The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry – Review

Cover- The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

Published: July 23, 2019

Publisher: Redhook

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Standalone

Pages: 464 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

The ultimate book-lover’s fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.

There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.


Ever since learning of this book I had been looking forward to reading it. How could I resist a synopsis that described a man that could bring anything from a book simply by reading it intently. I’m fairly certain that’s the kind  of magic any book lover would want to have at their disposal. 

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is the story of two brothers – Rob Sutherland, who is an utterly normal lawyer living in Wellington, New Zealand and Charley, who is quite abnormal and can read characters right out of books, causing much trouble. Rob and Charley have a strained relationship for a number of reasons, merely one of which being that Charley is bringing his unintended mischief to what Rob considers “his city”. Of course, nothing is quite so simple as that and it soon becomes apparent that Charley isn’t the only one with his singular talent and this person is much less benign. They are, in fact, trying to bring about a new world. One that is reminiscent of the streets of Victorian London with all the perils and evil thereof. 

This book was fascinating and kept me going during a rather dull week away for work training. The whole concept was delightful without being a gentle fairytale since not only the nice, heroic characters could be brought forth from their resident pages. The more maniacal reader was bringing out the villainous Dickens era characters to stalk the streets of Wellington and it did bring a certain flair of danger to things. I mean, Charley and Rob nearly got mauled by the Hound of the Baskervilles in all its theatrical and terrifying glory. 

Aside from having an interesting plot I thought that the exploration of the strained relationship between Charley and Rob was really well done. Charley has always been a prodigy and despite Rob being older, he felt he was in his younger brother’s shadow and that resentment had carried over into their adult lives. Charley had moved away to Cambridge to get his Ph.D and Rob finally had a life to himself without worrying about caring for his brother or keeping his abilities hidden by cleaning up the occasional slip. They both have a good deal of emotional growth during the course of the story and it felt quite natural. As a matter of fact, their entire family must do some talking and share some secrets.

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was a fascinating book and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve read any other fantasy books set in New Zealand which is a shame! I had such a great time reading this book that I’ll more than likely pick up anything else that H.G. Parry publishes in the future. This book is also a standalone, which itself is rare in the fantasy world today. No fear of committing to a six book series here – just read one and your done!

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One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr – Review

Cover- One Blood Ruby

Published: February 28, 2017

Publisher: HarperCollins

Series: Seven Black Diamonds #2

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 2.5/5.0

Synopsis:

Who can end the war between humans and the fae?

Now that Lilywhite Abernathy is the heir to the Hidden Lands, everything is about to change.

The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. And the humans, while no match against faery affinities, will hardly agree to the queen’s détente without resistance.

Lily wants to be a fair ruler but fears having to abandon the life she’s known to do so. Now that she and Creed are more than just fellow Black Diamonds—operatives for the queen—her priorities have shifted. But her worries about assuming the throne are derailed when it becomes clear that someone—or some fae—is masterminding violent attacks to discourage peace.

In this follow-up to Melissa Marr’s Seven Black Diamonds, Lily and her friends are forced to reckon with the truth of their own parentage and to protect one of their own, no matter what—or who—comes between them.


I’m going to keep this review short and sweet. I recently read Seven Black Diamonds as part of an effort to clean up my backlisted TBR and it was a light, casual read. You can check out my review for it here. The series was just a duology so I made the time to read One Blood Ruby shortly afterward to wrap things up.

One Blood Ruby was more of the same thing I got in the first book – cheesy YA romance (no love triangle, thank goodness), a bit of eco-consciousness, and a hefty dose of bad faeries. And I mean bad in both ways – they’re dangerous “bad” and  stereotypically YA “bad”. The plot wasn’t awful, but it just didn’t do much for me. LilyDark (WHY did her name have to change???) is revealed as the heir to the Faerie throne, her aunt Eilidh seems to be about to lose herself to the elements, and the other Diamonds have their own dramas going on.

If I was to recommend a Melissa Marr series it would not be this one. Go read the Wicked Lovely series, it’s way cooler and remains one of my favorite YA series even after re-reading it with a more mature taste in books.

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter – Review

Cover- The Rage of Dragons

Published: July 16, 2019

Publisher: Orbit  Books

Series: The Burning #1

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 544 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people’s only hope for survival.

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.


This book has been extremely well received by the bookish community thus far and I must say, it was a pretty great debut novel. The Rage of Dragons is an African inspired fantasy with, you guessed it, dragons! They actually didn’t play as much of a role in the first book as I had hoped, but I did get pages and pages of epic gladiatorial action and the urge to rise above my station and overthrow my oppressors – oh wait, that’s just the book a’ talking. 

The main character, Tau, is of the lesser class and as such he will never become the most elite of warriors or rise above his class. His friend and training partner Jabari is a noble, though not a high ranking one and they will end up going in very different directions in life. After a series of terrible events, Tau’s father is killed by a noble and he sets out to get revenge on all those who played a part in his death, which ultimately leads him to enter the training academy. Once he’s a soldier he can legally duel those who’ve wronged him and he’s set out to become the best swordsman to have ever lived, gifted or not. 

Initially Tau is a pretty standard – dare I say it – boring character. I wasn’t crazy about this book for the first few chapters but things suddenly pick up and it goes full on revenge story. Tau is CRAZY. This guy trains from before dawn until after dark and takes on incredible challenges. He’s completely focused on his goal and nothing will stop him. Tau is also a bit of an idiot from time to time but the rest of his scale (academy group) usually reign him in. There’s a smidgen of romance in this book but it certainly doesn’t take the center stage and disappointingly, the dragons aren’t center stage either. For something that was compared to Game of Thrones, I’m not really seeing the similarities. Yeah, there’s some political maneuvering, but it’s largely done off the page and like I said, the dragons aren’t featured prominently in the book. I definitely get the Gladiator comparison though! Plenty of swordplay and gritty, intense fighting.

Overall, The Rage of Dragons was an impressive and well-written debut but I wasn’t in love with it. I’ll absolutely carry on with the sequel because I found it to be a noteworthy beginning to what I hope is an epic series.

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr – Review

Cover- Seven Black Diamonds

Published: March 1, 2016

Publisher: Harper

Series: Seven Black Diamonds #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 381 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 3.0/5.0

Synopsis:

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there.


I’ve had this book and its sequel on my shelves for a few years now and just hadn’t gotten around to reading them, however, I did a big shelf purge (to be donated) and I’m trying to go through and read all the unread books I decided to keep. I loved the Wicked Lovely series in my teenage years and decided this was a keeper and I 100% binge read this book in a single Friday evening! It scratched the itch for a cheesy YA fantasy with a thoroughly mediocre romance.

The plot of the book boils down to this – the Queen and King of Faerie are at war with humanity and have placed half-fae terrorist cells amongst them to carry out attacks and the story focuses on the Black Diamonds – the hand picked group. They’re all famous in one way or another – actresses, rock stars, children of politicians, etc. and they’ve located the elusive final member of the crew. Lilywhite Abernathy happens to be the daughter of THE preeminent crime lord and she’s been trained to take over his business one day, so she’s kinda tough as nails wrapped in a pretty package. I liked Lilywhite and for the most part I like the other Diamonds as well. The characterization was a little cliche, but I expected that going in. I was reading purely for pleasure and not for any sort of cerebral stimulation.

The whole eco terrorist cell thing was just a little ridiculous to me – yeah they go out and set stuff on fire and blow holes in ships but the half-fae all feel pretty bad about it. They must obey the Queen of Blood and Rage otherwise she’ll probably kill them. This part honestly felt out of place as part of the plot and became less important as the story progressed. Once Lilywhite entered the picture, she (and her relationships with the crew) became central and I was fine with that. I mean, it was practically the whole reason I read it anyway – I needed predictable YA romance and drama in life. 

Overall, this was an entertaining (but not quality) read. The overarching plot – the Queen’s hate for humans because their poisons killed her daughter – ended up sounding like a desperate attempt to get readers more concerned about pollution. Like, that’s not actually a great way to do it and many of us are already aware and concerned about pollution and the destruction it causes. Aside from this minor quibble, Seven Black Diamonds was an uncomplicated yet entertaining read and I picked up it’s sequel, One Blood Ruby, not long afterwards!

The Quantum Magician by Derek Kunsken – Review

Cover- The Quantum Magician

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Solaris

Series: The Quantum Evolution #1

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 480 (Mass Market)

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

Synopsis:

Belisarius is a quantum man, an engineered Homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he’ll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of Homo quantus evolution.


So, The Quantum Magician is essentially a scifi heist novel and honestly it was really weird. I love heists – they add an extra layer of tension and suspense to any story and are always a good time. The Quantum Magician is the heist of the future man. With future man (aka human subspecies with ultra weird subsets of abilities) doing the heisting.

Belisarius is of the species homo quantus and instead of using his abilities to solve the mysteries of the universe, he uses them to run complex confidence schemes. He’s a con man to his core and he’s just been offered the job of the century – moving a fleet of warships through an interstellar access point they were denied access to. To say the job is complex is a gross understatement – he has to build a team using every human subspecies available and a few regular ol’ humans to boot. Like, we’re talking genetic engineering, explosives, and deep infiltration and impersonation. The reward of success is a ship from the warship fleet that has a truly game changing technology – it’s priceless.

While the story itself is pretty cool, the subspecies are just so, so weird. The puppets are basically humans in miniature who are genetically coded to worship the Numen (their gods). It’s quite disturbing when you get into the details. There are whale people that were genetically engineered to withstand incredible pressures, but the result is that they look like humanoid whales. And their philosophy is to expect the worst and is filled with swearing. The quantus go into a state called the fugue where they lose all social function and become quantum computers, calculating the most complex of equations and outcomes.

Overall, The Quantum Magician was a unique and pretty strange book. The heist portion was good, but I didn’t love the characters and the puppets really really creeped me out. This could have been exacerbated by the narration which was actually quite good and very emotive, thus making the puppets more unsettling than they would have been (I think). My recommendation would be this – if you think the synopsis is cool then you should check it out because this is just my opinion and many others rate this book very highly!

Crowfall by Ed McDonald – Review

Cover- Crowfall

Published: July 2, 2019

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Raven’s Mark #3

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 416 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

In the third gritty installment of the Raven’s Mark series, Blackwing Captain Ryhalt Galharrow finds that all power comes with a price…

A sorcerous cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the republic and the immortal Deep Kings.

Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile, the Deep Kings have only grown stronger, and they are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war.

Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.

He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him–changed him–and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.

They will even follow him–and the few surviving Blackwing captains–on one final mission into the darkness.


The final book in the Raven’s Mark trilogy arrived at last. Crowfall was one of my most highly anticipated sequels for 2019 and I can’t say that I was disappointed which is great! So often the final book in a series leaves me somewhat underwhelmed. Crowfall was a fairly satisfying conclusion to the Raven’s Mark series and I have to say, I’ll miss ol’ Galharrow.

Ryhalt Galharrow has spent much of the years since the last book hanging out in the Misery. He’s got his own freaky little house that disappears from time to time and he’s starting to look like one of the foul beasts that dwell there. Meanwhile, Dantry and Maldon are going around blowing up phos mills and they’ve been essentially labeled as domestic terrorists. All for the greater good, right? Crowfoot and the other Nameless have been devastatingly weakened so Ryhalt has taken the saving of the world into his own clawed hands to prevent a second event as devastating as the Heart of the Void.

I did enjoy this book, but compared to the previous two I was merely interested rather than gripped from the first page and unable to put it down. Ryhalt is clearly on the edge of complete madness (if not already there), speaking to the ghosts of his past and even accepting drinks from them as if they’re real. His corporeal companions are, as one would expect, a little concerned by this and what Ryhalt has done to himself to pursue his goals. Seeing him veer ever closer to the edge was fascinating and horrifying at the same time.

If you’ve not started this series I’d highly recommend that you do. Ryhalt Galharrow and his band of battle hardened warriors and miscreants are surprisingly likable despite their rough characteristics. The story is one you can easily lose yourself in and boy, I envy those who can sit down and read the entire trilogy one after the other rather than waiting a year between each installment. Crowfall was a compelling conclusion that satisfies at just the right level – I wasn’t yearning for more and I was happy with what was delivered.

I would also like to note that I love the cover of this installment – so ominous, yet so appealing!

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace – Review

Cover- Salvation Day

Published: July 9, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Series: Standalone

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.

They thought the ship would be their salvation.

Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.

But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.

And then they woke it up.


Salvation Day what I expected in sort of a superficial way – everyone on a spaceship dies from a mysterious illness. Cue a group of people who want onto the spaceship where *gasp* THE PARASITE IS STILL ALIVE AND INFECTIOUS. See, classic, right?

Once you get down to the finer details, Salvation Day has some interesting twists that aren’t as predictable. The Earth has suffered greatly from human impact (climate change) and society has collapsed and rebuilt itself. In the desert wastelands there are outlier groups that when it boils right down to it are just cults. One of these cults has acquired a ship and gone to space where they plan to eventually move into the big ol’ contaminated research ship. The story focuses on the team sent to kidnap some important young adults who they plan to use to get past the ships automated defenses.

This is definitely more focused on the characters and the matter at hand than on in depth world building, but what we got was interesting. It was enough for the story, which being a standalone didn’t need (or have time for) too much. 

I really enjoyed this and read it pretty quickly. There aren’t dull moments and honestly, this would probably terrify me as a movie. SO. STRESSFUL. I’d highly recommend this if you’re looking for a quick sci-fi thriller for summer!

Recursion by Blake Crouch – Review

Cover- Recursion

Published: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Crown

Series: Standalone

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Synopsis:

Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?


Can this man write a thriller or what? First Dark Matter was mind blowing and now Recursion is just as terrifyingly epic. Blake Crouch might be the master of writing creepy technologies and how best to not use them. 

In an effort to preserve the memories of her mother, Helena Smith invents a memory chair that can map out your most precious thoughts and let you relive them. Of course, it ends up not being so benign once it’s discovered that the chair can send you back into your own past. Barry Sutton is one such person sent into his past. He is kidnapped and essentially forced into the chair by Helena’s former assistant who’s claimed the tech as his own (short and sweet version) after he gets involved in a “false memory syndrome” suicide case. Barry goes back and saves his daughter from being struck by a hit and run driver and gets to see his daughter grow up. Sounds great, right? It is, until they reach the day Barry was sent back and now his family, coworkers, and so many others have false memories of a life where his daughter died.

Barry and Helena meet up (its complicated) and are trying to fix the damage being done to the world. This is where the action really gets kicked up to eleven and MAN, OH MAN IS IT GOOD. Living dozens of lives, research, nuclear holocaust, and dying over and over again. Geez.

Recursion was a heck of a thriller and I desperately want it to become a movie or TV show because Crouch’s books are written for screen! The audiobook was excellent and if you’re anything like me, it keeps you from skipping ahead or speed reading through the crazy parts and missing things.

Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell – Review

Cover- Queenslayer

Published: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Orbit Books

Series: Spellslinger #5

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 496 (Paperback)

My Rating: 3.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

A failed mage learns that just because he’s not the chosen one it doesn’t mean he can’t be a hero in the fifth book of an adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.
Kellen Argos is an outlaw spellslinger with a bad reputation, a long list of enemies, and zero luck. When he accidently smears blood on the Daroman flag, he’s dragged before the queen to be executed for his act of treason.
Face-to-face with the young monarch, Kellen is offered a chance to save himself. If he can defeat the queen at a game of cards, he’ll walk free…if not, his life is forfeit. But what begins as a game reveals a conspiracy against the queen’s life. And now, Kellen is not only playing for his own freedom, but also for the future of an empire.


The Spellslinger series has continued to be a great source of entertainment throughout the entire run of the series thus far. I will admit that I’m beginning to tire of some of the characters’ antics and flaws. Not actually sure any development is going on, but it could be argued that the characters are retaining their delightful sense of self while maturing in more subtle ways.

I did enjoy Queenslayer, but the books are becoming somewhat repetitive. Kellen and Reichis almost get killed someone, whether it be by Jan’Tep or people who hate those with the Shadowblack. Shalla shows up and tempts Kellen with the thought of returning home and he spits in her eye (figuratively). Reichis eats his enemies eyes, ears, etc (literally). Kellen somehow, despite his flaws and poor choices, ends up making things sort of okay in the end while he slinks off into the sunset with Reichis chowing down on buttered biscuits. The new characters just didn’t grab me the way others in previous books have. I’m definitely missing Ferius, as she was the only thing keeping Kellen from being a total dill weed.

I’m definitely getting some series fatigue so hopefully the months until the release of Crownbreaker will provide ample time for me to recover. I do look forward to seeing how this whole adventure will wrap up and if Kellen will in fact live or become the shadowblack monster he has long feared he would become.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Review

Cover- Sorcery of Thorns

Published: June 4, 2019

Publisher: McElderry Books

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Pages: 456 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Synopsis:

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.