Sorcery of thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781534445383.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. An exciting book that will tantalise book lovers! Elisabeth has grown up in a Great Library where magical grimoires are chained and book lice scuttle along the skirting boards. If provoked they can turn into monsters creating devastation. Elisabeth is desperate to become a warden but after facing down one of the grimoires, she is accused of treason and sent to the capital to face justice. Nathaniel a young sorcerer escorts her there and together they begin to realise that much is at stake for the country. Accompanied by Nathaniel's demon, Silas, they battle to save the Great Libraries and their nation as well.
Elisabeth is a feisty young woman who has a clear sense of right and wrong and she doesn't shirk her duty to the Libraries and her country even when it is very difficult and dangerous. There are many thrilling battles, when armed with her sword Demonslayer, she fights off grimoires and other enemies. Heart stopping episodes draw the reader in as she tries to prove her innocence and control her powers.
The slow burning romance between Nathaniel and Elisabeth is a subplot in this sweeping fantasy but will satisfy readers who will be interested in the themes of loyalty, how perceptions can change and the difficulties of being true to oneself.
Witty and often hilarious dialogue is a standout feature of the book and the contrast between Nathaniel's sly asides and Elisabeth's serious nature is beautifully written.
There is much to like about Sorcery of thorns, not least the descriptions of all the magical books and the Great Libraries. I will certainly pick up other books by Margaret Rogerson.