This book had my name written all over it so of course I had to read it! A book about books and libraries and the girl who was raised in them… you might as well have written my name across the cover with a bright flashing sign screaming, “READ THIS!” And for the most part, this book lived up to my expectations. Not to mention, it was written by the brilliant Margaret Rogerson and I loved Enchantment of Ravens. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
This book primarily focuses on Elisabeth, an orphan girl raised in a library. However, these libraries are full of grimoires, dangerous books with minds/personalities of their own with the potential to turn into a monster. Elisabeth finds herself in the middle of an intense battle where the winner will either save the world or destroy it. Personally, one of my favorite things about her was her love for books. Margaret writes some beautiful descriptions of books and libraries from Elisabeth’s perspective and I loved it. I also loved Elisabeth’s eagerness to defend them with a sword or weapon; it was quite amusing to watch her charge into battle, especially with Nathaniel’s sarcasm regarding her personality.
Speaking of Nathaniel, he was a pretty good character. His sarcasm and snide remarks made me laugh on several occasions. By the end of the book, I kind of felt like he had been glossed over repeatedly. We have a lot of scenes with Elisabeth, obviously, and even Silas, but I felt like Nathaniel did not get his fair share. I would have liked his character more if he had been incorporated into the story more often than he actually was.
Believe it or not, what made this book for me was Silas. I loved his character so much! Characters who try to act all tough and “don’t touch me, I’m evil” when they secretly have a soft side are some of my favorites. Even some of the little gestures and comments he makes are adorable (which he would be so mad to hear me say!) Silas was definitely my favorite character in the whole book; I really enjoyed all of his scenes.
As far as the plot, it was pretty good but I wouldn’t say it was spectacular. I felt like it took way too long of a time for the characters to deal with and react to certain things. By the time they finally took action, I was about to bang my head against a wall. A majority of the book was spent plotting in people’s homes or the libraries. I’m not going to complain about all the library and book scenes because I love them, but I think more action might have been nice. To be completely honest though, I was totally okay with some of the plotting scenes/non-action scenes that Silas was in just because I loved his character and dialogue. He truly made the book for me.
For me, the book started off so great and strong, but kind of was lacking towards the end. I was left somewhat disappointed. So many scenes of plotting and planning and then the book just fast-forwarded the final fighting scenes and the last several chapters. And then the epilogue just left me wishing for a few more chapters just so I could have some closure. I wanted less of the plotting in the middle and more of everything that happened at the end.
All in all, Margaret Rogerson is an extremely talented writer and I will never tire of reading her books. However, I do wish this book had been done a little differently. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it and would probably read it again (mostly for Silas, but for the beautiful way it is written as well.)