A Treason of Thorns is a completely absorbing, magical read with a beautifully lyrical style which swept me into its enchantment from the start.
As a young child, Violet witnesses the incarceration of her father and best friend in her beloved home, Burleigh House, one of the six Great Houses of England all of which have a magical power which has been bound to the King. Her father, its Caretaker, commits an act of treason against the Crown in attempting to unbind his House hence leading to his incarceration and death.
News of his death brings seventeen-year-old Violet back to Burleigh House which is in desperate decline and in danger of losing control of its magic and unleashing it into the surrounding countryside, causing devastation. This leads her into a desperate attempt to save it from destruction, throwing herself into great danger as she risks everything to save the House, a House she loves, but at what cost to herself?
The premise of this story is utterly fascinating as Violet has an intense symbiotic bond with the House which at times is laced with an insidious darkness edging on parasitic which kept me on tenterhooks throughout. Violet’s love and loyalty towards the House is all-encompassing – almost! On her return to Burleigh, she is reunited with her childhood best friend Wyn. Childhood feelings develop into much more as Violet fights to save the house and Wyn fights to protect her from the House’s magic. Together with Wyn and the most unlikely but wonderful allies, Violet embarks on the continuation of her father’s plan to save Burleigh, but will her fate be any different to her father’s?
Violet is a truly wonderful protagonist. She is determined to save the House to which she is devoted: a House whose pain and rage she feels, whose memories she watches, whose magic she absorbs. She shows admirable strength, courage and intuitiveness in defending it against the machinations of the King who is determined to control or destroy it. However, she also struggles with her loyalty towards the House as she makes uncomfortable discoveries; as she is forced to make impossible choices; and as her heart is pulled in two different directions. This bittersweet need to reconcile her two great loves leads to divided loyalties and makes for some very poignant moments.
A Treason of Thorns is a wonderfully original and enchanting story which completely enthralled me as I was immersed in the magic, danger and love which seeped from its pages.
Thank you to the publishers, Chicken House Books, for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.