blog tour: sorcery of thorns + review

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 464 pp.
Published June 4, 2019

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ARC of this title from the publisher for review purposes. This did not inform or influence my opinion in any way.

From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an imaginative fantasy about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.

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.

You'll LOVE IT've ever felt a connection to books.

Sorcery of Thorns unfolds through the eyes of Elisabeth, a fervent — if occasionally misguided — young librarian at one of the six Great Libraries in the kingdom. In this fantasy world books are considered threats; not for the esoteric risk of unsavory ideas, but for the very real physical and psychological damage they can wreak. Armed with salt and swords rather than glasses and dated stamps, librarians and specially-trained wardens work to protect everyday citizens from their wiles. Yet even as the opening pages establish the danger such works pose, Elisabeth remains captivated by the grimoires she has been taught to fear and eschew. Her curiosity and passion will remind readers of all ages what it feels like to wander the stacks of a bookshop or library, the endless possibility of thousands upon thousands of unread pages awaiting discovery. Although Rogerson has crafted a story with sympathetic characters, humor, and dramatic stakes, the true strength of Sorcery of Thorns lies in its celebration of the wonder and reverence inspired by books old and new, big and small.

You'll BE CHARMED by...a heroine capable of making mistakes.

Far from a know-it-all wunderkind, Elisabeth manages to bungle the execution of her good intentions on more than one occasion. Aware of her flaws yet never doubting her purpose, she relies on an old friend and fellow librarian, Katrien, as well as the crotchety sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn and his demonic servant Silas for help. It feels as though many YA heroines are intended as slates for readers to project themselves onto: possessed of singular and immense talents, their flaws the trivial sort you're supposed to mention in job interviews. By contrast, Elisabeth is a protagonist one can relate to. She makes amends for and learns from her mistakes, values the friends at her side, and stands by her convictions.

You'll CLAMOR FOR A SEQUEL because...the main characters have undeniable chemistry.

Romantic and platonic! The growing affection between Elisabeth and Nathaniel might feel familiar to fans of The Queen's Rising. Sparks exist from the start, then drift into the background as grander story elements take hold. It's a subtle yet satisfying subplot that develops gradually and delivers a satisfying conclusion by the final pages. The unexpected star of the narrative, though, is Nathaniel's demonic servant Silas. He embodies much of the conflict stirred up by a discussion of the nature and intention of grimoires: some inescapable part of his nature can be selfish — even evil, perhaps — but it is tempered by experiences and loyalties forged through experience. The duality of his enslavement by and of Nathaniel suffuses every interaction, most especially the familial ones, with additional weight. Silas' ensuing protectiveness towards Elisabeth extends far beyond the orders of a master, yet even his free will butts up against the fundamental nature of what he is. A hearty dose of dry humor runs between all of these serious relationships, making all three leads superb companions who are difficult — no, impossible to bid farewell to.




Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at

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