Hey all, Dani here.
I can’t wait to show you guys the OwlCrate unboxing for this month, because I think the OwlCrate edition of this book is equally stunning. I’m so glad that I’m going to have both versions sitting on my bookshelves–though I’ve already passed my original copy to a book friend at work, telling her that she needed to read it. So clearly, I already like this book enough to recommend it to others. But come on: it’s about a girl raised in a magical library. I know I’ve dreamed of living in a library, so this book is sort of a dream come true.
Okay, let’s dive into the review. Oh, and I read this book as part of #AGameofBooksathon, fulfilling the House Tyrell prompt: read a book with a plant on the cover or a green cover. This book is both; there is a rose in that bottom left corner.
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.
Rating: 5 stars
I ended up liking this book a lot more than Margaret Rogerson’s debut. It was longer and so I felt like I was drawn into the story and the world more. Yes, An Enchantment of Ravens was intriguing and beautifully written, but I was hooked by Elisabeth’s life in the library so much faster.
Come on, I know I had quite a bit of time where I dreamed about living in a library, so this book definitely resonated deep within my soul. I wanted to just read and read. I wanted to devour this book, but I managed to hold myself back so it took a couple of days instead of a single sitting.
It doesn’t take long to jump into the action for this story either. The grimoires can be highly dangerous items, and that’s why the world needs the libraries, and even more particularly the Wardens, to protect them.
But Elisabeth runs into a couple different stumbling blocks, some involving others at the library, some due to sorcerers, and some involving what she was raised to believe. I loved watching how she comes to confront and tackle each of the issues in front of her.
Also, let’s talk about Nathaniel and Silas. Nathaniel is a sorcerer and Silas is his demonic servant/partner/friend(?), and I enjoyed them both as characters. Silas acts a bit too refined to be a demon most of the time; he keeps things running smoothly and well organized and he is good at cleaning up messes…but when his more demonic nature rears up, it is a fearful reminder that he is not simply a person.
Seeing as how it is also Pride month, I should also say that for me this book feels like it could somewhat count as a Pride book. Perhaps this is just me, but I felt like Silas cared about Nathaniel as far more than just a bonded demonic servant and master. And then throw in that Nathaniel likes Elisabeth, and vice versa…though again, I think there were hints that maybe more could have come from the Elisabeth and Silas relationship as well. Frankly I would totally support the three of them in a relationship together.
Oh man, and yes, okay, this is supposedly a standalone, but with everything that happened in the story, and everything we learned about the libraries and about magic, plus with what happened at the very end of the book…I would totally be fine if the standalone status changed into at least a duology. I think there could be more to the story, and more with the characters.