Intensely Erotic and Atmospheric... Unlike Anything I've Read | Review: A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone

7:38 PM

Me, immediately after reading this and knowing damn well I haven't been to church since I was a teenager: Do I need a cold shower or Church after reading this? (This is a compliment. I ADORED A Lesson in Thorns, just so we're clear. Insert a dozen of the fire emoji here.)


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… 

A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone 
Rating: ★★★★★

"At Thornchapel, time could slip by unmarked and you could walk places no one had walked in years. Maybe centuries."

Controversy aside, I loved A Lesson in Thorns so much and can't wait to dive into the rest of Thornchapel. I've read quite a lot from Sierra Simone in the past but this is her best, most erotic and artful work to date. Darkly entwined with its erotic nature, A Lesson in Thorns is utterly unforgettable and impossible to put down. If you've loved any of Simone's works in the past, you're going to devour this one just as it devours you.

If you're not interested in erotica, or romance, this will obviously not be a read for you. A Lesson in Thorns is an atmospheric and explicit work of fiction. This, of course, won't be everyone's cup of tea. There is something irresistible in the way that Simone tells this story; her prose has never been better. Every page passes by in a heated blur, with the reminder that A Lesson in Thorns is as suspenseful as it is sensual, as filthy as it is strangely tender.

While reading A Lesson in Thorns, I couldn't help but to feel like the estate in which the series is set was serving up the best of classic V.C. Andrews vibes. Simone's writing solidified my feeling of similarity, in the best possible way. While I've adored Sierra Simone's writing in the past, A Lesson in Thorns shows her at her very best and makes reading the novel compulsive and electric.

Further, I loved the eeriness and mystery that the Thornchapel estate provides readers as a backdrop. Everything always leads back to the estate, after all. Mostly, I loved the characters and the archetypes that they each represent to the plot and their peculiar and sexualized bond with one another. Poe, Auden, Saint, Delphine, Rebecca and Becket are all intriguingly complex characters with a set of their own complexities. (My favourites are all of them, but my ranking is: Poe, Delphine, Saint, Rebecca, Becket and Auden.)

Each of them have a varied connection with one another that makes readers double take, pause and fan themselves. There's something so electrically charged in their interactions, you are all flushed cheeks and flying high.

When I say that this is one of the most erotic works of fiction I've read recently, I mean it. But A Lesson in Thorns is more than erotica and romance, it is full of mysteries and plot twists that have the potential to tangle themselves into everything we are. By the end, I was feeling so many things: heat, frustration, excitement and sadness. Sierra Simone hooked me from the start, but by the end? She owned me.

You Might Also Like