Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult / Dark Fantasy
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.
Author Margaret Rogerson's Sorcery of Thorns is a story filled with magical libraries, a brilliant heroine, a fantastic hero, an amazing demon, slow burning romance, loyal friendships, and extraordinary world building. Elisabeth Scrivener is an apprentice librarian at the Great Library of Summershall. She was raised by the Library and is mentored by the Director to become a Warden of the Library, a type of protector. Warden's protect dangerous grimoires and the world from them.
Elisabeth ends up entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy that could burn the world to the ground when the director of the Great Library is killed, and she destroys a grimoire called the Book of Eyes after it turns maleficts, an evil, murderous version of the book itself. When a new director is named who has no use for Elisabeth, she is charged with being a traitor and a murderer. Facing an unknown future, she goes from a naive, sheltered apprentice to someone who no longer sees in black and white and knows there are endless possibilities because the world is so much bigger than what she first led herself to believe.
Elisabeth reluctantly teams up with a debonair licensed sorcerer (Nathaniel Thorn) and his soul-bound demonic gentleman's servant (Silas) to stand against a force that is willing to unleash the forces of the demon world (Otherworld). Elisabeth discovers threats to the other Great Libraries which could plunge the country into war and darkness. Using magic, trusting a sorcerer and his demon, goes against all she has been taught at the Library. Sorcerers are supposed to be bad as they bargain away years of their lives for their power.
Elisabeth discovers that she has some of her own powers and a sword gifted to her to fight the evil maleficts, and the villains army of demons. She finds that Nathaniel isn't all that bad once you get past his shields doesn't allow anyone to see. And, Silas, even though he is a demon, is a clever, loyal, and powerful friend to have alongside you when the chips are down, and the villain seems to have everything going his way.
I have to admit, I went into this book without having any idea that I would like it so much. I even avoided reading any reviews on Goodreads, or Amazon. Apparently, if you are a book nerd, you also love books about libraries that are filled with books. Examples are Rachel Caine's The Great Library series, as well as Genevieve Cogman's The Invisible Library series. The world in Sorcery of Thorns has magic because wizards summoned demons to share their magic. The romance doesn't suffocate the story. Instead, it slowly fill in as Elisabeth and Nathaniel go about confronting ancient evil while saving the world. I also liked Katrien Quillworthy even though she is partially a tertiary character who helps piece together some of the necessary pieces of the puzzle.