“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Lets start off with this, this book is definitely going to be one of the most unique and original books you’ve read in a LONG time. And it’s super easy to see why most book lovers will find a little sliver of themselves in this book. We’ve got magic, tons of books, the most beautifully detailed descriptions of libraries you’ll ever read, demons, and lots of snarky/laugh out loud comments by a cute queer love interest. How could you not find something to love in here?
Elisabeth, our MC, is literally raised by the library. Books are all she knows and what she loves more than anything in the world. The books in this story are referred to as grimoires and are actually living creatures with emotions that can either be good or become something straight out of your nightmares. Elisabeth, more than anything wants to be the one who keeps this grimoires under control when things get out of hand – which then begins our super unique adventure that Elisabeth finds herself on. But I don’t want to say much of said adventure because this is totally a story you need to feel and experience for yourself.
Along the way Elisabeth finds herself crossing the paths of Nathaniel, who is a sorcerer, and his ever so loyal demon servant, Silas. Y’all, I know I’ve said I would die for A LOT of characters but I would absolutely lay my life down, zero questions asked for Silas. Naturally Nathaniel and Elisabeth get off to a rocky start since Elisabeth is raised to hate sorcerer’s but their romance progresses in all the right ways. It’s a nice slow-burn type of love that just feels so good. And Nathaniels’s nonchalant attitude towards just about everything will have you laughing while this book keeps you up all night. This story is filled with so many moments of joy and suspense that it’s just really hard not to fall in love with it.
Now on to why I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. While there is bisexual and possibly ace rep in this book, if you read too fast you’ll miss it. Because each character only discusses it for about one sentence and then it’s never talked about again. So part of me felt like maybe the rep is just there for the sake of being there? Which I honestly don’t really appreciate. I buddy read this with a few friends and while we were discussing this there was that “…..wait, what? how did I miss that?!” moment. So yeah, not really a fan of that. Also, in the beginning it was a little difficult for me to get into the world-building but that happens often enough for me that I know I just need to power through and get to the action packed parts.
“She wasn’t a wielder of chains; she was a breaker of them. She was the library’s will made flesh.”
“For these were not ordinary books the libraries kept. They were knowledge, given life. Wisdom, given voice.”
All in all, this super unique story is sure to hold a special place in any book lover’s heart who enjoys fantasy stories. And the ending will leave a stupid grin on your face for days to come!
Until next time,