I’ve flipped and flopped between liking this book and being annoyed by it. The concept is so unique – grande, magic European houses that take care of their caretakers and sustain the land. But they can also go rogue – taking, destroying and killing.
As a child Violet Sterling knew she would eventually become caretaker of her beloved Burleigh House. The magical grande house that drapes her in flowers, creates secret hiding places, and lights fires for her. But then her father is charged as a traitor and she is sent in exile while her father is sentenced to death within the house.
Years later she returns to a crumbling Burleigh House that is seeping toxic, dark magic into the surrounding landscape. Vi is desperate to save her treasured house without following her fathers path, but her heart no longer belongs solely to Burleigh. Battling her heart, her loyalty, and her convictions Vi sets off on a perilous path to save her house before it destroys … everything.
For the same reason I struggled with Laura E. Weymouth’s last novel, Light Between Worlds, I too struggled here. The pacing is so slow, tediously so, with the same concept being hammered repeatedly. It feels like page padding, one of my biggest book grievances. Because of this, it took me a long time to finish A Treason of Thorns as I was just never too excited to pick it up.
But when it was moving, this book was excellent. So dark, spooky, and again, very unique. I actually liked the childhood friends to lovers romance trope here (I know for some this was a sticking point), but I felt it worked well. I can’t say the characters felt too vivid or fleshed out, especially side characters like the Princess Esperanza and Alfred which had great potential. This was disappointing.
Overall the enjoyment of the story will be dependant upon the level of expectation you bring. If you just are wanting a light, slightly spooky and atmospheric read – you’ll be pleased. If you are looking for dramatic world building and passionate character development … you’ll be disappointed.
I loved the concept, I liked the characters, I hated the pacing.