Published by Margaret K. McElderberry (6.4.2019)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 464 pages
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.
HOLY CRAP this book blew me away!!! I really enjoyed Enchantment of Ravens (even though I didn’t think I would), so I knew I’d love this one too. I didn’t expect to love it so much, giving me my first 5 star book in 4 months!
The concept was AMAZING!! Our main character, Elisabeth, works as an apprentice in a magical library full of sentient grimoires. Sentient magical books, you guys. MAGICAL. BOOKS. Has there ever been a more perfect book for bookworms?! Oh, and when provoked, said grimoires turned into giant rampaging monsters of ink and leather. AWESOME. Elisabeth’s interactions with the grimoires gave me all the feels!! I loved that the books each had their own personalities, singing and whispering and even spitting ink at people they didn’t like. View Spoiler »I legit cried when the grimoires were sacrificing themselves to close the rifts to the Otherworld. They were protecting their library, it’s so beautiful I can’t!!! Ahh I love them! « Hide Spoiler I loved that the library was kind of an entity of its own, too! Basically this book was perfect!
The characters, oh my goodness!! In addition to the grimoires, I also loved the shit out of the characters! Elisabeth is a great lead, full of sass and spine but without being too badass. She was badass, yes, but still relatable! I loved that she didn’t take any crap from anyone and stood up for what she believed in. Nathaniel was amazing, too! I was immediately drawn to him (even when I thought he may be a villain, oops) and I loved him so hard!! He was so swoony and stands out so much in my head against all the other male leads I’ve read. (I am itching to make a custom funko of him because his description is so distinctive!)
We all know I’m not a big romance fan, but this one was superbly done! It started off as a grudging relationship and slowly grew into more, I love that. It had that delicious slow burn that I crave out of romance! No instalove here, folks.
Which brings me to my favorite character: Silas! OMG I LOVED HIM SO MUCH. I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that he is a demon that turns into a cat. (Okay, maybe it does, you caught me.) Ahhh he was amazing! I love that he is a badass all powerful demon but knows how to cook and takes care of Nathaniel with the tenderness of an older brother. He never tried to hide what he was, but he also had a humanity to him that he didn’t want to admit to and I loved that. Oh, and did I mention he was sarcastic and hilarious?! AND a cat. Yes, he’s perfect haha. View Spoiler »Even though it was explicitly mentioned that demons don’t die in the Otherworld when they die in our world, I still cried when Silas took the sword meant for Nathaniel! I figured he’d come back. Then when he died again, possibly for real, I cried again. I was sobbing! I didn’t think he would come back that second time, so after that amazing last sentence I cried a little again! I just love him so much! « Hide Spoiler
THAT ENDING! The ending was everything!! Ahhh it kills me that this is only a standalone. I can fill in the blanks, but I NEED MORE DARN IT. This book gave me all the feels, I seriously can’t praise it enough!
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 5/5