Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns

by Margaret Rogerson

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Overview

“If you are looking for magic you will find it inside this book. Sorcery of Thorns is a bewitching gem, full of slow burning romance, loyal friendships, and extraordinary world building. I absolutely loved every moment of this story.” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series

From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an imaginative fantasy about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481497633
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 6,665
Lexile: HL820L (what's this?)
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.

Read an Excerpt

Sorcery of Thorns




  • NIGHT FELL AS death rode into the Great Library of Summershall. It arrived within a carriage. Elisabeth stood in the courtyard and watched the horses thunder wild-eyed through the gates, throwing froth from their mouths. High above, the last of the sunset blazed on the Great Library’s tower windows, as if the rooms inside had been set on fire—but the light retreated swiftly, shrinking upward, drawing long fingers of shadow from the angels and gargoyles who guarded the library’s rain-streaked parapets.

    A gilt insignia shone upon the carriage’s side as it rattled to a halt: a crossed quill and key, the symbol of the Collegium. Iron bars transformed the rear of the carriage into a prison cell. Though the night was cool, sweat slicked Elisabeth’s palms.

    “Scrivener,” said the woman beside her. “Do you have your salt? Your gloves?”

    Elisabeth patted the leather straps that crisscrossed her chest, feeling for the pouches they held, the canister of salt that hung at her hip. “Yes, Director.” All she was missing was a sword. But she wouldn’t earn that until she became a warden, after years of training at the Collegium. Few librarians made it that far. They either gave up, or they died.

    “Good.” The Director paused. She was a remote, elegant woman with ice-pale features and hair as red as flame. A scar ran from her left temple all the way to her jaw, puckering her cheek and pulling one corner of her mouth permanently to the side. Like Elisabeth, she wore leather straps over her chest, but she had on a warden’s uniform beneath them instead of an apprentice’s robes. Lamplight glinted off the brass buttons on her dark blue coat and shone from her polished boots. The sword belted at her side was slender and tapered, with garnets glittering on its pommel.

    That sword was famous at Summershall. It was named Demonslayer, and the Director had used it to battle a Malefict when she was only nineteen years old. That was where she had gotten the scar, which was rumored to cause her excruciating agony whenever she spoke. Elisabeth doubted the accuracy of those rumors, but it was true that the Director chose her words carefully, and certainly never smiled.

    “Remember,” the Director went on at last, “if you hear a voice in your mind once we reach the vault, do not listen to what it says. This is a Class Eight, centuries old, and not to be trifled with. Since its creation, it has driven dozens of people mad. Are you ready?”

    Elisabeth swallowed. The knot in her throat prevented her from answering. She could hardly believe the Director was speaking to her, much less that she had summoned her to help transport a delivery to the vault. Ordinarily such a responsibility fell far above the rank of apprentice librarian. Hope ricocheted through her like a bird trapped within a house, taking flight, falling, and taking flight again, exhausting itself for the promise of open skies far away. Terror flickered after it like a shadow.

    She’s giving me a chance to prove that I’m worth training as a warden, she thought. If I fail, I will die. Then at least I’ll have a use. They can bury me in the garden to feed the radishes.

    Wiping her sweaty palms on the sides of her robes, she nodded.

    The Director set off across the courtyard, and Elisabeth followed. Gravel crunched beneath their heels. A foul stench clotted the air as they drew nearer, like waterlogged leather left to rot on the seashore. Elisabeth had grown up in the Great Library, surrounded by the ink-and-parchment smell of magical tomes, but this was far from what she was used to. The stench stung her eyes and stippled her arms with goose bumps. It was even making the horses nervous. They shied in their traces, scattering gravel as they ignored the driver’s attempts to calm them down. In a way she envied them, for at least they didn’t know what had ridden behind them all the way from the capital.

    A pair of wardens leaped down from the front of the carriage, their hands planted on the hilts of their swords. Elisabeth forced herself not to shrink back when they glowered at her. Instead she straightened her spine and lifted her chin, endeavoring to match their stony expressions. She might never earn a blade, but at least she could appear brave enough to wield one.

    The Director’s key ring rattled, and the carriage’s rear doors swung open with a shuddering groan. At first, in the gloom, the iron-lined cell appeared empty. Then Elisabeth made out an object on the floor: a flat, square, iron coffer, secured with more than a dozen locks. To a layperson, the precautions would have appeared absurd—but not for long. In the twilit silence, a single, reverberating thud issued from within the coffer, powerful enough to shake the carriage and rattle the doors on their hinges. One of the horses screamed.

    “Quickly,” the Director said. She took one of the coffer’s handles, and Elisabeth seized the other. They hefted its weight between them and proceeded toward a door with an inscription carved atop it, the arching scroll clasped on either side by weeping angels. OFFICIUM ADUSQUE MORTEM, it read dimly, nearly obscured by shadow. The warden’s motto. Duty unto death.

    They entered a long stone corridor burnished by the jumping light of torches. The coffer’s leaden weight already strained Elisabeth’s arm. It did not move again, but its stillness failed to reassure her, for she suspected what it meant: the book within was listening. It was waiting.

    Another warden stood guard beside the entrance to the vault. When he saw Elisabeth at the Director’s side, his small eyes gleamed with loathing. This was Warden Finch. He was a grizzled man with short gray hair and a puffy face into which his features seemed to recede, like raisins in a bread pudding. Among the apprentices, he was infamous for the fact that his right hand was larger than the other, bulging with muscle, because he exercised it so often whipping them.

    She squeezed the coffer’s handle until her knuckles turned white, instinctively bracing herself for a blow, but Finch could do nothing to her in front of the Director. Muttering beneath his breath, he heaved on a chain. Inch by inch, the portcullis rose, lifting its sharp black teeth above their heads. Elisabeth stepped forward.

    And the coffer lurched.

    “Steady,” the Director snapped, as both of them careened against the stone wall, barely keeping their balance. Elisabeth’s stomach swooped. Her boot hung over the edge of a spiral stair that twisted vertiginously down into darkness.

    The horrible truth dawned on her. The grimoire had wanted them to fall. She imagined the coffer tumbling down the stairs, striking the flagstones at the bottom, bursting open—and it would have been her fault—

    The Director’s hand clasped her shoulder. “It’s all right, Scrivener. Nothing’s happened. Grip the rail and keep going.”

    With an effort, Elisabeth turned away from Finch’s condemning scowl. Down they went. A subterranean chill wafted up from below, smelling of cold rock and mildew, and of something less natural. The stone itself bled the malice of ancient things that had languished in darkness for centuries—consciousnesses that did not slumber, minds that did not dream. Muffled by thousands of pounds of earth, the silence was such that she heard only her own pulse pounding in her ears.

    She had spent her childhood exploring the Great Library’s myriad nooks and crannies, prying into its countless mysteries, but she had never been inside the vault. Its presence had lurked beneath the library her entire life like something unspeakable hiding under the bed.

    This is my chance, she reminded herself. She could not be afraid.

    They emerged into a chamber that resembled a cathedral’s crypt. The walls, ceiling, and floor were all carved from the same gray stone. The ribbed pillars and vaulted ceilings had been crafted with artistry, even reverence. Statues of angels stood in niches along the walls, candles guttering at their feet. With sorrowful, shadowed eyes, they watched over the rows of iron shelves that formed aisles down the center of the vault. Unlike the bookcases in the upper portions of the library, these were welded in place. Chains secured the locked coffers, which slid between the shelves like drawers.

    Elisabeth assured herself that it was her imagination conjuring up whispers from the coffers as they passed. A thick layer of dust coated the chains. Most of the coffers hadn’t been disturbed in decades, and their inhabitants remained fast asleep. Yet the back of her neck still prickled as though she were being watched.

    The Director guided her beyond the shelves, toward a cell with a table bolted to the floor at the center. A single oil lamp cast a jaundiced glow across its ink-stained surface. The coffer remained unsettlingly cooperative as they set it down beside four enormous gashes, like giant claw marks, that scarred the table’s wood. Elisabeth’s eyes darted to the gashes again and again. She knew what had made them. What happened when a grimoire got out of control.

    Malefict.

    “What precaution do we take first?” the Director asked, jolting Elisabeth from her thoughts. The test had begun.

    “Salt,” she answered, reaching for the canister at her hip. “Like iron, salt weakens demonic energies.” Her hand trembled slightly as she shook out the crystals, forming a lopsided circle. Shame flushed her cheeks at the sight of its uneven edges. What if she wasn’t ready, after all?

    The barest hint of warmth softened the Director’s severe face. “Do you know why I chose to keep you, Elisabeth?”

    Elisabeth froze, the breath trapped in her chest. The Director had never addressed her by her given name—only her last name, Scrivener, or sometimes just “apprentice,” depending on how much trouble she was in, which was often a fantastic amount. “No, Director,” she said.

    “Hmm. It was storming, I recall. The grimoires were restless that night. They were making so much noise that I barely heard the knock on the front doors.” Elisabeth could easily picture the scene. Rain lashing against the windows, the tomes howling and sobbing and rattling beneath their restraints. “When I found you on the steps, and picked you up and brought you inside, I was certain you would cry. Instead, you looked around and began to laugh. You were not afraid. At that moment I knew I couldn’t send you away to an orphanage. You belonged in the library, as much as any book.”

    Elisabeth had been told the story before, but only by her tutor, never the Director herself. Two words echoed through her mind with the vitality of a heartbeat: you belonged. They were words that she had waited sixteen years to hear, and desperately hoped were true.

    In breathless silence, she watched the Director reach for her keys and select the largest one, ancient enough to have rusted almost beyond recognition. It was clear that for the Director, the time for sentiment had passed. Elisabeth contented herself with repeating the unspoken vow she had held close for nearly as long as she could remember. One day, she would become a warden, too. She would make the Director proud.

    Salt cascaded onto the table as the coffer’s lid creaked open. A stench of rotting leather rolled across the vault, so potent that she almost gagged.

    A grimoire lay inside. It was a thick volume with disheveled, yellowing pages sandwiched between slabs of greasy black leather. It would have looked fairly ordinary, if not for the bulbous protrusions that bulged from the cover. They resembled giant warts, or bubbles on the surface of a pool of tar. Each was the size of a large marble, and there were dozens altogether, deforming nearly every inch of the leather’s surface.

    The Director pulled on a heavy pair of iron-lined gloves. Elisabeth hastened to follow her example. She bit the inside of her cheek as the Director lifted the book from the coffer and placed it within the circle of salt.

    The instant the Director set it down, the protrusions split open. They weren’t warts—they were eyes. Eyes of every color, bloodstained and rolling, the pupils dilating and contracting to pinpricks as the grimoire convulsed in the Director’s hands. Gritting her teeth, she forced it open. Automatically, Elisabeth reached into the circle and clamped down the other side, feeling the leather twitch and heave through her gloves. Furious. Alive.

    Those eyes were not sorcerous conjurations. They were real, plucked from human skulls long ago, sacrificed to create a volume powerful enough to contain the spells etched across its pages. According to history, most sacrifices had not been willing.

    “The Book of Eyes,” the Director said, perfectly calm. “It contains spells that allow sorcerers to reach into the minds of others, read their thoughts, and even control their actions. Fortunately, only a handful of sorcerers in the entire kingdom have ever been granted permission to read it.”

    “Why would they want to?” Elisabeth burst out, before she could stop herself. The answer was obvious. Sorcerers were evil by nature, corrupted by the demonic magic they wielded. If it weren’t for the Reforms, which had made it illegal for sorcerers to bind books with human parts, grimoires like the Book of Eyes wouldn’t be so exceptionally rare. No doubt sorcerers had attempted to replicate it over the years, but the spells couldn’t be written down using ordinary materials. The sorcery’s power would instantly reduce the ink and parchment to ashes.

    To her surprise, the Director took her question seriously, though she was no longer looking at Elisabeth. Instead she focused on turning the pages, inspecting them for any damage they might have sustained during the journey. “There may come a time when spells like these are necessary, no matter how foul. We have a great responsibility to our kingdom, Scrivener. If this grimoire were destroyed, its spells would be lost forever. It’s the only one of its kind.”

    “Yes, Director.” That, she understood. Wardens both protected grimoires from the world, and protected the world from them.

    She braced herself as the Director paused, leaning down to examine a stain on one of the pages. Transferring high-class grimoires came at a risk, since any accidental damage could provoke their transformation into a Malefict. They needed to be inspected carefully before their interment in the vault. Elisabeth felt certain that several of the eyes, peering out from beneath the cover, were aimed directly at her—and that they glittered with cunning.

    Somehow, she knew she shouldn’t meet their gaze. Hoping to distract herself, she glanced aside to the pages. Some of the sentences were written in Austermeerish or the Old Tongue. But others were scrawled in Enochian, the language of sorcerers, made up of strange, jagged runes that shimmered on the parchment like smoldering embers. It was a language one could only learn by consorting with demons. Merely looking at the runes made her temples throb.

    “Apprentice . . .”

    The whisper slithered against her mind, as alien and unexpected as the cold, slimy touch of a fish beneath the water of a pond. Elisabeth jerked and looked up. If the Director heard the voice, too, she showed no sign.

    “Apprentice, I see you. . . .”

    Elisabeth’s breath caught. She did as the Director had instructed and tried to ignore the voice, but it was impossible to concentrate on anything else with so many eyes watching her, agleam with sinister intelligence.

    “Look at me . . . look . . .”

    Slowly but surely, as if drawn by an invisible force, Elisabeth’s gaze began to travel downward.

    “There,” said the Director. Her voice sounded dim and distorted, like she was speaking from underwater. “We are finished. Scrivener?”

    When Elisabeth didn’t answer, the Director slammed the grimoire shut, cutting its voice off midwhisper. Elisabeth’s senses rushed back. She sucked in a breath, her face burning with humiliation. The eyes bulged furiously, darting between her and the Director.

    “Well done,” the Director said. “You held out much longer than I expected.”

    “It almost had me,” Elisabeth whispered. How could the Director congratulate her? A clammy sweat clung to her skin, and in the vault’s chill, she began to shiver.

    “Yes. That was what I wished to show you tonight. You have a way with grimoires, an affinity for them that I have never seen in an apprentice before. But despite that, you still have much to learn. You want to become a warden, do you not?”

    Spoken in front of the Director, witnessed by the angel statues lining the walls, Elisabeth’s soft reply possessed the quality of a confession. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

    “Just remember that there are many paths open to you.” The scar’s distortion gave the Director’s mouth an almost rueful cast. “Be certain, before you choose, that the life of a warden is what you truly desire.”

    Elisabeth nodded, not trusting herself to speak. If she had passed the test, she didn’t understand why the Director would advise her to consider forsaking her dream. Perhaps she had shown herself in some other way to be unready, unprepared. In that case, she would simply have to try harder. She had a year left before she turned seventeen and became eligible for training at the Collegium—time she could use to prove herself beyond a doubt, and earn the Director’s approval. She only hoped it would be enough.

    Together, they wrestled the grimoire back into the coffer. As soon as it touched the salt, it ceased struggling. The eyes rolled upward, showing crescents of milky white before they sagged shut. The slam of the lid shattered the vault’s sepulchral quiet. The coffer wouldn’t be opened again for years, perhaps decades. It was secure. It posed a threat no longer.

    But she couldn’t banish the sound of its voice from her thoughts, or the feeling that she hadn’t seen the last of the Book of Eyes—and it had not seen the last of her.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Sorcery of Thorns 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
    magicalreads7 7 months ago
    After getting some sleep, I'm honestly still processing Sorcery of Thorns. I just loved it so much; it was very stereotypical of the books I love, but hey I'm not complaining. Sorcery of Thorns is a book that will bewitch you from start to finish. Firstly, I just have to say that I adore the characters. Elisabeth, a 6'3 librarian, who does things to be contrary? My kind of gal. Nathaniel is the witty sorcerer who gave me Howl vibes. Silas is his demon servant, and he has to do all the tedious things for him, such as tying his cravat a certain way so it doesn't seem like Nathaniel is propositioning young ladies. I loved the plot. I find that a lot of books now that try to be meta about loving books come off more as cheesy than anything, but I think Sorcery managed to sidestep that completely. I will say that the pacing was a little off because so many of the climactic events occur in the last ten percent; however, I still loved the rest of the book, so I didn't notice it as much while reading. The romance, again, was just the typical thing for me to love; Nathaniel falling in love with Elisabeth because she intrigues him? A dashing sarcastic sorcerer? Whose remarks evoked Will Herondale and Howl? I fell in love with him, honestly. I'm also very glad that this book wasn't another "immortal falls in love with a mortal eons younger than him" because I've never been too into that trope. What shines in Sorcery, in my opinion, is the writing. One of the blurbs compare Margaret Rogerson to Dianna Wynne Jones, and I totally understand. I found that this book similar to Howl's Moving Castle, in the world building (the sorcerers being part of a world with a monarchy that's at war), the romance (falling in love with the main character because she's contrary and stubborn), and some of the relationships (the demon and sorcerer agreement . . . and their unexpected bond). Other than all of this, I found Rogerson's prose to be reminiscent of Jones's, a sort of wonderfully meandering tone that's delightful and lighthearted. That's perhaps what this book does so well and why I found this book to be similar to Jones's Howl's Moving Castle. It doesn't take itself too seriously; yes, it has aspects that were typical of a 2012/2013 YA fantasy (obsession with books; sarcastic and extremely attractive love interest; "strong" female protagonist; all things that we were all obsessing over 6-7 years ago), but it doesn't try too hard to get you to believe that these elements are part of the world. This is in line with what I talked about the books thing earlier as well as Nathaniel's sense of humor. It's camp, baby! Sorcery of Thorns is just overall so fun, even while dealing with intense events. Its lightness is so refreshing among all of the dark, serious fantasies in YA today. I think that, now, people try to make fantasy seem as if it can only be grimdark to be good, but that's simply not true. Give me the funny, lighthearted fantasies all day every day (side note: read Poison by Bridget Zinn! Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones!). I just genuinely loved this book so much. The romance is adorable, the characters incredibly developed, and the writing so lovely. If you want more of a fun fantasy, then I completely recommend this book. Sorcery of Thorns will ensorcell you from the very first page; be sure to give into the demonic temptations.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    A great different kind of story! Libraries, wizards, and books that are alive... what more could a bookworm ask for! Lots of excitement and suspense! Throw in some romance too. I loved the plot, and the beautiful descriptions of all the libraries! That ending though!! I’m hoping this is the beginning of a great series and not just a stand alone!!
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    Loved the book and the character development! The story was so good and I never want it to end!
    Devinkye00 6 days ago
    From page 1, I was completely hooked into the story. I mean, realistically, I was hooked from the synopsis. You had me at magic library. I loved the idea of having magic books (grimoires), and a elite group of librarians who are sworn to protect them. Seriously, just a fantastic idea for a story. I will admit, that the entire time I read this book, I pictured both Nathaniel and Silas as Ciel and Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) [Sebastian = Nathaniel, Silas = Ciel]. And it definitely worked for me, I mean, they're both demon butlers essentially However, the entire last half of the story completely sucked me in. I stayed up extremely late one night in order to finish reading it, and I just really loved all of the characters and the twists and turns that the plot took. I never really knew how it would end until it did, which was a perfect way to end it if you ask me. If you enjoy just a really fun fantasy that has bad-ass demon servants, magic libraries with crazy living books (think of the books in Harry potter, the one's with teeth!), and swoony romance, then please do yourself a favor and purchase this book from your local indie or add to your TBR! Teacher friends, this is definitely one you'll want on your classroom bookshelves! I cannot wait to see what Rogerson will bring to the table for her next book as she has just become an auto-buy author (Joining Victoria Schwab, Kristen Ciccarelli, and Tricia Levenseller among many others!), I'm sure whatever it is will be just as fantastic! Thanks again to Simon and Schuster & Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for my honesty!
    Stacy_Renee 21 days ago
    Sixteen-year-old Elisabeth Scrivener was raised in one of the Great Libraries where the most powerful grimoires are kept under lock and key. She desires to work her hardest and become a warden and protect the realm someday, but her chance is cut short when she wakes mysteriously one night to find a most terrible grimoire has escaped and killed her library's Director. Soon after, she is blamed with the death and carried off to await her judgment. She soon uncovers a plot against her life and her world while the only person who seems to care enough to help her is the Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer. This was a fantastic fantasy with mystery, danger, and a hint of romance as well! It has sorcery and demons and magic libraries and grimoires that come to life and transform into monsters. All the Harry Potter vs Shadow and Bone vibes! The main character, Elisabeth, has grown up around the magical books in the Great Libraries listening to them sing and cry and wail. As a fellow bookworm, I was endeared to her and the setting right away. Elisabeth showed herself to be loyal, fierce, and pretty badass with a sword, making her a character I won't forget soon. There was a bit of a Pride and Prejudice element to the romance since Elisabeth had been taught to view sorcery as evil and originally thinks Nathaniel Thorn is cruel, but she unlearns her prejudices and begins to see him differently. It was a nice slow-burn romance nicely woven into a wonderful fantasy plot.
    TBRandBeyond 3 months ago
    Eek! I took shamefully long to read this book because not only did one of my good friend Samm (I love her) score the physical arc for me, but it was one of my top three most anticipated this year. I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed! Margaret’s debut novel, Enchantment of Ravens, was really polarizing for many. You either loved it or were really unimpressed. I personally adored it and thought it read like a beautiful, sweet fairy tale. Sorcery of Thorns has an entirely different feel and if you weren’t a huge fan of her first – don’t worry. I have seen so many people who weren’t a fan of her first book, give this book five stars and so much praise. This book is honestly a reader’s dream – it’s literally all about books and protecting them with your life. The story starts in a library with our main character, Elisabeth is studying to become a Warden – which is someone who basically gives up their lives in order to protect the grimoires (books) that live inside the library. You might be thinking this is because they don’t want people using the magic inside, I mean that is the trope we see so often – but no. It’s protecting everyone from the actual grimoires. All the books have very distinct personalities and abilities. Some are incredibly dangerous and must be kept safe – the only people who are meant to use these are sorcerers. If the books get out of hand they can actually transform into a kind of creature that is a whole other level of scary. Elisabeth has lived at the library her entire life, it’s a part of her but most people see her as an odd bird and steer clear of her. Her mentor has a soft spot for her though. The story really gets off its feet when one of the higher-level books is transformed into a creature and kills her mentor and Elisabeth is blamed for her murder. Enter Nathaniel and Silas. Nathanial comes to get Elisabeth to escort her to her trial, but a lot of crazy stuff happens in between the library and the courthouse and the adventure takes quite a turn and adventure ensues. I really love the chemistry between Elisabeth and Nathanial – it’s slow-burning and I swoon a little whenever he calls her a “menace” – yes that hate to love trope is going strong here and we get some amazing banter back and forth between these two. I completely ship this relationship and it felt so authentic and just natural. Love everything about it – pacing on point. We also have Silas – who is Nathanial’s servant, who just happens to be a demon that gives him his magic in return for twenty years of his life. Silas is the star in this book for me, he is the heart of the story and I can’t even express my love for this demon. He’s not just a wise-cracking, little side-kick – he’s caring and intelligent and just wonderful. Honestly, I’d be tempted to trade twenty years to have a Silas in my life too. I don’t want to say much more about him because his story is such a treat to watch unfold. Overall this story is quite a dark fantasy with a very strong and capable female lead. The villain is horrible – he feels a little too real and will give you some scary political vibes – current. The stuff he is dabbling in no joke – chills just thinking about it. Sorcery of Thorns is a stand-alone and there will not be a sequel. I’m happy about that because I think it ended perfectly. It made me cry and then it made me smile – I’m good with it. However, Margaret has hinted that there may be a companion novel someday – maybe even
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Can understand why so many people are into this as it's a cool premise, but there is little world building, zero character development and nothing really driving the plot forward.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    This book took me through an emotional journey till the very last words. I have never encountered a book storyline like this one before, it is quite unique. I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy major plot twists, character development, and a storyline you’ll never forget.
    Anonymous 6 months ago
    *
    Anonymous 7 months ago
    Loved this from beginning to end! It had me hooked.
    Bookyogi 8 months ago
    4.5 stars. This is the second book for Margaret Rogerson and the second I have loved. Her characters are always whimsical, fun and quirky. I find myself falling in love with even and especially the most morally grey characters, who never pull off being too bad because they are so good. Between the fierce Elisabeth and the grimoires (books that become monsters!) and the wickedly funny sorcerer, Nathaniel Thorne, oh and wait, the quiet, gentlemanly and evil demon/servant Silas, there is no point I do not feel utterly entertained, from page 1 to the end.
    JillJemmett 8 months ago
    I loved that this fantasy story was set in libraries. These libraries weren’t like the ones in our world. They were full of grimoires that could do things, such as speak. However, they could also turn into “maleficts” which were dangerous creatures. It made the library a potentially terrifying place. I was glad that this story is a standalone. So many fantasy books turn into long series, so it is nice to have the complete story in one book. I didn’t feel as much of a connection to Elisabeth as I wished I did. If her origins were described, I could have related to her more. All that we know is that she was an orphan and didn’t know who her parents were. I think her mysterious parentage could have created a great plot twist. There was an interesting relationship between a sorcerer and a demon, which was great to read. They became more like family than master and servant. This was a great fantasy story! Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    marongm8 8 months ago
    Wow, what a great find and a great read. I absolutely loved the concept of this book and the fact that a LIBRARY was dependent on the major climax of the story just made me even happier. The execution of the concept was brilliantly done and it made every chapter, page, word, and context all the more exciting. The characters were very unique to the story especially Elisabeth just from the spelling of her name. This book is filled with magic and fantasy that will immediately transport you into their world and you'll feel like you are not only rooting for the characters but actually part of the story. I know for a fact that this book will be very popular not just with our YA readers but with our Adult readers as well. We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
    book_junkee 8 months ago
    I loved An Enchantment of Ravens so much that I was basically here just for Margaret’s name on the book. The promise of magical books in a library was just an added bonus. I loved Elisabeth. She’s smart and maybe a little uncertain, but she leaps before she looks and I loved being in her head. Nathaniel was all hard crunchy shell with a marshmallow center and he deals with some serious trauma by being prickly and adorable. And I don’t have words for Silas. I loved the juxtaposition of a demon servant and everything that it means. Plot wise, I did struggle a bit in the beginning. There was a good portion of world building and of course a lot of new words and phrases to go along with the magic system. Once the mystery started unfolding and I settled into the story, I couldn’t get enough. It’s the slowest of slow burns, but as usual, I’m here for the longing filled glances across the room. Overall, this is a unique story and I was captivated from the very beginning. I will say the ending is equal parts maddening and insanely satisfying. I would have liked even just one more paragraph. **Huge thanks to Margaret K McElderry for providing the arc free of charge**
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    great+book...+loved+every+second+of+it++
    ShesGoingBookCrazy 9 months ago
    I received an ARC of this book via Netgcalley from Margaret K. McElderry Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating and review. Content Warning: Death, Summoning If there were ever a book to warm a book lover’s heart, Sorcery of Thorns would certainly be one to do so! Do you like a book about books? Well, look no further. Not only is Sorcery of Thorns brimming with magic, sorcery, demons, and the like, but books--grimoires to be specific--take front and center. Elisabeth Scrivener (an ironic name, no less), was raised in the great library. Having been taken in as a orphan, she grew more accustomed to books than people. What I noticed shortly into this read was that, while Elisabeth always remains front and center, the weight shifts from her to another character. This shift takes place about halfway through the story, and gives a sort of disjointed feel in the story’s arc. I did like, however, that the story wasn’t all about the main character. It felt similar to how Brienna in The Queen’s Rising and it’s sequel is stationed. Besides Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas are the other more prominent characters found in the story. Nathaniel, a sorcerer, and Silas his...aid...become entangled with Elisabeth when a grimoire is disturbed and breaks free from the library, wreaking havoc. Elisabeth, sworn to protect the world from these monstrous books, sets out to stop the creature, but is blamed for the entire incident. This leads to an investigation of the library, and in turn, uncovers a deadly plot that a powerful figure has in mind. In order to stop more bad from happening, Elisabeth begins to question what she has grown up knowing, and if this knowledge is actually the truth. This story represents how we may grow up knowing one thing, but that doesn’t exactly make it true or the right thing. Furthermore, the idea that something is only black or white, good or evil, is challenged and dissected. This, in particular, is represented by (my favorite aspect of this entire book) Silas’ character. He’s complex, mysterious, and allegorical. Beautifully written, his character brings about its own unexpected difficulties with his upfrontness and honesty. While the reader is told he is one way, one hopes that he’ll magically change his nature. But he can’t. What I thought was so interesting, and applaud-worthy, was how Rogerson wove so many ideas into one. I like how she kept many typical ideas about demons (i.e. they are bad, their service requires a grave cost, they aren’t human, etc.) and used it to further the complexity of her story. Despite the majority of what I liked, two things stood out to me that caused issue. First is the world-building. While there were some details given, there could, and should have been so much more included in the setting. I felt that I could figure out where I located, but the surroundings were murky and not instrumental in any way. Secondly, that odd shift halfway through the book that I mentioned earlier simply didn’t sit well with me. I believe it is because the plot progression also slows quite a bit at this point, and makes the read disjointed. Even with these issues, however, I really enjoyed this story. The characters, the topics, and how they all interacted was engaging, and very enjoyable. Vulgarity: None. Sexual content: Kissing only. Violence: Moderate, but with minimal gore. My Rating: ★★★★
    NovelKnight 9 months ago
    Where do I even BEGIN with Sorcery of Thorns? I went into this book knowing I'd love it just based on the author's debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens (which was fabulous), and combine that with a book about magical BOOKS?! Of course it's going to be great, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. I think what won me over was Elisabeth. She's a book lover, at home in a library (even if these libraries are filled with books that have personalities of their own), and knows who she is. Everything about her character made me want to like her, to wish her success in whatever she did, to watch her fail and get right back up again. Rogerson knows how to write characters I can't resist. It's true! Because not only was Elisabeth amazing, so were her companions. There's Katrien, her mischievous fellow library apprentice who, while a secondary player, was full of life. Nathaniel, the sorcerer who acts like a Slytherin but's really a Hufflepuff (all while also being majorly swoon-worthy?? what sorcery is this?! and no I couldn't resist). And finally, his demon Silas who reminds me of the grumpy cat who wants a hug DEEP deep down. I love every single one of them so much. Which made the ending all the harder because there was no holding back with this story! The world-building grabbed my attention but the characters kept it. Speaking of, I loved the world of Sorcery of Thorns. It's fairly contained. While the book spaces a kingdom, the actual story focuses in on a few locations so I didn't feel like I was bouncing all over the place. It put a stronger focus on the story which was perfectly fine with me! Especially since the book's pacing was just right. Not so fast that it felt rushed, and not too slow that it dragged on and on. Honestly, this book just made me happy. Even though it was quite the epic fantasy ride, I wanted to keep reading. To devour it as I imagine Elisabeth would one of the friendlier grimoires. Every time I had to set it aside (not by choice, mind you) I felt a loss for the characters and their journey. I didn't have the closure of the ending. Which, on that note, this book does end in a satisfying way while also remaining open-ended enough that the author could return to this world if she wanted (I can hope, right?). My only complaint about this book is that there isn't another one! Which I suppose isn't the worst problem to have. Margaret Rogerson has firmly rooted herself in my list of auto-buy authors and I will buy anything she writes at this point. I've seen a lot of hype over Sorcery of Thorns and it is entirely warranted and then some. While reading, it reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle meets A Shadow Bright and Burning, with something else completely its own thrown in the mix. If you like either of those books, or simply love YA fantasy, definitely add this book to your shelves!
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    I thoroughly liked this book and rated it as a 4-Star read. It's quite good for someone who is just getting into the YA Genre, moreso story driven than romance driven. I loved the magic system, really enjoyed the world and the characters are quite witty. You also see the growth of our main character, Elisabath, who begins with thinking one way but as the story progresses her thinking changes and evolves. Although I'm more into books that are more romance driven, it was still a good read. Can't wait for the next one!
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    I thoroughly liked this book and rated it as a 4-Star read. It's quite good for someone who is just getting into the YA Genre, moreso story driven than romance driven. I loved the magic system, really enjoyed the world and the characters are quite witty. You also see the growth of our main character, Elisabath, who begins with thinking one way but as the story progresses her thinking changes and evolves. Although I'm more into books that are more romance driven, it was still a good read. Can't wait for the next one!