In Margaret Rogerson’s “Sorcery of Thorns”, Elisabeth Scrivner is an apprentice librarian in a magical library. This library contains grimoires, magical tomes created and used by sorcerers for both good and ill. In order to make sure that the grimoires don’t cause mass destruction, librarians are trained to both safeguard the tomes and destroy them if necessary. Elisabeth’s sheltered life is turned upside down when her library is seemingly broken into and her mentor killed. Due to an unfortunate series of events Elisabeth is named prime suspect and sent away to face the judgement of the Magisterium, the governing body of sorcerers. Determined to uncover the truth, Elisabeth teams up with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, the only person who believes in her innocence. Together they will uncover a plot that threatens not only the library, but their entire world as well.
I don’t usually pay attention to dedications, but for once this one really caught my eye. The author dedicated this book “For all the girls who found themselves in books” and it felt as if she wrote those words just for me. Reading has always been my refuge, a way to get lost in worlds both real and fantastical. At the same time, it also helped me to understand more about myself and feel less lonely when I was at my lowest.
The storyline of “Sorcery of Thorns” took me a bit to get into, but the last few chapters had me so hooked that I stayed up late just to finish the book. I related so much with the heroine, Elisabeth. She starts out very sheltered and sees the world in black and white due to her upbringing in the library. However, the course of the story and exposure to the wider world forces her to re-evaluate everything she believes in. She comes to realize that that people are much more complicated than she imagined and that there is a lot more gray in the world. I thought that Elisabeth’s budding romance with Nathaniel was pretty well developed. One of my gripes with YA romances is that they are often seemingly rushed which makes them feel less credible. In this case, Elisabeth and Nathaniel slowly get to know one another and develop a friendship that turns into something more. And of course, there are the various grimoires. I loved how Rogerson turned the books into individual characters. While I’ve never seen my books talk or grow body parts, they have always been more than ink on a page to me. Therefore, I really enjoyed the various personalities of the grimoires as well as the important part they played in Elisabeth’s life and the resolution of the plot’s major conflict.
Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of the YA fantasy genre.