Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Sorcery of Thorns reminded me why I love standalone fantasies. With a unique world and magic system, great characters, and a fun plot, you won’t want to put this book down.
“It was always wise to be polite to books, whether or not they could hear you.”
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Panic Attacks, Imprisonment, Murder, Sexual Assault (Mention), Mental Illness, Forced Hospitalization, PTSD, Misogyny //
“She wasn’t a wielder of chains; she was a breaker of them. She was the library’s will made flesh.”
Release Date: 6/4/2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
Page Count: 456
Elizabeth is a child of the library. Growing up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, she has always dreamed of becoming a Warden, guarding the living grimoires that line the shelves and protecting the kingdom from Maleficts- monsters that arise from damaged grimoires. She has also been raised to hate the Sorcerers that use the grimoires. But when the library is sabotaged and Elizabeth tries to save the kingdom from a Malefict, she is accused of being the saboteur. She is sent with Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer, and his companion, Silas, to face justice, but instead, she uncovers a conspiracy that only the three of them together can stop.
Read more to see why I gave Sorcery of Thorns 5 Stars!
“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”
Writing & Setting
Margaret Rogerson has officially cemented herself as one of my favorite fantasy authors after this book. If you liked her writing in An Enchantment of Ravens, you’ll love Sorcery of Thorns because it only gets better. She has mastered weaving together a complex fantasy world in a single installment while avoiding heavy info dumps and endless exposition.Everything flows together beautifully while crafting a unique and fascinating world. I loved the magic system in this book. I never really cared much about sorcerers and grimoires before, but she made me fall in love with her idea of them.
“When terrible things have happened to you, sometimes the promise of something good can be just as frightening.”
Sorcery of Thorns is well-paced, with plenty of action and a slight mystery (but it’s solved pretty quickly so I wouldn’t really call it a mystery). The plot is pretty straightforward, but it always feels like there’s a lot going on. Even the quieter scenes pack so much weight, foreshadowing, and character development in them. Also, I was a little worried that the ending would be slightly rushed (because I felt that way with An Enchantment of Ravens) but the pacing really was practically flawless. This is one of the few standalones that make me want more, but not need it.
“…there is always more than one way to see the world. Those who claim otherwise would have you dwell forever in the dark.”
Before I talk about our main trio, I do want to mention the antagonist for a minute. Because damn, they were great. I won’t spoil the brief mystery aspect, but I will say that this is one of the few antagonists who have actually made me feel powerless. Usually, it’s easy to believe the heroes will save the day no matter how powerful the villain is, but there were several moments in this book where I had to stop and be like “damn” because the antagonist did something I had no clue how the heroes would recover from.
Speaking of our heroes- Elizabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas all have my heart. Elizabeth, the “feral librarian” (my new favorite nickname) is our main protagonist. She’s clumsy, naive, but ultimately good-hearted and determined. Nathaniel is the swoon-worthy sarcastic sorcerer who steals hearts. I loved his backstory and how real his traumas felt. We often see love interests with a Tragic Backstory ™ but Sorcery of Thorns really shows the impact that facing horrible things at a young age will have on you. And then there’s Silas. Silas is such a fascinating character. Seriously. I never knew what to make of him yet he always stole the scene.He’s now one of my favorite characters of all time. Also, I won’t say who, but there’s a canonically bi main character and ace and aro side-characters and it made me SO HAPPY!!!
“Ink and parchment flowed through her veins. The magic of the Great Libraries lived in her very bones. They were a part of her, and she a part of them.”
[ Related: 2019 In 12 Book Covers ]
Pros- Great characters, amazing world building, unique setting, fantastic writing
Cons- I ran out of adjectives writing the Pros
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Sorcery of Thorns is a can’t-miss novel for any fan of fantasy, or anyone who’s looking to have their heart fully captured in a book and reflected back at them.
If You Liked Sorcery of Thorns, I’d Recommend:
- An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – [ Review ]
- Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare – [ Review ]
Bonus! More Quotes I Love:
“What is the point of life is you don’t believe in anything?”
“If you don’t believe in anything, then you have a great deal less to lose.”
“Tempting as the prospect is, we are not attempting world domination. It sounds fun in theory, but in reality, it’s a logistical nightmare. All those assassinations and so forth.”
“Wherever there was darkness, there was also so much light.”
“But you know the truth of magic. The greatest power springs only from suffering.”
Have you read Sorcery of Thorns yet? What is your favorite book that includes libraries/bookstores?