Review: Mysteries of Thorn Manor – Margaret Rogerson

Review: Mysteries of Thorn Manor – Margaret RogersonMysteries of Thorn Manor
by Margaret Rogerson
Series: Sorcery of Thorns #1.5
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 192
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In this sequel novella to Sorcery of Thorns, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas must unravel the magical trap keeping them inside Thorn Manor in time for their Midwinter Ball!

Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city's most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate's wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor's occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another...

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas - along with their new maid Mercy - will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they're due to host the city's Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel's ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

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5 stars icon fantasy icon m/f romance icon young adult

I have desperately wanted more Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas since the moment I got to the last page of Sorcery of Thorns. This is very much a sort of in-between book which gives me some hope for a second in the series. Set a few months after the end of the previous book, it shows how those events have affected the inhabitants of Thorn Manor, so it’s not something that should be read without reading that first.

“When you’ve grown up in a library with talking books for friends, there are some things you don’t think to question.”

Why do I call it an in-between book? Well, sure, there’s a plot (the whole trapped inside the manor bit) but it’s mostly concerned with the relationships between Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas. As it’s told mostly from Elisabeth’s POV, there’s a ridiculous amount of (highly enjoyable) lovelorn pining on Elisabeth’s part towards Nathaniel, who is mostly his charming goofball self. She’s also trying to figure out her relationship with Silas, recognizing that while she’ll never be able to trust him like Nathaniel does, she still cares for him in whatever way an immortal demon needs.

“Not every story has a happy ending,” she offered. “But most do, if you’re brave enough to keep reading to the end.”
“How can you be so certain?” He searched her face as though she were a strange, rare marvel—a flower blooming from cobblestones, or an unexpected light in the distant dark.
“I’ve read a lot of them,” she said seriously.”

And that’s what so truly charming about this novella. It’s just chockfull to the brim with love, and not just Elisabeth’s love for the family they’ve made in Thorn Manner. Nearly every action each character takes is a result of love for the others. And there’s a sense of belonging, of feeling like there’s no place you’d rather be, even if that place happens to be a manor surrounded by vicious topiaries. It’s heartwarming and the literary equivalent of a great big hug, and I had a smile on my face for nearly the entire book. Part of that, of course, is the humor interwoven throughout the book, whether that’s Nathaniel’s silly banter with Elisabeth or Silas’ deadpan commentary. There’s also moments of sheer ridiculous fun (the attic! the armor!). I mean, for goodness’ sakes, there’s a possessed dressing gown.

Overall, this is an absolutely exquisite comfort read, and my fingers (and toes) are crossed that the author chooses to revisit Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas again!

Content notes: View Spoiler »

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