Review ★ Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns Book Review

Sorcery of Thorns By Margaret Rogerson NY Times Best Selling Author of An Enchantment of Ravens

Sorcery of Thorns 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.

Review Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


Minor Spoilers

Night fell as death rode into the Great Library of Summershall.

It arrived within a carriage.

Are you hooked? Because I was. Sorcery of Thorns was stellar.  I gasped, I laughed out loud – If I was a crier, I’m sure I would have done that too.  Margaret Rogerson killed it with this stand-alone novel. Five months into the year & it is the best stand-alone I have read so far. The descriptions are dark, romantic and gritty. Rogerson gets right to the heart, horror and beauty of the magical world she creates. Invoking almost every emotion available with her words.

Sorcery of Thorns is told from the point of view of the exceptionally unordinary Elizabeth Scrivener. The first and only true child of the Great Libraries of Austermeer. Housing powerful and ancient magical artifacts, these libraries have become something more. Elizabeth has become something more. She dreams of the day she will become a warden. But at sixteen, Elizabeth’s dreams are shattered when she is accused of murdering her mentor and destroying The Book of Eyes, a powerful grimoire.

Elizabeth led a sheltered life and was unprepared for existence outside of the Great Library of Summershall. Grieving for everything she had ever known, scared and forced to question everything she ever knew. The amount of growth she goes through on her journey is remarkable.

Enter Nathaniel and Silas. A Sorcerer and his Demon.

In the wake of Elizabeth’s crimes, Nathaniel Thorn is the sorcerer charged with transporting her to the capitol. I loved his poor, lost, damaged soul. Left alone at age twelve with the demon Silas, Nathaniel is haunted by his family’s tragic history. Rogerson slowly reveals the history of Silas and Nathaniel brilliantly. Both characters growing in the process as they reluctantly help Elizabeth.

Silas is without a doubt my favourite character in Sorcery of Thorns. I wanted to be that little highborn demon’s friend something awful. I loved everything about him. Rogerson reminds us throughout the story that Silas is a monster of the Otherworld. My poor heart was viciously ripped out of my chest because I went and fell in love with him anyway.

Monsters can love & unholy demonic unicorns that monster loves Nathaniel. He loves Elizabeth.

The plot comes at you in waves of action and mystery. Little ripples at first, slow and steady. Until it drowns you. Even with the bitter after-taste of the battle of The Chronicles of the Dead, nothing else will matter, just the sweet taste of Sorcery of Thorns.


Quotes from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


Consciousness that did not slumber, minds that did not dream

Eyes of every color, bloodstained and rolling, the pupils dilating and contracting to pinpricks as the grimoire convulsed in the Director’s hands

“I am an ancient thing, you see.  I have brought about the fall of empires and attended the deathbeds of kings.  Nations now lost to time once fought wars over the secret of my true name”

But I only turn girls into salamanders on Tuesdays.  Luckily for you, It’s a Wednesday, which is the day I drink a goblet of orphan’s blood for supper.

As the fiend came fully into view, ribs strained against its starved-looking sides.  Vertebrae bulged from its spine like knuckles.  It resembled a huge gaunt hound that had been skinned and armored in scales.

She knew she shouldn’t be this relieved to see Silas-That he was evil, a murderer, a warden’s worst enemy.  But he didn’t pretend to be anything other than a monster.  In that way, he was more honourable than most of the people she had met since leaving Summershall.

It loomed above the surrounding squalor and misery like something out of a nightmare.  She knew instinctively that it was a place of suffering, not healing.  A place where unwanted people, like her, were made to disappear.

“Something is happening,” he interrupted. “Something of consequence.  I sense it in the fabric between worlds, rippling outward, casting its influence far in every direction, and Miss Scrivener has stood in its way like a stone. Her life is unlike any other that I have seen. Even marked by shadow, it burns so fiercely that it is blinding. But she isn’t invincible, master. No human is.  If you don’t help her, this threat will eventually claim her.”

The walls were weeping blood.

The highborn demons hold their glittering court beneath a sunless sky.  Once every fortnight they ride forth on horned white horses, clad in silks, to hunt beasts in the forests of the Otherworld with packs of baying fiends at their sides.  The sound of a demonic hunting horn is not soon forgotten; for it is so beautiful, and so terrible, that it freezes the quarry of the hunt in place as if the prey has turned to stone…

When terrible things have happened to you, sometimes the promise of something good can be just as frightening.

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