A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sorcery of Thorns is a fantasy novel by Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens). The story follows Elisabeth, a warden-in-training, as she unravels a mystery involving a plan to sabotage her kingdom's Great Libraries. There are magical battles and swordfights against demons, and one of the main characters is seriously wounded. Swearing is infrequent and limited to "hell" and "damn." Sexual content is limited to a couple of passionate embraces.
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What's the story?
As SORCERY OF THORNS opens, Elisabeth discovers an act of sabotage in her beloved Great Library. One of the magical books has transformed into a monster, and the director of the institution has been killed. Elisabeth is accused of the crime and spirited away from the town to be held captive. Fortunately, she captures the attention of sorcerer Nathaniel and his demon man-servant Silas. Together, the three of them investigate a centuries-old conspiracy that threatens to destroy the kingdom's other Libraries and tear apart the very fabric of the universe.
Is it any good?
Every complicated novel of high fantasy doesn't need to be part of a series, and this well-constructed, slyly amusing magical adventure satisfies as a stand-alone tale. The core of the narrative is the prickly relationship between Elisabeth and Nathaniel, whose antagonistic banter belies their growing attraction. It's not difficult to intuit the plot's final destination, but author Margaret Rogerson plants plenty of action-packed obstacles in the characters' paths. Elisabeth and Nathaniel are captivating main characters, but it is often Silas and other members of the supporting cast who get the best lines. Readers of high fantasy with a sense of humor will enjoy this book. They should look forward to Rogerson's next novel, whether it returns to this well-built world or not.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Sorcery of Thorns uses standard fantasy elements to tell a new story. Why do stories about sorcerers and demons remain popular? What's so appealing about the idea of magic?
Silas is a demon whom Elisabeth does not trust. How do people learn to trust each other? What kinds of behavior foster that quality?
Sorcery of Thorns features a character who's a corrupt leader. What causes political figures to do evil things? How can their illegal acts be exposed and made public?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love fantasy and magic
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