Anna’s Aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.
Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.
Until she meets Effie and Attis.
They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.
But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her Aunt was right all along.
Is her magic a gift … or a curse?
Threadneedle is the first instalment of a new fantasy series set in contemporary London. The modern day setting is wonderful and it worked well as a fantasy backdrop adding an extra element of interest to the storyline. After the death of her mother and father Anna is being raised by her aunt who is training her to become a Binder and her dilemma is whether or not to continue with her training. Binders believe that magic is a sin and should be kept hidden. This unusual group of women in their twin-sets and pearls, bobbed hair cuts and strange demeanour are really quite terrifying and an uneasy atmosphere follows them whenever they are around.
Due to the length of the book I was anticipating a much more complex tale erring more towards an adult fantasy. I am slightly surprised, therefore, that it comes across predominantly as an older children’s/young adult novel peppered with some adult themes. Although it’s very easy to read the plot felt far too drawn out, I struggled with the pacing and the storyline didn’t grab me until the last few chapters. Probably because I’m an adult the high school drama, childish pranks and usual teenage angst, was a huge eye-roll for me and became a little tedious. Ordinarily I enjoy reading young adult novels, however I spent most of the time fighting the urge to skip some of the pages.
The character portrayal is good and aside from immaturity of the characters I did enjoy following their stories and development. Anna is a shy and naïve character who is clearly being manipulated by her extremely controlling aunt, who is seemingly sheltering her from harm. I liked Anna’s character but I hope she grows and strengthens as a lead character and gains much more in confidence. Attis was by far the most interesting character, he’s a bit of a joker and I enjoyed his sarcasm. He has a mysterious and secretive side and we are kept guessing as to ‘what exactly is he’? I enjoyed reading and learning about the magic, an interesting system involving the knotting of cord creating a dark and deadly magic. It is unique and cleverly thought out as are the witchcraft elements and the rituals.
A good introduction to the series with an unexpected twist at the end. I do hope in the rest of the series the characters mature and the plot definitely needs tightening up. On the whole an enjoyable and entertaining read which will appeal to young adult readers who particularly enjoy academy/high school based fantasies.
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date (UK): 27 May 2021
Series: The Language of Magic #1
Page Count: 564
Genre: YA Fantasy/Contemporary Fantasy
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊