Title: A Treason of Thorns
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
No. of pages: Hardcover, 352
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Date Read: August 25, 2019
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.
Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.
When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poinsoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.
Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house–before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.
Content warnings are available via the author’s website.
Many thanks to HarperTeen for sending my an eARC for review, and Laura E. Weymouth for writing a book that pained me to put down because I was so deep in this story.
I first heard about this book from Mia at @pensandparchment and she was so excited for this book. I, obviously, had to find out what it was about and I was intrigued. Guys, the excitement wasn’t misplaced. Weymouth has written probably one of the most interesting, keep-me-on the edge of my seat, magical books I’ve read this year and I absolutely LOVED IT.
A Treason of Thorns tells the story of Violet Sterling who is next in line to be a Caretaker of one of the Great Houses in England. These houses, and their magic, is what gives life to the land surrounding it. When her father is caught committing treason, Violet is sent away from her beloved house, her father, and her friend, Wyn while the house closes until her father pays from his crimes. Nine years later, Violet is allowed to return to the house that has become in a state of disarray. She’s been granted the summer to turn things around with the house or it’ll be handed over to a new caretaker or burned to the ground. In order to save her house, Violet makes a string of hard decisions, but along the way, she learns that she’s not the only that her decisions demand something from. What follows is a true story of the determination behind what it takes to save everything Violet once lost, and what she’s now gained.
One of the things I loved in this book was the sheer vulnerability of the emotions that Violet showed. This book didn’t back down from hard things. Violet deals with loss, grief, depression, and anxiety. Violet, when anxious had a habit of biting her nails. Her house, Burleigh, due to it being in distress and disrepair passes those feelings often to Violet who feels those emotions as if they were her own. These are hard topics, but Weymouth handles them graciously and in a way that I felt was probably one of the best that I’ve seen/read.
I also loved the characters of this book, main and secondary. Violet was such a strong main character. She wants to do what’s best for Burleigh, but she also fiercely loves those who take care of her, surrounded her, helped her, and looked after her. Esperanza and Wyn were my particular favorites. They both end up knowing her so well that they truly become a part of her ‘family.’ She’s lost everything when she returns to Burleigh, but they both come along at just the right time to help her in trying to right everything that’s wrong with the House. Besides Jed and Mira, her father’s steward and housekeeper that raised her after they had to leave Burleigh, Wyn and Espie are the ones who know her best; especially Wyn.
I also really loved the plot. Everything in this book drove things forward to the conclusion and it was an absolute rollercoaster (but in a great way). I never knew what the next thing was that was going to happen. There were times that I thought I could figure out what was going to happen next and then I was dead wrong. There were times that I thought the plot was going to do something twisty and I misjudged the twist by a mile. The conclusion of this book was what I hoped for, but didn’t think I was gonna get. I finished this book at 2am and was shocked, frustrated, happy, and crying because it was THAT great. Weymouth has written something tremendous. The magic in this book is intricate and human and inhuman and fresh. I loved every aspect of it and am so excited to read this book again. It’s definitely one that I could read over and over again. A Treason of Thorns released on September 10th, 2019. It’s absolutely one that you should be checking out.
Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.
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