Review of A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a backlogged review from 2019, but I wanted to make sure all of them were here before posting the final review!
When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…
As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.
This book is utterly mesmerizing and atmospheric and dark and angsty af and sexy and I needed the next one yesterday.
“And in a clearing in the woods, in a church ruined by thorns and time, something stirred. Something called all six of them by name.”
A Lesson in Thorns grabs you, sucks you in and holds you there until you’re completely unaware of everything happening around you. Some of my very favorite fictional relationships are polyamorous, but this one really takes it to a new level is so many good ways. It explores some very taboo themes, but in a safe and healthy way. This was my first Sierra Simone book, but I am familiar with her New Camelot series, which has been on my TBR for ages. I knew this would be a dark and tantalizing romance, but that is not all. The writing and story itself is riveting and absolutely hit the mark with the gothic thriller themes. I couldn’t help but think of stories such as Crimson Peak and The Awakening, minus the horror aspects, plus the pagan rituals in Outlander and The Forest House.
Additionally, it even gave me The Raven Cycle vibes and I was constantly thinking of this quote from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves, “In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.” This is basically a VERY adult version of that story.
You NEED this book!
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