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.
Content warnings are available via the author’s website.
Review: 3 Stars
One of the main reasons that I requested this book was because I thought that the cover was absolutely gorgeous and the synopsis had me intrigued. I really loved the idea behind this book, a magical house was very cool to read about. While I think that this was a good idea and I enjoyed the writing, I felt like A Treason of Thorns kind of dragged and I was a bit disappointed in it.
I didn’t really connect very well with the characters. I felt like Violet didn’t have much personality to her and she kind of fell flat to me. I actually wound up enjoying the side characters more than Violet herself. I liked their personalities better and wish that the book was about one of them instead. I did really love that Burleigh, the house, seemed to have her own personality and was truly alive. But for a book that was all about a magical house I think that there weren’t enough descriptions of the house itself. I have no idea what the house actually looked like and since the house was at the center of the story that kind of bothered me.
The writing was pretty atmospheric, even though it could have been more descriptive. I feel like the pacing of the book was really slow and I felt as if the book went on forever. It’s not that A Treason of Thorns is really long, but very little actually happened in the whole novel. A lot of the book was filler material and the plot could have used a lot more meat to it. The plot was pretty predictable and even the climax wasn’t too exciting.
Overall I feel like A Treason of Thorns was okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. I found it very easy to set down and it took me a while to actually finish the book. I think the writing itself was good, but I found myself very bored with the plot and I didn’t love the main character. I loved the idea of a magical living house and felt like that aspect was original, but that was one of the few things that I think this novel had going for it. While I did want to read The Light Between Worlds, which is also by Laura E. Weymouth, I think that I might skip it after reading this one.