Reviews

‘Mysteries of Thorn Manor’: literally one of my favorite things I have EVER read

January 10, 2023

TITLE: Mysteries of Thorn Manor (Sorcery of Thorns, #1.5)
AUTHOR: Margaret Rogerson
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE RANGE: YA
PAGES: 192pg
PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books

In this delightful sequel novella to the New York Times bestselling 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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“I do have some standards, contrary to popular opinion. I’m not about to sit back and watch my house turn into a prude.”

Oh, this was perfect. Absolutely beyond perfect in every single way. It was soft, and sweet, and warm, and comforting, and full of so much wonder and magic and love. This is a book I’m going to reach for time and time again when the world feels like too much and I need to be wrapped in a cozy hug by these pages. Thank you for creating this novella, Margaret. ♥ Much like Sorcery of Thorns reminded me of the power books wield, Mysteries of Thorn Manor reminded me of the love they carry, too.

She felt, with a passion that tore at her, that she could make a real difference: that given the chance, she could find a way to protect both humans and books equally.

I had only re-read Sorcery a few short weeks before picking up this novella, and yet I still found that I had missed Elisabeth so very much. Margaret has a way of writing my very favorite heroines, and Elisabeth, with all of her spunk and bravery and protective nature, is by far one of my most cherished fictional characters of all. This novella highlighted so much of her charm, most of all showing us the way she slowly learns to live with a heart that is so big and so full of adoration for her little family, she can hardly stand it.

“When I die in pursuit of your favor, make sure the obituary mentions that it wasn’t for my lack of razor-sharp wit and keenly honed reflexes.”

And Nathaniel… I laughed so hard and so often throughout this short little book, because his wit absolutely shines here. Mysteries of Thorn Manor depicts so much domestic bliss that we really get a chance to see how silly and playful he is with Elisabeth on a daily basis, and it’s delightful. It felt so genuine, like looking into a real, breathing romance between two goofy best friends, and I adored it.

Silas glanced at her from beneath his lashes. “I’m afraid he was one of the worst of all. He left fingerprints on the silver.”

And then, of course, I couldn’t finish this review without touching on Silas. He’s so precious to me, and I adored the sweet, tender moments between him and Elisabeth. I’m a tremendous sucker for intimate found family moments, and we get plenty of those in this novella. (Plus, make sure you don’t skip the epilogue! 👀)

Elisabeth couldn’t answer. She was having the complicated realization that she still wanted to kiss Nathaniel even while he was wearing an old lady’s hideous dressing gown.

Truly, every single page of this novella was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. If you’ve ever thought to yourself that you wished more authors would write cozy fantasy follow-ups to show off the domestic lives of our favorite characters, this is the story for you, because it genuinely is one big, sweet hug in the form of a story. I laughed, I melted, and I shamelessly cried happy tears more than once within this short span of pages. I could not possibly recommend this book more highly and I have once again been reminded of why Margaret is now and forevermore one of my favorite authors of all time.

Buddy read with Jordyn! ♥

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

content warnings →
WARNINGS:

minor comedic violence, brief mentions of violence and death from the previous book

representation →

Nathaniel is bisexual and disabled

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13 Comments

  • Reply Jordyn @ Birdie's Book Nook January 10, 2023 at 9:09 am

    YOU SUMMED IT UP PERFECTLY, MY FRIEND. Fantastic review.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 13, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you, lovely!!! SO freaking glad we buddy read it and got to discuss it together!

  • Reply Leslie January 10, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    Great review! Omg, I can’t wait to get my hands on this!!! It sounds amazing and I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 13, 2023 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you, Leslie! I can’t wait for you to read it, I just know you’re gonna love it!!

  • Reply yourwordsmyink January 12, 2023 at 8:51 am

    I literally cannot wait to get my hands on this book. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 13, 2023 at 4:22 pm

      I hope you adore it as much as I did – but honestly, I have no doubt you will, because it’s SO wonderful and precious!!! Crossing my fingers that you get to read it VERY soon!

  • Reply Molly's Book Nook January 14, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    I loved Sorcery of Thorns! I’m super excited to read this one!

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators January 16, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    You said cozy, domestic fantasy bliss and my ears perked up. Time to reread Sorcery of Thorns and get myself a copy of this book to immediately follow!

  • Reply Tammy Brown January 18, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    I am looking forward to this, Sorcery of thrones was great fun!

  • Reply Caro @ bookcheshirecat January 29, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Great Review! I finally read Mysteries of Thorn Manor and I loved it so much, I might have to reread Sorcery of Thorns 😄💖 I loved the tender but also funny moments! The epilogue was fantastic 👀

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