Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Asperfell” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Asperfell Trilogy #1)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  481 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Only the darkest and most dangerous of Mages are sentenced to pass through the gate to Asperfell.

Not one has ever returned.

Never did Briony dream she might set foot in the otherworldly prison of Asperfell. She was, after all, neither Mage nor criminal. She was simply her father’s little whirlwind—fingers smudged with ink, dresses caked with mud—forever lost in a book or t
Paperback, 430 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Uproar Books, LLC
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Asperfell, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jamie Thomas Asperfell is an adult novel, however many younger readers would enjoy it! The only challenge for them may be the complex language and classical writin…moreAsperfell is an adult novel, however many younger readers would enjoy it! The only challenge for them may be the complex language and classical writing style. There are no sexually explicit scenes (sorry, guys!), but as it is set in a haunted magical prison, so you can expect a fair bit of Gothic atmosphere. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  481 ratings  ·  118 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Asperfell
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting from Asperfell, but those expectations were far surpassed. This debut novel is a bit of a slow burn, but it’s incredibly well written. The grammar and formatting are positively immaculate, which speaks highly of Thomas’s professionalism as an author; it’s obvious that she invested a lot of time in editing and perfecting Asperfell before introducing it to the world. And her way
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and the quotes included may have changed in the released copy.

Spoiler-free review. You can find it and more at Novel Notions.

What an utterly charming and engrossing debut.

“Whispers in the dark.
The dead keep the secrets of the living.

Asperfell was a surprising and enchanting tale, and made even more so by the flawless writing. Jamie Thomas took a risk with her prose. With its
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees
My opinion of this one is so conflicted. I loved everything about this story. The world building. The spunky, independent girl (later, woman). Even the flaws.

And then the ending happened. WTF Jamie?!

I understand this is Book 1 of a series, but that ending was more unsatisfying than zero carb bread.

There may be spoilers beyond this point.
The first 25% of this book takes us on the brief journey through the life of young Briony Tenebrae. First we see the world through her 8 year old eyes. The
Natalie Jenner
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ASPERFELL is a haunting and beautifully written gothic tale, which immediately captured my attention with the measured ease of its prose - an ease all the more impressive in a debut author. Thomas portrays her characters with skill and affection, and the heroine Briony is a particular delight. The slow burn of her romance with the reluctant and imprisoned prince, so doubtful at first of her unique abilities, was a genuine delight. This is a very early foray into fantasy and gothic fiction for me ...more
Ashlee Bree
Although there's no substitute for the void that the end of The Folk of the Air series left behind in my heart, this comes pretty close! Consider it the newest YA novel to hold my imagination hostage. To have me bursting at the seams to know more, to untangle the spell of its mysteries and obstacles all the faster...

This book is the first in a medieval-ish fantasy series that features white and dark magic, a prison world, an adversaries-to-allies-to-lovers dynamic, plus a collection of layered a
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, net-galley
***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and Uproar Books!***

I wanted to like this book. I really really wanted to like this book. It is exactly the type of book that I normally enjoy. A young, spunky female lead character. Magic. Society that seems to be based on a Victorian standard. Mysteries. Prisons. Other planes of existence. But I just couldn’t like it.

The writing is very good and thus why I gave this a two star rating over a one star. T
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya-na
Where to start? Did I like this book? Yes. Am I annoyed that it's the first in a series and I can't get the second one yet? Oh, yes.

Well written, with flawed and sympathetic characters, where the main character is allowed to make mistakes, misjudgements, and simply be wrong. She is also allowed to be right, to be couragous, innocent, and to grow. And so are the other charcters. Not a single one is perfect. Simply put, I believed I would like this book, and I stayed up until one in the morning t
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Briony BRIONY honestly this isn't a review it's just me swearing my undying devotion to Briony. Wild, curious, strong, brave. I love her. That's it, read the book and love her too, thanks netgalley. ...more
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-pleasure, fantasy, arc
(I received a free review copy from the publisher.)

"For fans of Jane Austen who always wished she'd dabbled in blood magic"? Sign me up.

This is the first time in a long time that I have not wanted a book to end, so immersed was I in the world and so attached to the characters. The writing flows beautifully, I never found the pace lacking, and major turning points are foreshadowed just enough that you can see what is coming next without being disappointed that the characters don't. I laughed, I g
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

It is quite something that I could make time to read between Christmas and today (which is my birthday, so a lot of planning and all going on), while settling in on a new job. Asperfell was totally worth doing so! The worldbuilding is so good, and so intense, I could not help but love both Tiralean and Asperfell itself, however grim both were and became. The same goes for the characters. Not one of them is perfect, but they
Alan D.D.
With strong world-building and just as realistic characters, Jamie Thomas created a novel you will fall in love with. I was a bit sceptical about the ending because of the slow-burn plot and thought there would be no time for a suitable ending, but after that ending, I am sure there will be a sequel; otherwise there would be little reason for such a cliffhanger.
I loved how well-crafted this universe is, how simple it is in some matters and complex in others. The author knew when to let herself g
I received a digital advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was so excited to read it so thank you Netgalley.

Oh My God. I absolutely loved this book so much! What an amazing debut novel by Jaime Thomas.

I was kind of feeling down after finishing most of my other high fantasy series. This was exactly what I needed!

The book is set in the world of Iluviel. In this world, there are magic users called mages, different classes of mage have different types of magic. Powerful
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, want
3.5 stars

This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.

Asperfell is a delightful surprise of a book. The cover does little to call attention and in truth, the novel does not get off to a good start, leaning pretty heavily on YA fantasy tropes, but in my opinion the storytelling and worldbuilding more than redeem the piece. Most of what follows will contain spoi
Gillian Barnes
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*I received an ARC with no stipulations, but chose to leave this review*

Holy amazing Batman! This is my first read of 2020 and I could not be more happy about that. A lead who is a mix of Arya Stark and Meridia from Brave...a supporting male whomis both vulnerable and brooding...a world built with quality, but without excess descriptions. 5 ⭐️ for sure!
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from netgalley in exchange of an honest review.


I really loved reading Asperfell, this book is peculiar and the characters are intriguing and interesting.
Set in a world called Tiralaen, a sort of medioeval one, where magic is real and people who possessed it are called Mages, the story starts when the main character, Briony, is only eight years old. When the king is killed by his heir Elyan, a potent Mage, able to siphon other's magic and use it, he's condem
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, arc
TW: Attempted sexual assault and sexual abuse is mentioned via memories

Asperfell follows Briony, the privileged daughter of one of the king's men. It starts off when she overhears that the king is dead and the crown prince is the killer. She along with her family, see the son, Elyan, be banished to Asperfell. Asperfell is a prison that was created for mages who have committed terrible crimes. Once the mages have been banished, they can never come back. Briony is set to the countryside after she
Pat Pulliam
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It reminded me of Marion Bradley’s classic The Mists of Avalon. Set in the mystical land of Tiralaen, a land in transition between the religion of the old gods of magic and earth and the new god of salvation.

The novel begins with the murder of the king by his son and heir Elyan, a powerful Mage. Elyan is sent through a magical Gate to the land of Asperfell where Mages who misuse their powers have been imprisoned for 500 years. Briony, an 8 year old girl at the time of the kin
Liberty Jackson
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it so much I read it in a day. This novel world builds so well that within a few pages you’re comfortable travelling with Briony and you don’t want to get off.

Particular highlights for me were how relatable Briony was, the romantic aspect, the difficulty of magic in the world, and the very direct parallels to historical tyrants as King Keric imposes his restrictions on his Kingdom, and the underground resistance movement to save them.

I absolutely loved the world of Asperfell through the
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Five stars for pages 109-419!

The beginning of this book is very slow, needlessly slow, I have to think the author could have put some of that in flashbacks, or not included it at all. But once we move from the kingdom of Tiralaen to the prison of Asperfell, the book takes off.

There's a lot that's not that original, like (view spoiler), and the romance is predictable (but in a good way), and the overall story is lots of fun. The world-building of
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Asperfell is a well written and compelling fantasy with an inventive plotline and strong worldbuilding-- and I enjoyed it quite a bit!

The plot hinges on a Gate that leads to a magical prison called Asperfell, where only criminal Mages are sent. A young woman finds herself tasked with entering the Gate to find the true heir to Tiralaen in order to save the kingdom from civil war-- and Tiralaen Mages from oppression and murder.

There were several inconsistencies even within the first few pages rega
Ellen Mayer
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful surprise!

During our current and worrisome situation, dealing with uncertainty and quarantine due to Covid-19, I have started reading more fantasy. Sure, I did start out with philosophy, self-help, and other books in that genre. However, fantasy gives me an emotional break and a lift. Sometimes, a fantasy novel can feel like a sitcom...ok, not great, but a little something different. I honestly have not been very selective. Then Asperfell turned up on my kindle.

I can't completely descri
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Asperfell is the story of a corrupt king, an exiled prince, a mischievous heroine, and complete courage. The writing flows very nicely. World building is superb, and this is a nice set up for future books in the series. I loved the chemistry between Briony and Elyan, and the interaction between Briony and her many exasperated mentors/guardians. The story telling is very original, fresh, and I was quite pulled into the story once the set up was complete. I look forward to reading more from this a ...more
Sarah Thornburg
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received a free ARC copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.**

Jamie Thomas has crafted a brilliant and well-crafted story. Her characters and world-building are masterful, and her way with the language makes reading easy and enjoyable. Possibly the only critique would be the information dump in the first quarter of the novel. I realize that we have to know the main character, Briony, and the world she lives in, in order for the rest of the novel to make sense. In the very first part of
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was really fantastic it is a great fantasy story! I went into this not really sure what to expect it seemed old worldly from the description but I was still interested to see what it had to offer. This book was so much more than I hoped for!! The characters and world are very well developed and had a rich natural progression to both.

It was entertaining fast paced and flowed well. The writing is excellent and I highly recommend it!!
I will definitely be looking for more from this autho
Shelly Campbell
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Asperfell was an excellent, well-paced read. Briony is a head strong, stubborn and spirited main character, but balances this with humility and an earnest moral compass. Refreshing to see a heroine’s journey where the main character has to really struggle to learn her skills and relies on her friends to aid her instead of just going it alone. Fantastic start to a series that is sure to impress. A joy to read.
Allison Bass
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t even know how to describe this book. I found it totally by accident and took a chance on it. SO GLAD THAT I DID! Wowza. The characters were well developed and the setting was so unique. I’ve never heard of anything like this. I just love the overall concept of the novel. An isolated prison for criminal mages? Yes. Please. I want that and more. There was a little romance, but it was the perfect amount and not overdone. Overall, a pretty clean book with only a bit of language and some viol ...more
Laurie C Miller
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good it made me late for work once

It's not often I come across a book anymore that keeps me up at night or makes me late to work (or makes me want to leave a review). Very much enjoyed this one.
Renee Strickland

I loved the beauty and magic and simplicity of childhood in the very beginning of the book. It was so sweet and poignant that even the heaviness of a kingdom fallen to fear or a magical prison full of criminals in permanent exile couldn't fully tarnish the hopeful possibility for better.
Ehsan Ahmad
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well written. Great story and dynamic characters. Really enjoyed it.
P.E. Owens
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy Fantastic!!

A story that is slow to start but quickly soared to the top of my favorite reads for the year. Even though it’s only May, I am certain this book will remain among the top ten.

This story has it all:
Lovable lead character
Incredible world building
Dark love interest
Slow building romance that is 100% believable
A villain you don’t see coming
Unlikely companions that steal your heart
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ten Thousand Stitches (Regency Faerie Tales, #2)
  • Half a Soul (Regency Faerie Tales, #1)
  • The Fire in the Glass
  • The Lord of Stariel (Stariel, #1)
  • The Court of Mortals (Stariel #3)
  • The Prince of Secrets (Stariel #2)
  • Daughter of Lies and Ruin (Tales of the Blackbone Witches, #2)
  • A Sharpened Axe
  • A Curse of Ash and Embers (Tales of the Blackbone Witches, #1)
  • Blue Fire
  • Faerie Winter (Bones of Faerie, #2)
  • The Copper Heart (Crow Investigations #5)
  • The Faceless Mage (Legends of Abreia, #1)
  • The Ninth Sorceress (The Price of Magic, #1)
  • The Stars We Steal
  • The Unseen Heir (Legends of Abreia #2)
  • Vanity and Vampyres (Manners and Monsters, #4)
  • Manners and Monsters (Manners and Monsters, #1)
See similar books…
Jamie Thomas began crafting stories in the fourth grade with a tale of a brother and sister who accidentally bring the birds on their hotel wallpaper to life. Even though she ended with the cliched “It was all a dream” gimmick, she still won a regional young writers competition that year, thus beginning a lifelong love affair with the written word.

A certified Language Arts teacher in the state of

Other books in the series

Asperfell Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Forest Kingdom (Asperfell Trilogy, #2)

Related Articles

Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
41 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »