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Threadneedle

by Cari Thomas

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1484162,418 (3.65)1
The Sunday Times No.4 Bestseller Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic. 'Magic and love. Love and magic. They destroy everything in the end ...' 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?… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
Marketed as, I believe, adult fantasy, this reads much more as a YA read to me. There's a lot of teenage angst and themes of coming of age. It's long but never gets ponderous. Fresh and original.

Anna has been brought up by her aunt after the violent deaths of her parents when she was a baby. Her aunt has indoctrinated her in the dangers of magic, 'Magic is the first sin. It must be bound'. Her methods for controlling Anna's magic are not kind. The binders use knots as a method of control and binders techniques can be brutal. Devoid of a loving family life at home, fifteen-year-old Anna also keeps her head down at school, avoiding notice. She is called the Nobody.

When Anna's other aunt, Selene, visits, bringing with her Effie and Attis, Anna's well-controlled life begins to slowly unravel. Her eyes are opened to another side of magic, another side of life, to some of the normal things 15 yeard old girls do, and to less normal things like magical libraries and shops in London.

But all is not fun and games and Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Dec 4, 2021 |
I think I didn't pay quite enough attention to the marketing or maybe this is a result of the UK not separating out ya from adult in SFF genres to the extent that the Americans do, but I didn't realise quite how ya the novel would be. It's modern day witches at high school, set in London, among relatively posh kids. I struggle with magic school books so I'm really not the audience but it was well written and put together with interesting magic. I would not recommend it to my friends who read adult SFF but I might recommend it to the few teens I know who read books of that flavour as it has a lot to offer that age group. In that sense, it is actually refreshing to read ya which feels, for once, targeted at actual ya readers instead of ya written for adults on the sly. ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
Anna has always known about magic but her aunt has told her to be careful and that she must repress it. As Anna reaches 16 she becomes aware that magic can be dangerous, important witches have been found dead and her aunt is telling her that she must formally bind her magic. Into her life come Effie and Attis, their magic is wild and free and they encourage Anna to experiment and develop. Anna has a huge decision to make and wants to know her family secrets before making it as she feels she is cursed.
I can imagine that this book is very popular with its target audience but I was left wanting a little bit more sense and less teenage angst. It's a little like reading a hormonally-driven Harry Potter book but without the lightness and humour. Don't get me wrong, there is an interesting plot here but I felt it was suppressed and not developed enough leaving the final quarter of the book jammed with content that actually was the driver of the narrative. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Aug 19, 2021 |
A magical world right in the middle of the normal world. Not Harry Potter, no this is much darker and much more real. It is a YA and Anna the protagonist is a 16 year old girl so it should be no surprise that some of the demons that they are battling have more to do with boys and popularity than magic but there are darker problems and not just the bullying, mean girls and gossip of the conventional world.
It is a book of contrasts, between the control and oppression of the Binders, an almost religious organisation to which Anna's aunt and guardian is a senior member; to the hedonistic freedom shared by the fairy godmother figure of Selene. Selene is an old friend of Anna's late mother who moves back to London with her daughter Effie and a teenage boy called Attis and this changes Anna's world. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Feb 1, 2021 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Epigraph
Goddess of Silence and Secrets:
Seal our mouths, so we can't speak.
Pierce our eyes, so we can't seek.
Knot our hearts, so we can't feel.
Bind our spells; to you we kneel.
What is forgotten, can't be known.
What isn't planted, can't be sown.
Lock the door and turn the key.
We bear our magic silently.

The Binders' Blessing.
Dedication
To my parents, who showed me there is magic in this world
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The bells rang out as they had done for hundreds of years, their sombre music sweeping over London with grace and stillness, bright as the moon which was full and ripe in the sky.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Sunday Times No.4 Bestseller Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic. 'Magic and love. Love and magic. They destroy everything in the end ...' 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?

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