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.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, and Elisabeth is implicated in the crime. 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.
~Mini Review ~
YA, Romantic Fantasy, Sword and Magic
Elisabeth Scrivener, an orphaned, apprentice librarian, abandoned near the great library of Summershall as a babe and raised within it.
Nathaniel Thorn, a magister from a great lineage with the power to call the dead forth.
Silariathas, aka Silas, a demon from the Otherworld, in perpetual servitude to the Thorn family line, for a steep price.
Katrien Quillworthy, another apprentice librarian with a very curious and scientific nature. Elisabeth’s best friend, roommate and co-conspirator in all manner of mischief!
misunderstood adversary to reluctant ally to lover
nursing the LI back to health
being changed by love
friendship is the best ship
Margaret Rogerson has a real talent for coming up with magical worlds, that you never want to stop exploring!
She always gives us enough world building to captivate and intrigue us, to whet our appetite but never enough to satiate it!
The concept of a world where there are bargains with devils for magical power, books —grimoires that have the power to compel and transform into monsters and also to fight to save the world is so imaginative! A world where librarians hold great power and protect us from inconceivable horrors!
Another part that really stood out to me was the friendship and respect between Nathaniel and Silas and eventually Elisabeth! There is an incredible sacrifice he makes on behalf of them that goes so completely against what Silas even thought possible of his own nature that brought tears to my eyes!
“Hope ricocheted through her like a bird trapped within a house, taking flight, falling, and taking flight again, exhausting itself for the promise of open skies far away. Terror flickered after it like a shadow.”
“The last month has been the happiest time of my life that I can remember since I was twelve, the fiends and the blood drinking and the imminent threat of a demonic apocalypse notwithstanding.”
Rogerson’s prose itself is very readable and smooth, you quickly get pulled into the story and this world.
SOT, in my opinion, is moderately successful romantasy with an uneven pace, written so indelicately that all urgency, all sense of the stakes fall flat.
That being said, the characters, though veering towards one dimensional and either a dash too perfectly naive or perfectly selfless, when they were together it was the quintessence of a found family: all of the warmth of home and playful bickering. Which was certainly the best aspect of this story!
Lot’s of romantic tension: will they, won’t they?, kissing, closed door sex. 👀
To recommend…or not to recommend?
Definitely recommend this one!
Classic Rogerson, a practical lass who’d rather be lost in a library than saving the world, but someone has to do it!
Although I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Enchantment, it was still a lot of fun to read and you can’t go wrong with a standalone fantasy (well you can, but not here, lol)
I’m also thrilled that soon there will be a short story set in this world (published in hardcover no less!!!). I hope it’s very slice of life, a few years in the future. It’d be nice if it’s an exploration and expanding of this intriguing world, but I wouldn’t refuse some domestic fluff!