Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns

August 9, 2019

Elisabeth was left on the doorstep of one of the Great Libraries of Austermeer as a baby, and so has spent her life growing up among the powerful, magical grimoires kept within its walls and vaults. Her greatest aspiration is to become a warden, working for the protection of the kingdom and the tomes, up until the night a dangerous grimoire escapes and Elisabeth is implicated in the crime. When she is taken to the capital in order to face justice, Elisabeth finds herself in the center of a much bigger conspiracy that might just end the world. Together with young sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, his demonic servant and a couple of unexpected allies, Elisabeth will have to find a way to keep everything from falling apart.


Magical libraries? Powerful grimoires? Demonic companions? A group of ragtag allies banding together to save the world from impending doom? Honestly, Sorcery of Thorns immediately ticked my boxes with just these three elements of its premise alone… and it delivered a novel that went far beyond any of my actual expectations. I really loved reading this book and can foresee many other folks feeling the same way!

I was immediately taken in by the writing style, which was incredibly easy to sink into. This is my first experience with Margaret Rogerson’s work (confession: I skipped out on An Enchantment of Ravens on the recommendation of my friends), and it certainly won’t be my last. Rogerson made the settings come alive with just the right amount of detail, inviting readers to immerse themselves in this world and make themselves at home among these powerful tomes, mysterious townhouses and impressive facades. She also did brilliantly with her plot, revealing just enough with every chapter to guarantee that the reader will be rewarded with new information and intrigued enough to keep going. I loved her prose, found her storytelling extremely fluid and lyrical, and I devoured every single word with pleasure.

But what truly won me over was, in the end, the aspect of novels that tends to be the deciding factor in whether things are a hit or a miss for me: the characters. I didn’t particularly like the villain, as that individual came across as a bit generic in terms of his character, purpose and methodology. But otherwise, I really enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters, for sure, and they deserved to be mentioned for the fact that they were individuals that I could imagine with lives off the page and weren’t just convenient vehicles for certain events to transpire. The character highlights center around three characters: Silas, who I was immediately keen on and who happens to be an utter delight with his mannerisms and skill set; Nathaniel, the young, dashing, mysterious sorcerer who engages in witty commentary, ill-advised courses of action and efforts at heroics more than he would like; and Elisabeth, a clever, capable heroine with a deep abiding love for the libraries and a deep desire to do the right thing no matter the obstacles. I love these three so, so much, and being privy to their interactions and individual forays was a real treat from start to end.

I loved Sorcery of Thorns, friends. It had the feel of classic young adult fantasy, and it certainly didn’t shy away from employing tropes that many an avid fantasy reader will recognize. But the engaging storytelling, wonderfully crafted world and well-written characters blended together into a story that I absolutely adored. I think any fantasy readers (whether new to the genre or old hands at it) would enjoy this tale as much as I did, and I’m already looking forward to my inevitable reread of this standalone fantasy read.

Sorcery of Thorns was released on June 4, 2019 from Margaret K. McElderry Books.
I received an ARC copy from the publisher for review.

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