overly complicated. A pleasure from start to finish.

This YA Fantasy is the perfect summer read for people young and old, who like a little magic in their lives.


Happy Reading,
Christine
Was this review helpful?
I quite enjoyed this one! I must say, it took me a while to read it though. I found the beginning engaging, but then it dragged a bit in the middle, despite the fact that the book isn't that long. The ending made up for it though - it was one of those endings that is wonderfully bittersweet, and the final line was chill-inducing, full of mystery and hopefulness. 

Elisabeth was a good main character with a lot of agency. The (unapologetically bisexual!) love interest was charming and funny and sassy, and therefore I liked him as well. The best character, however, was the demon side-kick Silas, who was complex and interesting and (in my opinion) made the story. 

I really enjoyed the concept of this story - books that are "alive" and classified by danger - and I'm always up for anything demonic in nature. I wasn't a big fan of the villain, and I can't quite say why, but he just didn't feel very impressive or important to me. Again, I can't explain it exactly. 

The ending, like I said, was clever. I enjoyed this more than Rogerson's first book (An Enchantment of Ravens), and would recommend it to people. For me it was a three-star read, simply because I didn't have that *drive* to keep reading it. That's just my opinion though, and I'm quite hard to please with YA books lately.
Was this review helpful?
Just the other day I was pouting about YA fantasy just not hitting the mark for me in 2019. And in struts SORCERY OF THORNS just to prove me wrong. I didn't really know what to expect for this one other than it had something to do with library with a hate to love (possibly) and magic and, not having read Rogerson's first novel, didn't know how that would all translate in the writing.

Well, it translated super well.

"You used a demonic incantation to pack my stockings!"
"You're right, that doesn't sound like something a proper evil sorcerer would do. Next time, I won't fold them."

This not-quite-medieval but not-quite-steampunk world is populated by living, magical, books and sorcery from demonic bargains. Librarians are the keepers of the books and look down upon the Magisters, the sorcerers, for their alliances with demons. So naturally this is a great set-up for an orphan, raised in the library and on her way to become a Warden, to get tripped up with a Magister.. who then trips up all her pre-conceived notions, too. 

"I don't mean to be forward, but is that a--"
"A sword hidden under my dress? Yes, it is."
"I see. And how exactly is it--"
"I thought you didn't mean to be forward."

The banter and dynamic between the two leads was great. Even during a weird lull, where I worried my experience with this one was also going to crash and burn, I was comforted by the four and five star worthy dialogue of bickering and nicknames. It was just fabulous. What I could never have suspected, though, was how much I would love a certain demon and that my love for him would have me shedding a tear or two. 

"Can you go on?"
"Of course I can. I may be useless, but my good looks might prove critical for morale."

Honestly, the mayhem and calamity that is crashing down around their ears didn't interest me half as much as the Help Save The World Adventure Squad Trio.. but, to be fair, I did like them a lot so even half of that.. isn't bad. But I'll admit I lost a wee bit of love somewhere around the middle bit. Things went in a strange direction I didn't see coming and there was an odd interaction or two I didn't quite understand, but overwhelmingly this book was just.. unexpected. Interesting, creative, funny, clever, and fun. There's one specific thing I liked so much, and liked how it wasn't really made into A Thing, but I'm not even going to remotely hint at it so that you, too, can be pleasantly surprised about it. Instead, I'll say how much I appreciated the constant reinforcement, and reminder, of shades of grey as it applies to so many things, including people. It made for a richer story that was already pretty lush. 

These weren't ordinary books the Great Library kept. They whispered on the shelves and shuddered beneath iron chains. Some spat ink and threw tantrums; others sang to themselves in high, clear notes on windless nights, when starlight streamed through the library's barred windows like shafts of mercury. Others still were so dangerous they had to be stored in the underground vault, packed in salt. Not all of them were her friends.

I feel a little nitpicky for harkening back to this after all the nice things I've said but for all the good, there were those moments I wasn't too sold on, and definitely a few typical fantasy roadblocks as we see when the hero/heroes are trying to convince People In Charge that they are Here To Help. It isn't without some clichés or slower moments so, yeah, it's not a perfect ten. Hence the four (#math).

"Tempting as the prospect is, we are not attempting world domination. It sounds fun in theory, but in reality it's a logistical nightmare."

But the moments that were good, were great. The parts that made me laugh, really tickled. And those unexpected glimpses of brilliance and emotion.. they are definitely there. I didn't always like how the perspective could be fluid but at the same time I also really loved how the narrative flowed and didn't always need us to live through the events but would still catch us up. And I love love loved the end.

"I dragged you into this. You wouldn't be here it it weren't for me."
"You're right. I would be alone in my study, utterly miserable, spending my final hours unaware that demons were about to overrun the world. I like this version better. The one with you in it."

SORCERY OF THORNS is definitely worth picking up. I have no idea if there's more to come and, because of the ending, I almost hope not. But I wouldn't say no to more, either.


** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Was this review helpful?
I requested this one after I finished listening to the audiobook of An Enchantment of Ravens. Partly because I quite enjoyed Enchantment, partly because I was intrigued by the synopsis, and partly because I'm a shallow person and I thought the cover was really pretty. 

I think in a lot of ways I enjoyed this one more than Enchantment, simply because I found this one funner to read. As a trope "girl moves into sorcerer's house, he complains but doesn't kick her out because he's being peer-pressured by his demon familiar" is just entertaining for me. (Howl's Moving Castle, anyone?) (Does that count as a trope? I think it should. And it should be used more because it has excellent potential.)

It took me a little while to get into this one, simply because the plot isn't quite structured in a typical way, the build is almost in fits and starts and it's almost like there are two plots layered together. One was the big, flashy plot about the risk to the world, and the second was smaller and more personal. The two threads interacted, but not so much that they ever really became one. I actually quite enjoyed this strategy, Margaret Rogerson did a pretty great job of making both plots ones that I was invested in. 

Elisabeth's growth as a character was interesting in that she doesn't so much change as a person- she is, at her core, not changed from the start of the book to the end, she just... grows more into those traits. She learns more about the world, remaining true to the core of herself. She's an enjoyable character to read, and I really enjoyed her dynamics wit the other characters. She's practical and stubborn and just... aggressively believes in people until they eventually have to accept that they're worth believe in. It's kind of a superpower. She's very much a storybook character in that way, and I appreciated it. I also liked the rest of the cast, although Nathaniel took some time to grow on me. Katrien was one of my favourites, although she had a smaller role than many of the other characters. 

In terms of setting... I am always a fan of a sinister library. The setting was interesting in that it was also set up as almost a character, and part of the plot. Also talking books are fun. This book played on a lot of familiar plot points and tropes (there were bits of the plot that reminded my Full Metal Alchemist, for example) but was enough of an engaging take on them that this was enjoyable, rather than tiring. I also laughed more than expected, since there are actually some funny moments in the book, despite the seriousness of what is going on during most of the book.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this one! I do like a good fantasy standalone and I do recommend picking this one up if it sounds like your kind of book!
Was this review helpful?