Date Released: September 10, 2019
First Thoughts: Weymouth continues her journey in a
Would I Recommend It?: Yes
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, poisoning 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.
Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for providing me with a copy to review. This in no way affected my opinion.
CW: Anxiety, The MC’s parents are divorced and her mother left her at a young age, Death of a parent, Gaslighting, Non-graphic abuse
Earlier this year I read The Light Between Worlds which I enjoyed. Then when I found out that Weymouth was releasing another book, I was excited to read it!
Weymouth kept her melancholic, lyrically writing style with A Treason of Thorns which is part of the reason why I gravitated towards her work, to begin with. This style meshed well with the premise of the plot and the characters. This story is built on emotions. Burleigh is a house that is sentient and magical. That is part of what makes the heartbreak in the story as this is not just a house, but the main character who you feel for. Burleigh is definitely a morally grey character in the book. Yes, it tries to protect Vi but at the same time, it does hurt her.
There are other houses not only in England but around the world. This is one of the most unique magical systems I have seen. For example, the Caretaker must have a key to channel the House’s magic safely otherwise mortar will fill their veins thus I love that Weymouth did this as it adds depth to the story. I do wish that there was a bit more of an explanation as to why the houses were built. To clarify, this is a fantasy (magical realism?) retelling on 19th Century England. From the style of clothes, it seems to be like 1820s-1830s but the characters talk in a more modern way.
The other main character, Vi, she is quite different from Evelyn and Philippa (the MCs in The Light Between Worlds). Vi has a mouth and is spunky and spiteful but loves deeply. Though like Evelyn, she loves to the point of obsession about the place that she calls home and the pain of being away from it.
Of the few things that I didn’t like in this book, the King was definitely one of them. He is a slimeball of a character who craves power. However, I don’t think that Weymouth really wanted us to like him. I would have preferred if he was more morally grey and if some of his motives were understandable.
About the Author
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.
Prize: Win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth’s books: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and A TREASON OF THORNS (US/CAN only)
Starts: 10th September 2019
Ends: 24th September 2019
Enter the Giveaway here!
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