I'm pretty sure Rogerson sifted through my brain for all of my reading pleasure centres and concocted a novel using every last one of them. Magical library full of magical books: check. Orphan brought up in the library with a special relationship to the books: check. Sorcerer who seems arrogant because he's so competent (also he is actually pretty arrogant and needs a heroine who can take him down a peg or two): check. Sparks flying and witty banter as the two leads are forced to work together: check. Guy falls in love with girl's bravery and competence: check. Plot based on consistent magical rules with consistent consequences: check. Turns out the truth is more nuanced than the two opposing groups say it is: check.
I loved that the grimoires weren't inherently evil, no matter what knowledge they contained, but could be turned evil or used for evil. I loved that the librarians and the sorcerers had really good reasons to be suspicious of each other. I loved Rogerson's particular take on the sorceror-demon relationship. Loved Silas.
Sorcery of Thorns reminded me of so many of my favourite books: Howl's Moving Castle, Sabriel, Sorcerer to the Crown, The Invisible Library. Rogerson takes familiar, beloved elements from the fantasy canon and crafts her own version while paying loving homage. It helps that the writing is beautiful. Also very, very funny. (I love Nathaniel!) And she's one of those authors who can write wise things that are so supported by the story they don't sound trite.
For these were not ordinary books the libraries kept. They were knowledge, given life. Wisdom, given voice. They sang when starlight streamed through the library's windows. They felt pain and suffered heartbreak. Sometimes they were sinister, grotesque- but so was the world outside. And that made the world no less worth fighting for, because wherever there was darkness, there was also so much light.
“Why are you looking at me like that?" he inquired.
"You used a demonic incantation to pack my stockings!"
He raised an eyebrow. "You're right, that doesn't sound like something a proper evil sorcerer would do. Next time, I won't fold them.”Lots of fun, characters I can get behind, intelligent romance, cool, believable magic ... I think I want to read it again!
Banana bundt cake: dark and dense and sweet and nourishing.