Author: Margaret Rogerson
Narrator: Emily Ellet
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 20 minutes
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.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, and Elisabeth is implicated in the crime. 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.
After greatly enjoying An Enchantment of Ravens and before starting Vespertine, I decided to try Sorcery of Thorns, as many people seem to love it a lot. The story follows Elisabeth, who was left on the front steps of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. The kingdom of Austermeer is known for its six Great Libraries, which house grimoires, to protect those that might harm them and to protect others from the grimoires. This setting immediately drew me in, as the books within the library, including the grimoires themselves, were fascinating. With the main character growing up in this setting, the story gave a unique perspective and set up the plot.
The story centers around one of the books in the Great Library turning into a monster that begins killing people. Elisabeth is blamed for this occurrence and is brought to trial in the city; however, she claims innocence. Along the way, she meets Nathaniel Thorn and his demonic friend/servant, Silas. There is some use of the common types of characters as Nathaniel is broody with his own secrets and Elisabeth is the naïve headstrong lead. If you are not a fan of these types of characters that do occur in other novels, then this story may not work for you. For me, I enjoyed these characters as their interactions added a lot of enjoyment to the story.
The pacing of the story does go up and down, as there are places where it goes faster and others where it drags a little. For me, I did not mind some of the places where the pacing was slower as I greatly enjoyed the characters and loved the banter between them. The characters are truly, what made this novel stand out for me, as I loved Nathaniel and, especially, Silas. Their banter and witty comments helps bring some levity to the story despite the story being a little darker. Silas is a fantastic character and needs his own side story, as he is very entertaining. It does not matter when in the timeline this story takes place, but he is a great character overall.
Elisabeth is a strong female lead and I loved her sword, Demonslayer! A romance develops between Nathaniel and Elisabeth, which was very cute and sweet. For me, it was not my favorite romance in these types of stories, as I would have liked a little more build up to their relationship. While I did enjoy the romance element and think these two were a cute match, the trio’s dynamics stood out more for me.
Overall, this story is entertaining and captivated my interests from start to finish. There is some predictability and some moments of convenience, which may not be for every type of reader. It worked well in this story and there were enough elements to counterbalance this “negative,” so it did not affect my enjoyment of the story. As a standalone, the ending does wrap up well and there is a little open-endedness if the author decides to expand on the universe. While I am generally not a fan of open-ended conclusions, the ending was more like a cracked door as it leaves room to add more, but the story stands well on its own. I continue to enjoy the works from this author and I look forward to reading the next!