I'm super excited to be participating in the blog tour for A Treason of Thorns! I've got a review and some graphics for my favorite quotes, and you can click here to follow along with the tour! At the bottom of my post is a link to a great Rafflecopter giveaway where you can win copies of A Treason of Thorns and The Light Between Worlds, Weymouth’s other book.
The Book and its Author
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.
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.
Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing this tour, and to HarperTeen for sharing a copy in exchange for my honest review.
A Treason of Thorns is a standout for its lush world building and excellent characterization. While reading, my most common notes were on the emotions I felt for the lives of Wyn and Violet, and the stunning personification of Burleigh House.
Right from the start, I was hooked. The prologue left me with so many questions, and I wanted to learn more about Violet’s bond with Burleigh and Wyn’s life story. I am happy to report that all of my questions were answered, which raised my level of appreciation for A Treason of Thorns. Thank goodness this book is a standalone—I don’t know if I could wait between books! If you want to be invested in a story but not be tied down to a series, A Treason of Thorns is for you.
Weymouth included great background information about the five Great Houses, and the concept of an alternative Europe felt truly rooted in history. I liked this because it provided precedent and true fear for Violet, because she knew the path she was on. Every detail was carefully thought-out, and I liked that Violet was well-prepared for certain outcomes, but that the plot still included twists and surprises.
Violet has a deeply personal connection to Burleigh, but she also has her own motivations and emotions. I loved the way the two were entwined, and I truly felt Violet’s loss and sadness at the state of her House and childhood. Weymouth’s use of first-person narration was a great choice, and her writing is so clear. The bond between Violet and Burleigh was even more visceral when we could feel first-hand Violet’s connection to the House and her trauma during the story.
Wyn! I decided from the moment I met him that he must. Be. Protected. I love Wyn. He’s so angsty and complicated and sweet in a very heart-wrenching way. I cannot even begin to imagine the amounts of pain Wyn has felt while trapped in Burleigh, but I loved getting to know the person he had become and reading about the ways he and Violet spent time together, both as children and in the present. Love a good childhood friendship reunion. If you want to preview Wyn and Violet’s relationship before reading the book, listen to Outnumberedby Dermot Kennedy.
Burleigh House is a character unto itself. Able to feel, think, and communicate, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading the personification of the House. It grows flowers at Violet’s feet, changes the weather based on its mood, and protects those it loves. One of the coolest parts is that Burleigh can show past memories that happened on its grounds as ghosts. In this way, Violet can relive her childhood and recall her father. I think this is a great way to provide exposition without info-dumping, and I enjoyed the scenes where Violet watched her younger self explore the House.
I enjoyed the pacing for the first half of the book, but in the second part I started to feel as though the novel could have been shorter. Some parts felt like filler, and there was repetition about how Violet felt Burleigh’s pain. The same part I loved in the beginning began to feel muted because of the sheer amount of it, and the emphasis was lost. Not all hope is lost, though, because around the climax the pace started to pick up again and I found the book unputdownable! That and the resolution were thrilling, and sticking through the middle was totally worth it.
Overall, A Treason of Thorns is a must-read standalone fantasy with amazing magical elements and very lovable characters. 4/5 stars!
Hey, I'm Shreya! I love to read, write, travel, and drink coffee.