“What if we don’t have to be what we were told to become?”
– Laura E. Weymouth
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Thank you Edelweiss+ and HarperTeen for an eARC of this novel!
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.
A Treason of Thorns was such an original story that I was totally immersed in from the moment I picked it up. I read it in an evening and was so sad when it was over and had to leave this new and original world Weymouth had created. It was dark and gothic with a creepy old house that I actually ended up not only understanding, but loving by the end. It also explored the idea that just because you have someone older and that you look up to you telling you how to live your future and who to become, you are free to forge your own path. That was something I needed to learn when I was a teenager, so I hope this books reaches those that need it.
Violet was incredibly dedicated to Burleigh. Caretakers always put their houses first was continuously drilled into her head as well as mine. It was a tad repetitive and a bit annoying, but that was Vi’s whole childhood so it made me understand some of the decisions she made that might have seemed a bit outlandish. I mean at the end of the day the house is a house and Vi had real people in her life that loved her dearly, but if you had grown up being told the house comes first daily, maybe even several times a day, wouldn’t you put the dang house that made you feel loved and special first?
The secondary characters were each fantastic and brought something to the story that was needed. Esperanza and Alfred were couple goals and provided most of the romance, while also being a badass research team. They were what real and untainted love looks like, opposite sides of the track that found each other and were trying to do something good beyond themselves. Jed and Mira were strong each separate and together. They were there when Vi needed them, providing unconditional love and care, but I felt they were a tad forgotten most of them time. I would have liked more of them, I mean they gave up years of their lives to take care of Vi just to kind of disappear after returning to Burleigh. The love interest Wyn was very hot and cold. I can’t say I was his biggest fan at first, but he did grow on me. His actions are explained at the end and him and Vi had a deep connection forged as kids. I’m a sucker for the whole friends to lovers troupe. Burleigh was the main love interest though. Vi had to be willing to put everything behind the good of the house, including herself. It was an unhealthy kind of love, but one needed to protect the country and the house itself.
I love crazy and unique magic systems and that’s what these houses brought to the story. I was a tad confused by how exactly the magic of the Houses worked, but about halfway through it was explained a bit more and began to make sense. The whole story was written around these magical houses, like a modern day fairytale but with dark houses that make you look inside yourself and see who you want to be and just what you are willing to give up to become it. We got a little history on Burleigh and the Sixth House, but I found myself wanting more and would definitely read a prequel to see how the Houses came to be. Burleigh felt like a living and breathing person and it’s interactions with people was interesting and just so cool to read about.