Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson is a fantasy YA set in a world ruled by corrupt sorcerers and their demonic servants. Elisabeth dreams of becoming a Warden at one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. The building houses thousands of Grimoires; magical tomes. Many of which are imprisoned beneath iron chains and surrounded with rings of salt to prevent them from transforming into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.
Elisabeth grew up in the library and spends her days listening to them whispering and conspiring on the shelves. When she’s implicated in the mysterious death of the library’s Director and the release of a dangerous Malefict, she has no choice but to turn to her sworn enemy, the notorious sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn.
You are immediately thrown into a captivating and atmospheric world; think the restricted section at Hogwarts. As Elisabeth is an orphan, she was raised and confined to the four walls of a library she is naive to the customs and dangers of the magical kingdom she lives in. As she learns more about the mysterious creatures and a society she’s unaccustomed to she begins to question her teachings and the motives of those around her. She might be naive but she is also fearless, resourceful and more powerful than she knows.
“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”
The world Rogerson has created is beautifully gothic and intriguing. Intertwined throughout this magical tale is a slow-burn romance, although I would have appreciated a little more passion and chemistry, this is a YA novel and the journey and connection Rogerson weaved between the two was incredibly thoughtful and satisfyingly sweet.
Sorcery of Thorns was a wonderful read. I’m always on the lookout for a standalone fantasy novel. Often I feel writers put all their effort into world-building in order to create a series rather than focus on storytelling and characterisation. SOT had a brilliant balance of interesting characters with depth and an intriguing setting from the beginning. I was hooked from the very first chapter.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson is available here. (Affiliate link)1