If you’ve ever daydreamed about owning the Beast’s castle, wished you could study in Hogwarts Library, or pretended books were living and breathing magic, you need to read Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.
Raised in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth was taught that sorcerers were evil and grimoires—magical books that whisper and rattle beneath iron chains—were dangerous. But when an act of sabotage releases a grimoire, Elisabeth intervenes and is accused of being the saboteur. Wrenched away from all that she knows, Elisabeth travels to the capital and uncovers a centuries-old conspiracy. To save the Great Libraries, Elisabeth must ally herself with her enemy: a sorcerer known as Nathaniel Thorn and his demon servant.
It’s hard for me to accurately review Sorcery of Thorns because reading this book feels like a part of myself has been captured within its pages. Sorcery of Thorns is a magical, heart-pounding adventure full of whispering books, a dashing sorcerer, monsters made of ink and leather, a badass female heroine, dusty libraries and magical manors, and a demon that steals the show.
Elisabeth, our protagonist, is fantastic. She’s smart and determined, and she doesn’t give up even when the whole world seems to be against her. She makes me wish I was more confident in my ability to stand up for myself. Nathaniel, the sorcerer, is magical and swoon-worthy, giving off Howl and Loki-esque vibes. His character arc is just as important as Elisabeth’s, and I’m grateful their romance doesn’t overshadow the importance of the plot.
And then there is Silas, the demon. I can’t say Silas is my favorite character because I love Elisabeth and Nathaniel a lot as well. But Silas definitely steals the spotlight. I can’t explain further without giving away spoilers, but just know Silas is amazing for a number of reasons.
I love the world-building and the idea of books that hold magic and whisper and talk and can turn into ink-filled monsters. It reminds me a little of Howl’s Moving Castle, Harry Potter, and The Pagemaster. Basically, I wish I had come up with this idea because it is so freaking brilliant.
What seals the deal for this book, though, is the writing. Margaret Rogerson has a way with words. The writing in An Enchantment of Ravens is alluring, but Sorcery of Thorns multiplies that tenfold. I feel as if I am walking right alongside Elisabeth through the dusty, magic-filled halls of the Great Libraries. The details of this story are atmospheric and gorgeous, and I cannot express enough how beautiful the writing in this book is.
Sorcery of Thorns is probably not a perfect book, but I don’t care. It full of magic and adventure and books. With a cast of characters you won’t easily forget and strong feminists themes, Sorcery of Thorns is easily one of my favorite 2019 releases.