By Margaret Robertson
3.5 out of 5 stars
All sorcerers are evil. So says Elizabeth, a foundling who has been raised in Austermeer's Great Library. Elizabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery - magical grimores that appear out of books and rattle their iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. When an act of sabotage releases the libraries most dangerous grimoire, Elizabeth finds herself implicated in the crime. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries old conspiracy. Not only that but the Great Libraries could go up in flames, but the world along with them.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. On the one hand the setting in the library was wonderful and the characters highly original. Elizabeth was a well defined character and the build up of her relationship with Nathaniel intriguing. But the plot fell a bit flat for me in the second half and some of the dialogue bordered on being a bit cheesy. Which is why it was in the broody banter themed box for Fairyloot no doubt. That said what book lover doesn't love a good magical adventure set in a library? Also the cover, without doubt, is divine and certainly deserves a special place in one.
Overall, brutal though it may be, it's one of those young adult books that lots of people rave about but I'm not entirely sure why.