Book Review | Mysteries of Thorn Manor (Sorcery of Thorns #1.5) by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Mysteries of Thorn Manor (Sorcery of Thorns #1.5)
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy / Novella
Publication Date: January 17th, 2023
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’s occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…
With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas – along with their new maid Mercy – will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.” (Goodreads)

This was a cute and lighthearted novella to continue on the story of Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas.

The book follows the point-of-view of Elisabeth in third person narrative. Her mind definitely has a lot of thoughts when it comes to Nathaniel and Silas. She is trying to figure out what her life will be like now that everything has settled down. I can understand her feelings towards love and long term relationships. She always tries to understand Silas a lot more, even if he doesn’t see himself as she does.

There are cute moments between Elisabeth and Nathaniel. I liked the adventure they are set on to make things right at the manor. It all culminates to a surprise at the end which is what I was hoping would happen. I do think that it could have been drawn out a bit more and probably not done at that moment when someone is asking Nathaniel about something but maybe that is just me.

Overall, this was good and it did give me some answers that I had about their futures. I just wish it would have been just a bit longer.


Arc Review: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Vespertine
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 28th, 2021
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to review!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling new YA fantasy about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.” (Goodreads)

Margaret Rogerson always writes unique books and I scream internally whenever a new one comes on the scene. You can expect a great cover as well. Compared to her other two books, this one is darker and I will list the triggers now.

Content Warning (From Author): Self-harm, anxiety, disordered eating (minor), child neglect/abuse (past), trauma/PTSD (traumatic experiences in past). None of the abuse or trauma is sexual in nature. Very brief suicide mention in the epilogue, concerning a character from the past who never appears in the book.

Artemisia is a strong young woman who has been through a lot when it comes to her past. She isn’t well liked because of it and it can cause discord between her and the others at the convent. I liked getting bits and pieces of her past from the beginning to the end and the growth she had while learning to trust others and realizing she doesn’t have to be alone. It’s easy for us to want to bottle up everything and in this way I could relate to her.

Besides Artemisia, the other character that has the most page time is the revenant. He is humorous, maybe evil, and can be quite brash. I wasn’t too sure about him in the beginning but by the end it’s hard not to care for him. He’s a complicated being but it’s hard not to like him!

So many of the other characters are complex in their own way even as minor characters. They each have their struggles and deal with it in different ways. The development for Marguerite was another favorite.

The convent that she lives at was a very unique setting and I liked learning about the Grey sisters. Their job is to take care of the dead and make sure their spirits don’t rise. Each corpse is taken care of differently based on the circumstances of their death. It was easy to understand all of the context that was given and it wasn’t bogged down by long explanations.

There were times that the plot felt a bit slow and not as gripping as her last book but I still liked it nonetheless. It is unique with a fun take on nuns/clergy and the spirits that they deal with. You can see parallels from our own world when it comes to religion or even refugees.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one! Since this isn’t a standalone but does wrap up, I am curious what the next book in this world will be about! Hopefully all of my favorite characters will be back. If you have enjoyed her other books or like darker YA fantasy then you should definitely add this one to your tbr.

Sorcery of Thorns: Book Review

book review


43358884Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019


Synopsis: “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.” (Goodreads)


My Review: (minor spoilers)

I was hesitant to pick this one up because I wasn’t a fan of her first book since it just felt rushed. I figured since my library had the ebook I would just give the author a second chance and see how it went. I’m glad i made that decisions because this book was full of interesting characters and an intriguing plot!

Let’s start with the characters. Elisabeth is tall, which is quite unique and usually not many female characters in books are. I thought this was a great detail to her appearance. She is outgoing, loves books, and will do anything to save humanity even if it means going against the grain to do it. I liked for all those reasons and more.

Nathaniel is literally one of the best characters I have read about. His banter and humor is on point. Everything he said just made me smile and laugh. He really is awesome! It was mentioned that he was bi but since he had eyes for Elisabeth, nothing was said past that.

The last character I want to talk about is Silas. He has different forms, one being a cat. How can I not love that? He may be a demon that is tied to a sorcerer but he knows what he is and always reminds Elisabeth of it. Although that is the case, he has a soft spot and is really a soft teddy bear who adores his master and would do anything for him.

The plot was entertaining, suspenseful and overall just wonderful! I had no issues with the pacing and felt that it all wrapped up nicely by the end. That ending though! I am waiting to see if or when something will happen next.