“She now understood that the world wasn’t kind to young women, especially when they behaved in ways men didn’t like, and spoke truths that men weren’t ready to hear.”Margaret Rogerson, Sorcery of Thorns
Growing up in one of The Great Libraries, Elisabeth grew up around magical books with dreams of someday being a warden. One of the most important rules that comes with living in the Great Library is that sorcery is strictly forbidden, and all sorcerers are evil. However, after a mysterious crime in the library happens and Elisabeth is a suspect, she has no choice but to team up with the sorcerer Nathaniel. Along the way, she discovers maybe sorcerers are not the enemy, but someone else entirely.
I know that I am in the minority and most people loved this story, but unfortunately for me this book really didn’t work for me.
To begin with, the plot. Actually, was there even a plot? I enjoyed the first 100 pages, but after that everything kind of meshed together. The villain, Ashcroft, was a cookie cutter version of every other villain in YA fantasy novels. Actually, that was a lie, he was worst. He had no motives (if they were revealed at the end, I probably didn’t notice because I skimmed through the last 10% of the book). I didn’t care about anything he had to say because I didn’t understand why he was doing what he did. This didn’t motivate me to continue reading.
That brings me to the characters. These characters were so generic and boring to read about. We’ve got the lead, Elisabeth who is “the chosen one” who doesn’t know she has powers. And of course, we’ve got the the edgy, mysterious love interest with a fun, lovable best friend. I lowkey felt like I was reading about characters ripped off from The Shadowhunter world. Elisabeth and Nathaniel were so hard to read about because there was no chemistry and they were just so dull. Elisabeth didn’t do anything (except a lot of passing out), she just happened to be in the right place at the right time. She just happened to be awake during the murder, just happened to obtain the Demonslayer, and just happened to overhear important conversations. When it comes to Silas, although he was more fun to read about than the other characters, what was his purpose in the novel? He was supposed to be Nathaniel’s protector, but every time Nathaniel needed protecting, Silas turned into a cat?
The only part of this book I actually enjoyed was the world. I liked the idea of books being magical and growing up in a magical library. The world was whimsical and because of that I can see why this would be a good novel to escape from our current world.
I’m really upset I didn’t like this novel, and I will not be reading any of Margaret Rogerson’s other books (no matter how beautiful the cover is).