|| Book Review || Threadneedle by Cari Thomas ||
Genre: Fantasy, Witches
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 27th 2021
‘THREADNEEDLE had me spellbound – a luminous, captivating fantasy that left me longing to return to Thomas’s vividly imagined magical world.’ KATIE LOWE
‘Enthralling and original.’ JAY KRISTOFF
‘A bewitching tale of magic, family secrets and twisted affections, of finding your true self in a world of treacherous mystery.’ DAVID WRAGG
‘Trust me it’s a good one. You’ll want to give this a try.’ ROBIN HOBB
Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.
Magic is the first sin. It must be bound.
Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She has taught her to fear how it twists and knots and turns into something dark and deadly.
It was, after all, magic that killed her parents and left her in her aunt’s care. It’s why she has been protected from the magical world and, in one year’s time, what little magic she has will be bound. She will join her aunt alongside the other Binders who believe magic is a sin not to be used, but denied. Only one more year and she will be free of the curse of magic, her aunt’s teachings and the disappointment of the little she is capable of.
Nothing – and no one – could change her mind before then. Could it?
Thank you so much to Random Things Tours, HarperCollins UK and the author for a chance to read and review this book!
It has been such a long time since I read a really good witchy book and I have to be honest guys, this one blew my mind!
Threadneedle is book one in a new young adult fantasy series and I can say without a doubt that I am already eagerly anticipating the next instalment.
Cari manages to breathe new life into the genre with a unique take on witchcraft that is inspired by both the traditional as well as something entirely new.
The writing style is excellent and easy to follow and the pacing is average-fast. At nearly 600 pages long I was surprised to find that I flew through this one in only a few days.
So what’s Threadneedle all about?
Our main character Anna is a witch who lives with her Aunt since her mother tragically died. Aunt is cruel, abusive and strict but she does care about Anna in her own twisted way and thinks that she is doing the best she can by raising her the way that she is.
Aunt is terrified of magic and the reasons for this are only fully explained toward the latter end of the book so I’ll not spoil the story by talking about the why of it all.
Aunt is a binder, this is a witch who believes magic is dangerous and that it is a sin to even want to use it and has had her magic bound away.
The binders are a sort of cult in my opinion but the way different covens are referred to in the story are as “groves” with each grove practicing their own distinct “language” of magic of which there are literally infinite numbers of (for example potions, plants etc) The type of magic practiced by Aunt is knot magic and this is what she teaches Anna, using these knots to tie up emotion and keep them under control.
I found the magic system in this story to be completely fascinating and I loved the idea that there are so many different ways to practice and that a witch has to try various types of casting to find the language that calls to them.
Once you are introduced to Anna and her aunt the polar opposite is then thrown into the mix with the arrival of Effie and Attis.
Aunt is very unhappy to find out that these two will be starting at Anna’s school and warns Anna about letting them influence her and constantly reminds her to stay true to their beliefs and on the path of the binders.
Effie wants to show Anna everything she’s been missing out on and Anna becomes more and more tempted.
As a character I found Effie to be quite annoying actually. I don’t think she was likable but I did enjoy how she managed to bring Anna out of herself and form a group of close friends out of girls who were otherwise bullied, lonely outsiders basically.
A big part of the setting is actually in a high school and I found a lot of what went on there to be so true to life that it was hard to read sometimes.
There is a lot of bullying, body shaming and just basically nasty girls out to cause as much trouble as they can. The journey these girls take as they learn more and more about their powers and go from being nobodies to somebodies is brilliant but there are a lot of bad and wrong decisions made to get there!
Using magic to get back at the bullies causes a lot more problems than it solves!
Effie shows Anna a whole magical world she never knew existed including shops full of magical items and a library buried deep underground that has a mind of its own!
As Anna learns the truth about her mother’s death and what that means for her a whole lot of drama unfolds which leads to an incredibly exciting final few chapters!
Everything is wrapped up with the story with no cliff-hanger ending but with a promise of more drama to come in book two and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds!
About the Author
Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’ Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books. She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the
appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.