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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  46 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
Paperback, 430 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Uproar Books, LLC
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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…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)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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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
⭐ Roxie Voorhees ⭐
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-ebook
4/5 stars

I'm gonna be honest here and say that my favorite thing here is definitely the writing. It just flows perfectly, but it doesn't give you all the answers but also doesn't keep things hidden. It leaves just enough for you to follow closely and being able to put together all the pieces as we go along. The characters were well done, but I wish that I had gotten a bit more attached to Briony more. While I cared, I never truly felt a strong enough attachment. That could go for some of the
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 ...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
Ehsan Ahmad
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well written. Great story and dynamic characters. Really enjoyed it.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Asperfell is about Briony, a privileged girl who's family is a part of the King's court. After the King is murdered by his eldest son with magic, his younger son takes over the throne. The eldest son, Elyan is banished to Asperfell - a prison in another world. With a new ruler, a rein of terror begins, targeting mages and anyone who aids them. Briony's father is skeptical of Elyan's guilt and seeks to find the truth. In a tragic turn of events, Briony's family falls from the King's good graces ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First I fell in love with the cover then I fell in love with the story.
The world building is amazing, the cast of characters well thought and interesting, the plot flows and you don't want to stop reading.
An excellent and entertaining read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Jayne Murray
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Read this in a day when I downloaded it from #Netgalley. A little bit of a slow start but it contained rich world building and a well explained magic system. And what a finish! A few twists and turns I didn’t see coming. All the characters were well thought out and all interactions between characters had a point. Great book, now when is the sequel released? #asperfell
Hannah Osborn
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"As we passed under the archway and into the tunnel, blackness consumed us and Magefire bloomed in my hand. It did not chase the shadows away entirely, not even when my companions summoned their own flames, for Asperfell was made of shadows, and made shadows of us all."

-quote from Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

Publisher's description:

"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
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
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!
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, late teens
Shelves: favourites, arc
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with the ARC in exchange for an honest and fair review.

“For every woman who has yet to discover the power of her own voice.” - Dedication, taken from the NetGalley digital arc, text might change


The writing has a very classic gothic novel feel to it, which it manages to maintain without becoming derivative. The style matches the content and subject matter, feeling period appropriate and enhancing the immersion. Throughout the novel the writing flows
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a female protagonist who describes a male character as both insufferable and loathsome must kiss him by the end of the book.

This book opens with an author biography in which Jamie Thomas declares her intention to “smash the patriarchy one novel at a time!” I have to assume that she is referring to some future novel, as this one barely so much as flinches in
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book, and hard to describe. It seems like a mix between an older "romance" novel (like Jane Austin) and a fantasy book. The language and writing style of the author may seem a bit old-fashioned, despite the 1st person point of view that is so common in today's YA. The main character, Briony, embarks upon a perilous journey to try to save her kingdom and redeem her family's honor by passing through "The Gate"--a portal between her world and a prison created for ...more
Rachel Feeck
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-for-review
Conspiracy, vivid characters, and clever uses for magic. Not sure of the Austen comparison, but Asperfell reminds me of Sharon Shinn's Summers at Castle Auburn.

When the king is murdered and the crown prince banished to the magical prison of Asperfell, Briony Tenebrae follows her family to the capital, where her father is chief advisor to the new King Keric. The young girl is curious and intrepid, and more interested in eavesdropping on political meetings or chatting with the master mage than
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is being categorized as new adult rather than young adult, but it felt much more young adult to me, especially since a great deal of the story involves the coming of age of the heroine and has a first person narrative, plus angsty romance combined (the whole I hate you then love you trope). The prose is billed as being classic, but it wasn't mature, complex or historically classic enough to present a problem for teens to read it. Once the story shifts to the prison world of Asperfell, the ...more
Anna Tan
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
Asperfell is the kind of book that you start reading, and you fall into fairly easily, even while your mind goes, I know exactly where this is going. And it goes in those exact. same. places. without deviating. But it doesn't stop you from devouring it anyway.

It pings every single YA trope there is, which may be what makes it (5 stars woot!), but also what breaks it (3 stars eh, I saw that from a mile away). Briony is the feisty, untrained but unquenchable female protagonist who blunders into
Jenna R
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
**I received an electronic ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Jamie Thomas brings us the first book in a new fantasy series, Asperfell. Asperfell is, first and foremost, a prison for mages. A sentenced mage will walk through the gate to this new world where they remain forever cut off from the world they once knew. Readers follow Briony, a noblewoman whose father is on the privy council to the king.

When the beloved king is murdered by his son, Elyan, the heir
Corinne Anderson
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Asperfell was a wonderfully designed novel. Magic and murder all tangled up together had me turning the pages faster and faster. Our story opens up on the eve of a King's murder and the sentencing of his first born son, a mage no less, as the murderer. He is sentences to Asperfell, a prison for mages who have committed heinous crimes. Once they are sent through the Gates they can never return. Paranoid with the fear of those with any magic at all, the prince's brother, now king, creates a ...more
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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
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