A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
*This ARC was provided by HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review*
After her father is placed under House Arrest for treason, Violet Sterling is forced to live in exile for 7 years until circumstances permit her to return Home. Burleigh House is the only place that she has ever wanted to live and being pulled apart for so long was the most difficult thing she has had to go through - until, that is, she returns to find chaos.
With Burleigh House’s magic left unchecked for so long, it is in pain and taking it out on the countryside it so diligently used to care for. It is up to Violet to get things under control before the King has a chance to destroy everything she has ever cared about.
This is Laura E. Weymouth’s second young adult novel and has a very unique take on historical fantasy. Weaving fiction and fantasy together with well-known locations adds a whole knew layer to magical possibilities of the past. I must say, the idea of having a series of Great Houses that control much of their immediate area was an interesting premise and something I haven’t seen done in quite this way before.
The overall feeling that I had while reading A Treason of Thorns was curiosity. I wanted to know the history of the Houses, the politics of the kingdom, how the magic worked, what kind of capacity Violet possessed to fix Burleigh, and so much more. As an avid epic fantasy reader, I love all of the world building and deep character analysis and this book had the makings of a very big world. The only downside to all of my questions is that they weren’t all answered. I think that for the average young adult fantasy reader, who hasn’t delved into the larger epic stories, would be fairly pleased with how the world is explained as the pacing is well-done and there is enough explanation given to get you through.
I think it is safe to say that me wanting more is a good sign that I enjoyed this story.
As I said before, the pacing is done well for for the general demographic that it is tailored to but I did find the writing fairly surface-level but this again ties into me enjoying world building, plot and characters being flushed out more.
I do wish I understood more about how the magic in the world works because, as it is, I had to take everything I was being told at face value and just try not to think too hard on it or else it fell apart. Additionally, I still haven’t been able to decide if the choice of writing in first person took me out of the story or not. I find it personally difficult to get into a new book that is written in first person until I am nearly halfway through.
Something that I did appreciate though was that there was no major focus on Violet needing a love interest. Anything having to do with one was placed solidly on the back-burner and more focus was placed on an old friendship that was allowed to go wherever it needed to. I enjoyed the fact that Violet was pretty independent but a lot of the initial research to figure out how to help Burleigh was placed on two characters that she came to trust a little too quickly for me. Eventually she does a lot of the dirty work and that was when I liked her character the most.
A Treason of Thorns was an overall delightful read for me that I devoured within a day. It reminded me a bit of The Secret Garden, Menagerie, The Waking Land, Caraval, and something completely it’s own. I do have things that I would change but it was a fun read that kept me wanting to know more and to see how it ends.
Until next time, keep reading!