Published: June 4, 2019
Publisher: McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 456 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
Oh my GOSH it’s been so long since I’ve read a YA fantasy that I’ve fallen in love with! Sorcery of Thorns had been getting some hype in the bookish community and I did enjoy Rogerson’s other book An Enchantment of Ravens so I decided to pick up the audiobook. First of all, I loved the narration so I’d highly recommend this format if audiobooks are your thing. Secondly, I enjoyed it so much that I’d recommend this book to anyone who reads fantasy (and doesn’t mind a slow burn love interest).
Elisabeth, our darling orphan MC, has been raised at a Great Library her entire life. She knows what it is to wander amongst books that can speak into your mind, bite, or fly away if they’re unchained and the books (and Library itself) seem partial to her. Cue the drama – one of the dangerous grimoires is damaged and turns into a Malefect (giant book monster) and Elisabeth slays it mostly through sheer luck. Unfortunately she is accused of somehow being involved in the sabotage of the grimoire and is sent to the capital for questioning by the Council of Sorcerers. Her escort happens to be a darkly handsome fellow by the name of Nathaniel Thorn, descended from a long line of powerful necromancers. Elisabeth is quite terrified he’s going to murder her in the woods before she can reach her destination.
Alas, she is not to be murdered by the rather brooding sorcerer but ends up enlisting his help after a series of very interesting events. I totally want to spoil everything but I won’t because that’s honestly just rude. The book was great for so many reasons but perhaps the biggest was that not only did I love all the characters, the story was actually really fantastic too! Many times YA (and adult fantasy) novels fall into a terrible pattern of having characters you love but a mediocre storyline and a crappy love triangle. Sorcery of Thorns doesn’t fall into that pattern but rather stands apart as something that can be universally enjoyed.
I don’t give out many 5 star reviews but this was hands down a book that deserved it. I finished the audiobook and went a purchased a hardcover from Amazon because I needed a copy on my shelves IMMEDIATELY for future rainy Saturday reading.