Sorcery of Thorns is one of those books that I had no interest in reading. Why? For some reason, I got it into my head that I wouldn’t like Rogerson’s writing style. But when I saw that the e-book was available through my library, I thought, Why not?
The beginning was a little slow, and it took me a while to get into it. But this story really is a love letter to books, and I love the way Rogerson describes the beautiful libraries. I love how the books are alive, sometimes lovely and sometimes gruesome. I love how Elisabeth, the main character, can talk to the books.
The characters in this story really shine. Nathaniel is a sorcerer who Elisabeth stumbles upon (actually, she nearly kills him when she accidentally topples an entire bookshelf). His dialogue is hilarious, and his character is so well-rounded and fun to read. His demon/servant, Silas, is an equally great character, as stoic as Nathaniel is snarky; it also helps that he can turn into a cat.
Despite the wonderful characterization, sometimes I wanted to know more of Elisabeth’s internal thoughts, but if you’re looking to read about a tall, bookish, sword-wielding character learning to navigate the world around her, she’s your girl.
This was so close to being a 5 star read. However, the story did go on a little long. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of how Rogerson executed the ending, which felt like a deus ex machina, on top of being rushed in comparison to the rest of the book. However, I loved the characters and I enjoyed reading this so much!
Anna: Happy Saturday, bookish friends! Here’s my library/library sale haul from this morning. My currently reading pile is about to get a whole lot bigger!
Disappearing Earth and Mostly Dead Things are long-awaited, very-anticipated holds. I have high expectations!
I’m stocking up for My Harry Potter re-read. I grew up reading my family’s copy of Order of the Pheonix which is completely falling apart and now bound together by tape. I snagged this copy for 50 cents!
One of my current reads is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, so when I saw another book by her I couldn’t resist. I’m captivated by her writing and excited to try some of her fiction!
Have you read any of these? Check them out!
Alexis: The Scent Keeper is my kind of book: character-driven, lyrical, unique, and full of sensory imagery.
The story centers around Emmeline, who grows up on a remote island with her father, and she has never seen another living soul. Her father has a magic machine that can capture scents, and he stores these scents in bottles. But after a life-changing event, Emmeline has to face the outside world, her past, and her family.
Bauermeister’s writing is beautiful, and often leans towards magical realism. I love how she writes about scents and Emmeline’s relationship with scents: “The smell of cardamom preceded the woman into the room, soft and comforting. A memory opened–one of the scent-papers from a red-wax bottle, with the fragrance of a sultry place that had wound itself around me, kissed my skin. Cardamom, my father had said. They hide like treasure” (66).
This is a coming-of-age story, and I really enjoyed learning about Emmeline as she learned about herself, too. I especially enjoyed reading about her connection to the natural world around her and here struggle to connect with other people and find her place in the world. But as I said, the star of this book is how the author fashions a world that revolves around scents.
My only critique is that I wish the ending had come more full circle; it felt a little abrupt and unfinished.
I highly recommend giving this a read!
VERDICT: 5 stars
Anna: I’m excited to share my April wrap up! This month included not one, but TWO five star books for me! Im currently finishing up three books that didn’t make it into this wrap up (classic). I’m also still loving memoir and middle grade!
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: 4 books
George by Alex Gino: 3.5 books
The Goldfinch by Donna Tart: 5 books
Normal People by Sally Rooney: 5 books
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker: 3 books
What books did you love this month?
A bookstore where everything is $3 or under? Yes, please! I picked up four books, the max I should probably put in my suitcase, from Lucky Dog Books in Dallas, Texas. My boyfriend, who reads nonfiction/business books, found 5 books!
- On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
- Water Wings by Kristen den Hartog
- Rose’s Garden by Carrie Brown