A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Offers opportunity to discuss friendship and loyalty. Plot emphasizes importance of books and storytelling.
Books -- even dangerously magical ones -- are valuable and need protection. People -- and even demons -- have free will, can choose to be loyal, compassionate, good.
Positive Role Models
Elisabeth is a formidable main character: brave, compassionate, resourceful, if rather naive at start of book. She learns to overcome her prejudice against demons and sorcerers and see what their true motives might be. Nathaniel and his servant Silas are not who they first appear to be and reveal hidden layers over course of novel.
Violence & Scariness
Scenes of violence are generally magical in nature, involve monsters and demons slain by sorcery. Characters engage in swordfights, and a main character is seriously wounded.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nathaniel and Elisabeth gradually develop a romantic relationship. They share a couple of passionate embraces.
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Infrequent swearing limited to "hell" and "damn."
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.