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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 out of 5 stars!
I loved this book with all my heart. Margaret Rogerson has dedicated the book to ‘all the girls who found themselves in books’, and I could feel it when reading SoT. Also I didn’t see anyone mention it but this book was so funny! I laughed out loud A LOT and I didn’t dare take it out in public with me for that reason. Margaret Rogerson has a very funny and unique writing style and of course the characters were hilarious too.
Let me start with Nathaniel Thorn. Broody, dark haired sorcerer, convinced of his good looks and excruciatingly sarcastic and clever-mouthed? Sold. The way he interacted with the other characters (however minor) was very much my cup of tea:
‘ “I was warned I’d see some strange things in the countryside,” he said, “but I admit, I didn’t expect to find a feral librarian roaming the stacks.” ‘
And another gem:
(…) ‘ “Has he declared his intentions?” “I wish he would,” Elisabeth said. “He hardly makes sense half the time. Knowing his intentions would be helpful”
Nathaniel made a choking sound. “She doesn’t mean it that way,” he assured everyone, taking Elisabeth’s arm. “She’s a feral librarian, you see – raised by booklice, very tragic…” ‘
Honestly I could go on and quote Nathaniel for ages but you just have to read the book and experience him for yourself.
Apart from the banter between the sorcerer Nathaniel, the ‘feral librarian’ Elisabeth Scrivener and the demon Silas, this book has great world building (considering it’s a standalone!) and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. We encounter grimoires, who aren’t like ordinary books. They have their own personalities and powers, and depending on which class they are they might even be able to speak.
‘In a glass case nearby, a Class Four named Lord Fustian’s Florilegium cleared its throat self-importantly, trying to get her attention. It needed to be complimenten out loud at least once per day, or it would snap shut like a clam and refuse to open again for years.’
All of the minor characters are fleshed out and have their own personalities. I personally loved Katrien and would have liked to see more of her.
In the end, I’m not going to talk more in depth about this book because I think there are some things you need to discover on your own. The only thing I didn’t love about this book was the prologue. I think the writer easily could have made the book a little bit longer and not overrush the ending. This felt too much like a neat little wrap up.
But overall this book has become a new favorite of mine and I recommend it a 100%!