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Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

You can expect: magical libraries, demons, sorcerers, grimoires that bite, and a romance.

 Hello Readers & Friends,

I can't quite remember the last time I read a standalone fantasy! I thought this one was part of a trilogy, and was quite shocked when it all wrapped up nicely at the end and a quick Google confirmed it was a standalone. I did want more, because I enjoyed it so much, but it wasn't needed and I appreciated that it wasn't dragged out. I also don't feel that any worldbuilding was sacrificed by writing a standalone, the magical system was clear and I loved the world Rogerson created. It was very beautiful and I didn't feel it was lacking, for what the story needed.

The story follows Elisabeth, who has been raised in a Greater Library. There are five libraries in the kingdom, and they house magical grimoires safely, keeping them guarded from anyone who may want to misuse them. I loved her descriptions of the grimoires, they were almost like pets, responsive to Elisabeth but if damaged, they turn into Malefects - which are essentially demons. From a marketer point of view, the idea of a story based around magical libraries had my heart fluttering - I couldn't stop thinking about fun marketing campaigns that this book could have had! As a reader, it was great. 

Then there are sorcerers - magicians who have powers as a result of enslaving demons. So the story starts with Elisabeth waking up one night in the library, and finding her library Director dead, and a grimoire has been turned into a Malefect and released. What follows is a wild journey as Elisabeth tries to find out who is releasing demons and why, with the help of a sultry, sassy, sarcastic sorcerer (how much alliteration can one person use?). 

I have the book four stars, I saw on GoodReads a lot of people felt the ending was a bit bleh, but I was the opposite. It was emotional and magical and I feel it was the right ending. I also loved the action-packed start, it was the middle which lost me a little, it felt a bit slow for a while when we were just watching Elisabeth try to work out who was behind the attacks. But once that part was over, I was gripped and excited to keep going until the end. 

I think something I loved the most about this book were the themes about good and evil, the blurred lines and grey edges of what it really means to be good. Overall I really enjoyed the book, it was an easy-to-read and not-tooooo-tropey YA fantasy and I would definitely read any more of Rogerson's books.


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