Sorcery of Thorns: Magical Grimoires & Spunky Librarians!

4/5 Stars

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Publisher/Imprint: Simon & Schuster Audio

Publication Date: June 04, 2019

A Spine that Shines? Quite Well!


Book Synopsis

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.

Book Review

It was always wise to be polite to books, whether or not they could hear you.

-Margaret Rogerson, Sorcery of Thorns

Initial Thoughts

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. I can’t believe it’s almost 2021 already! I’ve been a bit behind with writing my reviews for books I’ve actually finished reading already. So finally, here is my review of the aduiobook of Sorcery of Thorns! I went back-and-forth a bit about whether to rate this 4 or 4.5 stars, but ended up just going with 4 stars for now.

Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • The entire world of this book was fascinating! Of course, I loved reading about libraries and librarians who guard magical books!
  • The opening of the book drew me in; the atmospheric narration contributed a lot.
  • Overall, the audiobook narrator Emily Ellet was very good. The voices she created for various characters were usually distinct, and some of the voices even sent chills down my spine – eek.
  • There are quite a few exciting scenes with sorcery and battling demons!
  • A LOT of stuff happens in this book, but I won’t go into too much detail since I don’t want to spoil anything.
  • If the magical grimoires are damaged, some of them turn into deadly maleficts! You don’t want to run into one of those!
  • One thing I didn’t fully understand in the story is the animosity between librarians and sorcerers since librarians still allow sorcerers inside the libraries. Plus, librarians themselves are guarding magical grimoires.
  • The characters are fun, and I enjoyed the dialogue between Elisabeth and Nathaniel quite a bit. (Seriously, there were some moments when I laughed aloud.)

Ink and parchment flowed through her veins. The magic of the Great Libraries lived in her very bones. They were a part of her, and she a part of them.

-Margaret Rogerson, Sorcery of Thorns

Characters & Romance

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Flatlay photograph of Sorcery of Thorns.

Here are some brief thoughts regarding the characters:

  • Elisabeth, an apprentice-in-training, is a determined young woman. I really liked her character. When something goes horribly wrong at her library in Summershall, Elisabeth is blamed for the incident. And her adventure begins!
  • Nathaniel is a sorcerer and orphan, descended from a long line of powerful necromancers. He struggles with his heritage, not wanting to be a part of his ancestor’s legacy. Thoughout the novel, Elisabeth helps him find the goodness inside him.
  • I love enemies-to-lovers romances, and the one between Elisabeth and Nathaniel is quite fun. Nathaniel is perhaps gruff on the outside, but really comes to care about her on the inside.
  • Silas is Nathaniel’s demon, who provides Nathaniel’s power source. I thought this was quite interesting. I don’ think I’ve read any other story in which the sorcerer’s power comes from a demon magically bound to the sorcerer. At times, Silas is eerily polite and gentle for a demon, and I didn’t always know what to think of him. He plays an important role at the end of the novel.
  • By the end of the book, I was really annoyed with the main “villain” and just wanted him to be defeated already lol. He kept escaping throughout the story, and in my opinion, he behaved quite stupidly at the end.

For these were not ordinary books the libraries kept. They were knowledge, given life. Wisdom, given voice.

-Margaret Rogerson, Sorcery of Thorns

Final Thoughts

The climax is exciting, but also a tad long. Then the scene cuts to the epilogue in a way that felt a little abrupt to me. But oh well. Not a huge issue, I suppose. (I will say, there is an awesome scene near the end involving the grimoires.)

Overall, Sorcery of Thorns was quite enjoyable and fun! If you are looking for a book about libraries, sorcerers, and magical grimoires, you might want to give this one a try! Happy reading 🙂

*Content Warnings: Lots of fantasy violence (including decapitation of a monster); some kissing.*

Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

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Up Next on My TBR: Crown of Bones (ARC)

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