Title: A Treason of Thorns
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
“Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.
Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.
When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.
Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.” (Goodreads)
I hadn’t seen too many reviews for this book but the synopsis and the reviews I did see where enough to convince me to rent this one from my library. I don’t know if I had any expectations before starting and maybe that was a good thing. There were so unique things included and there were other parts that just fell short.
Right from the start we are introduced to Vi and her family. It is a strange dynamic and makes me question why her mother married her father in the first place. I understand her mother was trying to protect her daughter but at the same time she comes off as a total dillweed. Although her mother is never physically present, the reader learns more about her through flashbacks. The same goes for Vi’s father. He is only present for a bit until its all flashbacks for him as well. I did like the flashbacks and thought that they added to the characters that were present in them since there wasn’t much about the characters besides that.
As for Vi, she is a very determined girl and because her mother tried to keep her from being a caretaker she never talks to her. I understand wanting to save something you love but at the same time Vi is very selfish about her choices. She also holds grudges and I would have liked to see her writer her mother by the end or something. I wouldn’t say I ever connected with her and even though her choices were questionable, I didn’t mind reading about her.
There are quite a few minor characters in this one that I would have liked more from. Esperanza and Alfred are an interesting couple and I would have liked them to be more present since her father was the king and she also wanted to help the house. Besides trying to make up plans and maybe stalling the king, there wasn’t much development for her. I think it would have been nice to read a point-of-view from her because it would have helped and then there would have been more from the king as well. The reason I wanted more from the king is because in the plot, he is a villain. He really isn’t in the book much and I feel like as a villain he also wasn’t very villainous. It could just be me but I just needed more from him.
The only other character I haven’t discussed is Wyn. Vi’s father brought him to their house to be a companion for Vi during her childhood. Since they were friends for so long I though the blooming relationship between them was unnecessary especially since it doesn’t play a huge role. Friendship between them would have been just fine and I feel like it would have stayed the same book.
When it came to the plot, it was unique and I liked learning about the great houses. It did give me Monster House vibes and actually made me want to go watch that movie. My only complaint about the houses is that I wish there was more information as to how they came to be. I needed a background for why all of it was possible. Other than that, there was some interesting plot twists and it had a good pace.
Overall, I liked the book even with the issues I had with it. I guess the overall theme was that I needed more especially from the minor characters who had a lot of potential.