This book…..I don’t know. I didn’t expect a lot from it since I personally didn’t enjoy An Enchantment of Ravens that much, but I picked Sorcery of Thorns up anyway because of the Charlie Bowater cover and the interesting plot. I’ve heard mixed reviews before going in, but I wanted to see for myself if this would end up being better than Rogerson’s debut. It…..was surprisingly LESS bland than AEOR but it wasn’t any better either.
To sum up the plot, Elisabeth is an apprentice at one of the six Great Libraries of Austermeer that works to preserve grimoires. Her entire life is dedicated to magical objects, though she and her fellow librarians detest sorcerers (who are, by all accounts, all white men, even the demons are all white men). One night, she witnesses a murder and is framed for it. She’s brought in for questioning by the head of the Magisterium….BUT because this is YA, she naturally ends up stuck with a hot powerful sorcerer as she’s awaiting trial for a crime she didn’t commit.
Elisabeth….I don’t even know where to start. I’ve never come across a more passive protagonist in my LIFE. She doesn’t make decisions for herself, she’s 80% of the time passing out or falling asleep whenever it’s convenient, and more than twice she ends up overhearing important conversations while hiding in a not-so-obvious spot. She’s an idiot, she depends on everyone else for just about anything, and just plain annoying. I mean, this pretty much comes across as lazy writing to me.
Other than Elisabeth, the other characters are equally just as shallow and passive. Their entire personalities could be described with one word (Nathaniel = ~sarcastic~, Silas = mysterious, Ashcroft = evil!!111!!1!11) and they really don’t go beyond those adjectives. There’s no substance to them, and neither does the plot. It’s so bland, and when I hit the halfway point I had to ask a friend what was going on because it just felt like it was going nowhere. The stakes were meh at most and I really. just. wanted. it. to. end.
THE ROMANCE(???) came out of nowhere too. One second she’s watching him have a nightmare, then another second they’re kissing in a garden??? what??? There is no build-up whatsoever apart from him acting all discount Will Herondale on her, and I’m genuinely confused as to how the whole romance subplot was handled.
I think that this book had a lot of potential. The world and plot are certainly interesting, but the outcome was sort of like stale bread. It took me over a week to read this just because I really didn’t care enough to pick it up.
Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
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