by Cari Thomas
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Pub Date 27 May 2021 | Archive Date 1 Apr 2022
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction, HarperVoyager
Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city filled with magic.
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?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 281 members
An unusual story that kept me gripped to the end!
I was unsure about this book, but thought I'd take a chance and expand my reading horizons. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would now pick up anything I see by Cari Thomas.
Wow! This is just beautiful. Some YA books are harder for those that have long left their YA days behind them to read - the things teenagers care about are often not as important to us older folk. But Threadneedle manages to evoke the absolute piquancy of being young and bound by rules you feel trapped by, or having no rules at all and self destructing.
I loved the magical realism, the idea of magic branches having a language, and by the end of the book, was absolutely sure I will be auto-buying the next, because I need to find out what happens!
(one note, and I'll try to make it as spoiler free as possible - why is it posited that the girls cannot both love the same person? Polyamory is a thing!)
Threadneedle is about a teenage witch named Anna, who has been raised by her aunt to detest and fear her own magic. She has spent her life repressing it, preparing herself for having it cut off entirely by a group called The Binders in order to protect herself from its dangers. But when Selene, an enchanting family friend who flaunts and thrives on magic, comes to visit with her daughter Effie, and Effie’s best friend Attis, everything that Anna has been taught begins to blur. Anna is swept into a world of magical libraries, potions, spells and witches who proudly wreak havoc. And it quickly becomes unclear who she should believe when it comes to her magic.
This book is intimidatingly long but not remotely slow. There’s a lot of character building, scene setting and high-school drama thrown in amongst the magic and the mystery, but it all ties together perfectly. The hugely varied, fascinating cast of characters, and the entertaining mix of romance, angst and dark magic kept me hooked throughout.
I loved a lot about this book, but my favourite thing was that it made me feel completely unsettled the entire way through. With frequent mentions of the dangers of magic, Effie’s recklessness and Anna’s Aunt’s paranoia, it felt like something could go wrong any second. I was constantly grappling with my concerns of who to trust and what could go wrong, and it left me feeling unnerved and completely enthralled- not to mention in love with the vibrant cast and entertained by their high-school revenge plots.
As someone who has only recently discovered the genre of Witchy YA, this book has only made me more desperate for a sequel and, honestly, anything else about magic that I can get my hands on.
I doubt I am the reader that this book was aimed at, being elderly and male and not used to reading YA novels, but I was captivated by Anna's story which jolted me out of my usual detached attitude to a novel. I really felt for her as she was held in thrall to her aunt by bonds of magic and indeed love. It's a thoroughly satifying novel even if the denoument is a little obvious. I shall certainly read the sequel
What an utter treat this was! There is a particular joy for bookworms, especially life long bookworms, when they find a new book that instantly feels as familiar as a favourite pair of pyjamas and yet is all new, waiting to be discovered. An instant classic, which becomes part of the lexicon of books that make up you as a reader. Threadneedle is that kind of discovery, a dash of Diana Wynne Jones, a hint of A Little Princess, a soupcon of school stories, and a darkness that's all it's own. I loved it, as enthralled as those under spell in the book.
Anna is a witch with no magic. No matter, if she had magic it would be bound during her sixteenth year when she joined her aunt as A Binder, a group of witches whose mission is to protect themselves by locking magic away, haunted by The Hunters, a shadowy group responsible for witch trials throughout history. It's a joyless, painful existence, with all emotion as tightly bound as magic, especially love. Anna has been in training all her life, hiding away from everyone and everything. Her one brightness is Selene, an old friend of her dead mother's whose occasional visits bring much needed joy, and so she's delighted when Selene mentions she is moving back to London. But the delight turns to dread when she meets Selene's daughter, Effie, and boarder Attis and learns they will be coming to her school. Because Anna spends her life pretending magic doesn't exist and that she barely exists whilst larger than life Effie and Attis use magic in plain view and command attention. Despite herself Anna is drawn to them both, and emboldened starts to investigate what really happened to her mother, and to ask, is her magic nonexistent, suppressed or cursed?
Meanwhile London is buzzing about six mysterious deaths and soon rumours of witchcraft start to circulate, fanned by an an academic Institute. Are the Hunters just a myth like Effie and Selene claim or is a force more powerful than them all waiting to rise?
Threadneedle is the first in a series and I for one will be at the front of the queue for the sequel. This was a tense, shadowy delight of a novel. Highly recommended.
I love books about magic, it would seem most of us do with the success of Harry Potter. This book really does not disappoint. I loved the characters, the author weaves each individual story so well. The story is set in modern day London rather than a totally fantasy world and there are some very Harry Potter like parallels with the two worlds of magic and non magic living side by side. That is where the similarity ends. It is a book for young adults and my young adult years are well behind me and I loved it. The central character is torn between magic, love and loyalty - it is well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
I adored this book! My teenage years are well behind me, and I wouldn't ordinarily read a YA book but the synopsis intrigued me. Everyone is familiar with the awkwardness of being a teenager, combining this with trying to hide your magical abilities and gradual uncertainty about who to trust meant I couldn't put the book down. I haven't read Harry Potter but have seen one or two of the films, and I would consider this a more grownup, less earnest and less clear-cut take on teen magic.
Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this.
Cari Thomas creates a magical world here that grows and grows as you read, and has the potential to grow still further. She gives us a truly frightening villain - Aunt is part of a magical/anti-magical cult that believes in chaining magic. That's the only way to be safe. Aunt is scary and conflicted and cruel, but Anna loves her. Anna is an orphan, in a bleak world, surviving school by becoming invisible, surviving at home with Aunt by being absolutely compliant. And she has no magic. Effie and Attis burst into her life and change things - utterly, gloriously and terrifyingly.
There is a fantastic world here, that we get to explore with Anna as she starts to try to find a way to be herself.
I am so excited that this is the first of four books. I really recommend it. It's a magical world that I found more exciting than J K Rowling. There's cosiness and sexiness and downright nastiness. Definitely recommended.
This was a spellbinding fantasy debut that had me reading it as fast as I could! Sometimes fantasy can feel a little overwrought and difficult to get into in my opinion but this was as engaging as it gets and gets a full 5 star recommendation from me!
At first this seemed a little intimidatingly long and gloomy, with the talk of magic as a sin and Aunt as a puritanical bound witch. It soon picked up though with Anna discovering more to life than binding, and that being a nobody at school could burst out into friendships and magic. I loved her discovering her friends and getting deeper into the mysteries of magical London, as well as the increasing pace towards the revealing of secrets. Yes, the book was long but it flew by and I'm really looking forward to the next in the series.
The book is great on friendships and the difficult aspects of being a teenage girl, albeit one with magical powers, as well as conveying the abusive relationship between Aunt and Anna. Many of the scenes in the house felt really oppressive, and Anna's powerlessness really comes across, as well as her conviction that she can't admit what is happening to her - it's an excellent portrayal of a damaging family relationship, even if it is very much overlaid with the fantasy magical elements. There's a lot to this book and I really hope it gets the reception it deserves.
I enjoyed this story of witches and witchcraft very much. It was set mostly in a school, was dark and sinister at times and yet at others, it made me smile and reminded me of what it felt like to suffer the angst of teenage love!
I was intrigued by what was in the room on the third floor at Anna’s aunts house. The revelation was not what I’d been expecting and came as a bit of a shock when the reveal finally comes.
How would it all end? My imagination created so many possibilities but none matched the reality and when the story ended, I was left wondering ‘what next?’ Maybe we’ll get a sequel and find out? That would be excellent. Great book.
As usual in my reviews, I will not rehash the plot (there are plenty of reviews like that out there already).
This book is probably aimed at young adults/teenagers, but as a lover of magical tales I couldn't resist.
I'm glad the publishers granted my wish, as the book was spellbinding (if you'll pardon the pun!). I wasn't sure what to expect to begin with - poor Anna had a gloomy existence and seemingly an even gloomier future! However the tale (and Anna's life) picked up with the arrival of Selene, Effie and Attis, and I could't put the book down.
I loved the fact that there's a magical world running alongside the "ordinary" world, intersecting in ways I didn't always expect (planning a trip to the British Library!), and that there are many different types of magic being practiced by different "groves" - each with their own language. The relationships between the main characters are believable, as unfortunately is the horridness of some of the other characters towards them!
As well as the magical elements, the author has captured the uncertainties and anxieties of being a teenager. There are some great characters - a splendid main baddie (Aunt), a mixed cast of fellow pupils, the uber-chilling Binders, the warm and welcoming Wort-Cunnings ... and the mysterious Seven...
This novel is the first in the series, and I cannot wait for the sequel. It's definitely not all sweetness and light, and it's clear that there are dark forces at work, but the wider plot is yet to be revealed.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC. All opinions my own.
Magic is a sin. It must be bound. Anna Everdell knows this. She knows her place. Her life has been one long lesson in restraint and control. Aunt has made sure of it.
Magic killed her mother, magic is dangerous. Anna’s knotting ceremony looms and she can do nothing to stop it.
But what if magic isn’t dangerous? What if there is more to her mother’s death than her aunt’s acid words?
Anna does her chores, she goes to school and yet she does not live. She is shrunken. Suppressed, turned inside herself. Soon, her power, the tiny crumb of it deep inside her, will be gone.
When Effie and Attis transfer to her school, she is drawn into their circle of magic. Soon she realises that there is another London, another world she did not know existed: of libraries made entirely of books, corridors of pages, leather volumes that listen and whisper; of half-hidden emporiums that sell fantasies and and dreams and the memories of strangers; of keys that can open any doors: of clubs that pulse with spells, ancient and strange: of magic that can draw in the stars and slow time.
Across London whisperings of witches, sacrifice and ritual hang in the air, heralding strange and dark times to come. And Anna must decide to fight for her magic or lose it forever.
The characters are diverse and richly-drawn! Despite them being witches, they have human complexities - and this makes them very relatable. Each of them are bound up in a knot of love and fear and with each page, this knot tightens.
Aunt is a frightful character, as cruel as she is powerful but she is also an enigma, one that will have you trying to puzzle out her secrets and motivations. In Effie, there is a fire that can warm those around her but could just as easily burn their fingertips. And Attis, for all his charm, battles with his own shocking demons. (I have to quickly mention Rowena. In all the turmoil and darkness bubbling up, she is the lifting presence. She is bright and loud and hilarious! And I loved each and every scene she was in!)
One of THE most imaginative books I’ve read! Threadneedle is feast for the heart and for the senses. With a strong, compelling protagonist and rich, seductive prose, I don’t think I could pick a favourite scene if I tried. It is truly incredible! It’s an ode to the magic of books. I loved the characters, the plot, the twists laid seamlessly along the way. It is transportive, enchanting. This book casts its own special spell upon the reader! One that will have you eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! I CAN’T WAIT!
A modern fantasy, with dark and dangerous magic set in modern London.
Filled with witches, none of whom are quite what they seem, this is cleverly crafted and imaginative tale which I struggled to put down.
An unexpected ending with secrets revealed, this was a highly satisfying read, which still left me wanting more.
Well worth adding to the book shelves
Anna has lived with her aunt in London since her parent’s horrific deaths when she was a baby. She is a witch but has been brought up with stories of the dangers of magic and has been in constant training to control her magic, repress it and tie it up with unbreakable knots. But when the daughter of a family friend enrolls at Anna’s school, Anna begins to question what she’s always been told about magic. Effie is an effervescent character who brings chaos, liberation and a mysterious boy called Attis into Anna’s life, but Anna can’t escape the suspicion that she is cursed and must bind her magic away for everyone’s safety.
Anna’s cruel, repressive aunt is a horrible character, with just enough maternal concern to make her truly sinister. Effie and Attis are a delightfully charismatic duo who tempt Anna away from the security of what she’s always known. The different forms of magic are beautifully wrought—Anna’s compulsive knot tying is particularly compelling and draws you into the story before you understand anything about the world.
I loved this book and I couldn’t put it down—an enchanting, thoroughly gripping tale of magic, family curses and surviving secondary school. Brilliantly done. Can’t wait for book 2.
This is unlike any book that I have read. Cari Thomas’s imagination is incredible. I was totally caught up in the story and spent most of today reading. I got completely lost in this magical wonderful story. I love different stories like this and I would definitely recommend this one.
Thank you to NetGalley for my copy.
Threadneedle (The Language of Magic, #1) by Cari Thomas introduces the reader to a world of magic. But this is not the world of excitement and joyful magic that we have grown familiar with through childhood fairytales. No, this is a world of fear where magic is dangerous, a sin and must be bound. Or at least, so fifteen year old Anna Everdell is lead to believe. Orphaned at the age of 3 months, Anna is raised by her cruel and strict Aunt. Spending her life following the edicts of the Binders; a strict secret group that seeks to ‘bind’ the power of all witches for their own safety. Subdued into following this way of life, Anna does as she is told, without question. But deep in her heart the wish for magic still burns – after all she is a teenage girl and like many teenagers, she is curious about the world around her.
As Anna’s 16th birthday approaches, she is excited to discover that her aunt Selene is coming to visit. And now, our tale really starts to move as we learn that Selene is a practising witch, and raising her daughter Effie in the craft. The possibility of actual magic in her life both excites and scares Anna but surely Selene wouldn’t lead her astray? And then Effie, and friend Attis, joins Anna’s school and magic takes on a newer and distinctly more dangerous dimension.
Meanwhile, the world outside their immediate circle is becoming more aware of the presence of magic and witchcraft in society and it appears that ‘The Hunters’ might not be far behind. Leading the Binders to be increasing manic in their decision to bind Anna.
With the influence of Effie, the novel takes a distinct move towards the territory of the popular 1990s movie ‘The Craft’ as the girls create their own coven and fight back against their tormentors, but the elements of darkness and drawing out of Anna’s character, help to elevate this story line from a standard YA to one that is much deeper and exciting. Thomas has conveyed the powerlessness of the relationship between Anna and her aunt, along with the development of her emotions and powers. The portrayal of the family and their relationships is very well done and I think that many teenagers will find themselves able to relate to the feelings of this richly drawn characters.
In Summary: Threadneedle is a delicious treat of a novel, to a savored. And I’m excitedly looking forward to the next step in the adventures of Anna and Effie.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Sixteen-year-old Anna lived with her Aunt in London. She never knew her parents they died eshe was a few months old. But her Aunt said that they died because of magic. But it is cursed. So, since Anna can remember, her aunt has been preparing her for her magic to be bound and in a year’s time and join her aunt and become a Binder. As her aunt believes that magic is a sin, and it is cursed and should not be used. But as a teenager, they don’t always do what they say they going to do. So, with her friend Effie and Atticus and some other girls from school they build their own Coven.
Thank you, Harper Collins, and NetGalley for a copy of Threadneedle the first in The Language of Magic series. This is not only a great debut novel but, also a great start for a new fantasy series. This is aimed at adults but to honest more of a Young adult story of a group of teenagers. Who are on the brink of adulthood and discovering who they are and magic, curses, witches, and magical libraries and evil aunts. The school and library parts reminded me a bit of a Harry Potter vibe, but the rest was original an unique storyline that I enjoyed very much. 5 stars from me.
Raised by an Aunt who has brought her up to believe that magic is sin and needs to be repressed (or 'bound'), teenager Anna finds herself questioning this teaching when she meets Effie and Attis who practice magic openly, and without shame. Tensions rise as she enacts minor rebellions against her Aunt, prompted by the the effusive, carefree nature of Effie, the daughter of her late mother's best friend. Meanwhile, magic is starting to become talked about in wider London society as six women are found hanging under Big Ben with no explanation as to how they got there...
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I sped through it in a couple of days. Cari Thomas has captured the angst of teenager-hood without over blowing it, and has created a cast of compelling characters who take use through an engaging and magical story of adolesence, family, and love, of rebellion, discovery, and mystery. It is fast-paced, beautifully written, with stunning world0building, and a dark thread running through (no pun intended) which raises the stakes higher and higher as the book progresses. Can't wait to see how this series develops!
Wow, this book has gone straight into my top 10 favourite books ever, I absolutely loved it! There's been a lot of hype on social media about this book and rightfully so, this will be a spoiler free review.
Threadneedle has such an interesting premise, I feel like the blurb doesn't give a lot up and you're kinda left interpreting what it's about but honestly I think it's best if you go in completely unaware. I feel like it's hard to find books that are wholly unique, but I feel like Threadneedle comes pretty close.
I've been really enjoying books with witches in at the moment, this is the third book within the last few weeks I've read about witches but this has to be my favourite, there's something different about Threadneedle, it's just a really brilliant read. Threadneedle has the perfect blend of magic, witches, drama, friendship, love, betrayal. There is your typical teenage high school drama in Threadneedle and there's also similarities with the cult classic movie "The Craft" ( I won't spoil it) but there's a much larger game in play.
I really loved the main character Anna and I thought she had great character development, it was great to see how she grew into herself and deal with some of the issues presented in the book. I liked the unlikely friendships in this book and I'm intrigued how they'll develop in the later books.
I really loved the magic system in Threadneedle and the magical realism of London in this book. The magical elements Cari Thomas has added to London are brilliant, from magical libraries to stores to objects such as magical scissors that can temporarily cut your hair (where can I buy these?!), it's the little details like these that really make a book feel that little more believable.
You will read this book in one of two ways; you'll either take your time and savour the experience or you'll devour it like I did. I ended up staying up till silly o'clock in the morning reading over 80% in one sitting, I could not stop reading it, I absolutely loved it! I will eagerly read whatever Cari Thomas writes, I'm so glad this is the first book in a series.
You will read this book in one of two ways; you'll either take your time and savour the experience or you'll devour it like I did. I ended up staying up till silly o'clock in the morning reading over 80% in one sitting, I could not stop reading it, I absolutely loved it!
This novel is overwhelmingly good and has left me in a book hangover. It is intense. There is tension throughout which builds up to a crescendo of a climax that I would never have guessed despite all the clues cleverly threaded throughout. It’s beautiful, dark and the imagery is vivid and stunning. It has depth and is multi-layered so could easily reread and reveal more about the characters and setting. Some of the imagery of the magic and punishments endured is so powerful it made me believe the book was created by magic itself. I felt Anna’s emotions, her confusion and pain while living with her controlling Aunt and her wonderment at the magic beneath her fingertips. It has angst with teenage revenge, shows the innocence of love and the hurt it can wield. The characters are memorable and know them they are real while reading and beyond. And wow, what a climax.
I love witch and magic themed books but this one is worlds ahead of the best. It has left me reeling in shock and in awe. It is reminiscent of Carrie, Heathers and The Craft but has an original feel. It left me wanting to read more and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
This book is unique in a lot of ways. The writing, combined with the mythology and characters of course, creates a really gripping atmosphere. At times it felt like I was reading a poem. There was a rhythm in the sentences. There was magic in the sentences. It brought the story to life in a very special way. I didn't really see it, but I felt it. I felt what Anna felt. I felt the power of music. I felt the fear. The doubts. The thickening mystery. I felt the weight of the choice that had to be made.
Thomas really takes her time to craft her world and to show us her characters and who they are. It makes the book detailed and maybe a little slow, but this magical world is amazing and very well thought out. Exploring it with Anna, being surprised by its beauty and being scared by its ugliness, was a truly magical experience. I love the idea that this world full of magic, all those different witches, are living among us. And all the build up, all the storytelling and all the explaining leads somewhere. The finale was breathtaking and it was impossible to put the book down.
On top of that we meet a lot of amazing and layered characters. Even though we only see everyone through Anna's eyes, I still feel like I really know them. And all those characters, including Anna herself, are beautifully human. Even the best people make mistakes and do almost unforgivable things. And until the very last moment we keep on wondering if maybe people who we thought were wrong could have been right.
I could tell a lot more about this book, but I most of all can't wait until the characters and I will reunite in the next book.
I enjoyed the book, and my enjoyment doubled even more after its second half. The magical fringes of Threadneedle's London come to life in such a vibrant world, and its full-of-wonder nature beautifully contrasts with the main protagonist Anna's cynicism after a lifetime of emotional abuse. There were subtle threads planted in the first half, but the second half propelled the series to much darker territory with some disturbing reveals. I can't wait to see how the rest of the series unfolds.
Thank you Harper Voyager for granting my wish!
I have spent the whole of my Sunday in bed finishing Threadneedle and watching the snow fall and it was magical (both the weather and the book). Threadneedle was full of witch covens, mysterious curses and teen drama and I am 100% here for it. The only problem is the I keep on reading all these amazing books and then have to wait a year for sequels (probably not the worst problem to have).
Absolutely spellbound! This book was so wonderful and exceeded my expectations. It's like a mix of The Craft and the Wicca book series, but London set and infinitely more detailed. Anna lives with her aunt after the tragic and brutal death of her parents. Her aunt's main aim is to bind her magic, and has spent a lifetime raising her to be emotionless, to withdraw from the joyful things in life, like love, fun, beauty and magic. But when her mother's friend Selene signs up her daughter at Anna's school, everything changes.
The characters were so wonderfully built out and there were all the elements of teen life alongside the joyful, magical elements. The details of the magical spaces hidden in plain sight were brilliant, and made you feel like you were right there with Anna, discovering this whole new world.
The ending/explanation was more complex than I'd expected and it shows real skill in the author's storytelling ability, how everything was laid out so carefully, so subtly. I hope this will become a series and I'll be first in line to buy the next one!
A thrilling and enthralling tale of modern-day witches and magic
"Magic is the first sin; we must bear it silently."
Six women, all eerily similar in looks, are found hanging from the shattered windows of Big Ben, with a seventh noose empty. They become known as the Faceless Women. No one knows who they are or what they were doing in the clock tower at midnight.
Since her parents' tragic deaths when she was a baby, teenager Anna Everdell has lived with her Aunt Vivienne in a cold, spartan, rigidly ordered London house. Its pots of tightly closed rosebuds never open, conveying the joylessness contained within. Vivienne is a Binder, a member of a much-feared group of the magical community who seek to keep magic secret and suppressed. Vivienne's magic is powerful but kept buried deep within her, all her emotions and impulses controlled, tied up in intricate threads and knots she weaves with different coloured cords. Strict, intransigent, and abusive, Vivienne uses her Binder magic to hurt and punish Anna in cruel, horrible ways under the guise of 'discipline' and 'protection'. Determined that Anna will become a Binder like herself, Vivienne trains her niece and keeps her on a narrow path, but Anna's magic appears weak and threadbare, constantly failing her. Anna can only express herself through her love of music and piano playing and through her embroidery – the stitches serving as notes of the songs and desires to which she dare not give voice.
On Anna's sixteenth birthday, the vibrant, glamorous Selene, a friend of Vivienne and Anna's late mother, returns from New York to London with her rebellious teenage daughter, Effie, and their mysterious young male friend, Attis. All three - practise magic freely in a way Anna is forbidden to do, opening a whole new world and outlook. When Effie and Attis join Anna as sixth form pupils at her school, the teenager's life inexorably begins to change. Gradually, Effie's defiant nature helps release Anna's subdued spirit, enabling her slowly to begin resisting her aunt's sadistic constraints. She finds friends among other unpopular, secretly magic pupils at school, discovers how to unlock her true potential, and begins questioning everything she has always been told. Is she truly destined to be a Binder? How did her parents really die? What secrets is her aunt keeping that she will stop at nothing to prevent Anna from finding out?
An intriguing, absorbing, and exciting tale, Threadneedle immediately draws the reader into Anna's life, evoking an extraordinary world in which starkly contrasting elements of contemporary teenage difficulties and dark fairy tales are sewn together into a seamless whole. Anna herself is a very believable, multi-faceted, and sympathetic POV heroine. Ground down by the years of her aunt's cruelty and obsessive control, she has nonetheless developed a power and goodness that she at first cannot recognise or call upon due to constant psychological and physical abuse and her eroding self-esteem. What makes her especially intriguing and unusual is that she is not a standard heroine. Of the two teenage girls, the fiery and devil-may-care Effie would seem to be the more typical 'rebel' heroine, but the tables are turned here unexpectedly and effectively. Anna's hidden strength and intense inner life render her silent stoicism far more compelling as the plot unfolds, and how she blossoms and comes into her own throughout the story is a joy to read.
As multiple mysteries unravel, realisation dawns that nothing and no one is what they appear to be, creating a riveting and suspenseful page-turner that slowly but surely ratchets up the tension delivers some choice twists along the way. Rival branches of magic are revealed to give the world depicted a convincing breadth and synergy. These range from Rowan, the bullied yet relentlessly cheerful school gossip with hidden depths, to Darcey, the 'cool girl' adversary and tormenter so awful that she makes Harry Potter's Draco Malfoy look benign. The characters are wonderfully drawn, reflecting the novel's outstanding balance of light and dark (even Aunt Vivienne is graced with a hint of complexity beneath her overall monstrousness). As the first in a series, Threadneedle keeps the reader on tenterhooks throughout, caught up in Anna's plight, and the spell of magical realism the author skilfully weaves, creating along the way further questions to be answered in future books.
Jo-Anne Blanco / Arwen Evenstar
Elite Group received a copy of the book to review
‘Curdle and coil, serpents of spite, How you hiss and rattle, with tongues that bite. Gossip and spoil, rumour fly and infest – Swallow them whole at our behest.’
Imagine a combination of The Craft, AHS Coven, Sabrina, Practical Magic and Charmed, and you’ll have an inkling of what a treat this is. It’s got a little bit of everything - magic, mystery and a little bit of mischief.
Set in modern day London, the story follows Anna Everdell who lives with her controlling and domineering aunt, who believes magic leads to nothing but doom. It’s her aunt’s intention to have Anna’s magic bound in order to prevent public exposure, but when the opportunity to join a coven and explore her magic presents itself, Anna cannot resist. Threadneedle spins a tale of witchcraft amongst the turbulence of high school antics and buried family secrets.
Despite it being a slow starter and taking its time to get me invested, Threadneedle is one of those books that lingered in my mind and I found I was missing its world and characters long after finishing.
The tale of a teenage coven set in high school was gripping and scandalous. We have the classic antics of student rivalries, catty gossip, social outcasts and peer pressure. But mix all of that with a little bit of magic? Well, that’s when the fun and disasters begins!
In a world of casting spells as simple as pouring wine, to getting revenge, to then enchanting magical trinkets like a comb that sorts hair perfectly, and visiting a living library full of books that eat hair and so much more, it was so impressive how lusciously drawn it was. I really enjoyed this world and I’m desperate for more.
The troupe of characters that make up the Coven of the Dark Moon were likeable and all have the potential for decent character development as the series goes forward. There’s the shy and sensible Anna, the daring and defiant Effie, the loud and bubbly Rowan and the quiet and anxious Miranda. It was fun to see the group of girls grow closer, and it feels like it could really progress into a sisterhood.
And, the romance. Oooooh yes it’s here and it’s very enticing and daunting. I’m afraid we’re all in for a likely sordid and addictive love triangle, and as much as I usually don’t have the patience for them, what Thomas has set up has me very curious on where it’ll lead.
It’s an excellent debut and series starter. It might even be in my favourite reads of 2021. I was thoroughly spellbound by the climax, I didn’t see the ultimate twist coming and I’m really excited for the sequel. It’s clear there’s a lot of history to be uncovered and there’s more magic and covens to discover. Honestly I’m like a kid at Christmas excited for what this series could deliver from a fantastic new voice in YA fantasy.
Thank you kindly to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.
Although I am not in the intended age-range target for this book, I found it absolutely captivating and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy stories.
I rarely give 5 stars but this beautifully written tale, darker than Harry Potter, which it will no doubt be compared to, deserves every star. As the first book in The Language of Magic series, I eagerly await the follow up.
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
When Anna’s father murdered her mother and killed himself, it was her aunt who took her in. Aunt is a witch, a Binder. Anna is being raised to become a Binder, taught that magic is a curse, a temptation that must be rejected and knotted into submission. Soon Anna will reach the age where her magical ability is bound; can she overcome her own misgivings about the Binding, and learn to accept her fate?
Threadneedle is the first book in a series by debut author, Cari Thomas. I’m not 100% sure whether it’s supposed to be aimed at the adult or young adult market, but either way, this older adult absolutely adored it. It’s difficult to discuss without giving spoilers away, so I’m not going to even try, but all the usual requisite components are there – characterisation, world-building, etc – alongside excellent writing and a lot of heart.
For a first-time author to come out with something of this quality is incredible. It’s definitely worth five stars, but I’d give higher rating if it were mathematically possible. Wow! Best book of the year so far.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A wonderful and intriguing new book. It hooked me in and wouldn’t let me go at all.
It’s very interesting the way it plays around ideas of morality and power. When does power become too much. How do you become corrupted by it.
Completely fascinating especially when you realise the story behind the main plot and all those delicious twists and turns.
Eloquently written with a clear line of thought, Threadneedle is a beautiful fantasy story that I just couldn't stop reading, dinner was late but the story was first!!!
Anna is almost turning 16 and suddenly an unexpected visit from her Aunt's friend that she really admires secretly and from her daughter Effie, that is the same age as Anna will bring a new meaning to Anna's simple life. They practice magic freely and without awareness of consequences, defending the beauty of magic at all cost.
They are witches, not binders like Anna's Aunt, that thinks that magic must be silenced! The book of the binders represents all the silences and sacrifices that witches had to do to be protected, basically living in fear.
Effie is moving to London and will study at Anna's school...from there all sorts of magic moments and adventures start changing Anna's future.
Full of fantasy, with witches, a magical garden, love stories, death and curses, the Threadneedle is consequently a 5 star book.
My request to the author @cari_threads : Second book as soon as possible please!!!
Thank you to @harpervoyager_uk and @netgalley.com for this wonderful review copy!
I usually hate starting a series when book 1 has only just been released but I couldn't resist the sound of Threadneedle. Of course you get the frustration of open ended ending because there is more coming but you do get a conclusion to the main story of this book which I was really pleased about.
It took me a few chapters to get into the writing style and even just be able to keep track of who was who and what all of these new words mean (think Harry Potter spells that we are so used to now, but learning from the beginning). After the first few chapters I was all in, invested right until the end. I've stayed up late and got up early to read this book, it really did draw me in. A book I would categorise as YA but very dark in places and twists and turns and character development that I really didnt see coming even as a 30 year old. 5/5.
PLEEEEASEEEEE GIVE US #2 SOON!!!!
After a daunting start, where my kindle showed that it would take over 10 hours to read, I soon got totally engrossed in this great book.
I loved the storyline, the unexpected twists and the characters.
I would definitely recommend it to all ages and I can’t wait for the next one!
Wow. Just wow. Still trying to process all of my feels for this book. I haven't felt this way about a new series in many years.
Anna has spent her 16 years being raised by her Aunt, detesting everything about magic. She is training to become a Binder, where her magic will be bound within, unable for her to use. Her mother's best friend shows up to visit, and Selene threatens the foundation of what Anna thinks and knows. Selene's daughter Effie, and her friend/boyfriend/? Attis will draw Anna into a new world of magic and make her question everything she thinks life has in store for her.
Filled with witchcraft, beautiful character development, and beautiful settings within London, this book picks you up and doesn't let go until the story is done. I cannot wait for future books in this series.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Harper Voyager for pre-approving me to read the e-arc of Threadneedle by Cari Thomas on NetGalley. I’d seen publicity for this book on a number of social media sites and was devastated at not getting my mitts on a physical arc, so was overjoyed to get hold of the e-arc in exchange for an honest and totally unbiased review. I was scared as before even starting, I had high expectations and I really didn’t want to be disappointed!
At the start of the book we’re introduced to our protagonist, Anna, an orphaned teenage witch in the care of her Aunt, who has brought her up to be terrified of her own magic. Her aunt belongs to the fellowship of Binders, who cut off access a witch’s access to magic when they reach the age of 16. Initially Anna accepts this, she doesn’t have a lot of magic and doesn’t know anything different, but things start to change when Selene (a family friend,) comes back into Anna’s life.
Selene is like an exotic orchid to Anna, she is the opposite of her aunt in practically every way, empathetic, warm, vibrant, and thrives on magic and excitement. Selene is accompanied by her daughter Effie and Effie’s best friend Attis, who are also confident, vibrant and magical! They challenge everything Anna thought she knew about magic and sweep into her world, transforming and expanding Anna’s universe to include the world of witchcraft, potions, magic libraries, adventure and friendship, challenging everything Anna thought she knew.
The world building and backstory are sophisticated and well done, you don’t get pages of study notes that drive you to boredom, but well paced and balanced layering that grows as the story progresses. The background of Anna’s school is skilfully handled and terrifyingly realistic - I’d forgotten just how awful some parts of school were.
The characters are well-defined, written and each plays a role in the story. I absolutely loved Rowan, she fought back against all the sizisms and wasn’t your typical big-girl character, and her mum was just a superstar! The teenage angst amidst the drama was appropriate and well-paced and whilst Insta-love was referenced, it was handled well and not the primary factor.
The whole story carries with it that unsettled, look over your shoulder feeling...between the dark magic, Anna’s aunt’s controlling, domineering paranoid behaviour, the dark magic, curse references and the Institute news announcements it felt like disaster was just waiting in the next page.
I loved this book. It is suspenseful, witchy, mysterious, and has a great story! 5 stars from me! Give me more!
A great read. It took me back to my teenage years, with hints of The Craft, Practical Magic and even the more recent Sabrina. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it kept me going right until the end with its twists.
Anna Everdell is an orphan. She's been brought up by her strict aunt and lives in a world of magic. Magic is a sin, it's dangerous. When she's in her teens Effie and Attis starts going to her school and the magic begins to open up because they are not afraid.
I really enjoyed this book. I don't read many witch based books because I find them a bit hit and miss but this is definitely a hit! I enjoyed the characters and getting to know them. Although this is quite a long book it is worthwhile because of all the detail. It actually leaves you wanting more! Brilliant escape. Highly recommended.
An exciting book title, an intriguing description and a beautiful cover, of course I wanted to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Threadneedle is a magical fantasy with curses and witchcraft, although set in modern day London, happening right under our noses.
This is the story of Anna, who lives with her controlling aunt after the mysterious death of her parents. Anna has so many questions about her past, and needs to make a decision about her future that could change everything. But her aunt is keeping secrets from her, and can she really trust her friends?
Cari Thomas will take you an adventure with twists and turns, and I will look forward to reading some more.
This book was an all-round five-star read. The story was great, the characters were fully developed and believable (as much as fantasy characters can be!), and the prose was beautiful. There was a real sense of ever-changing atmosphere throughout the book, suspense and twists and turns. It was a real joy to read.
I underlined so many quotes in the book, as I met another beautifully turned phrase that made the scene and/or characters come alive.
Our heroine, Anna, is an orphan – raised by her aunt following her mother’s murder by her father. Anna’s mother and aunt had magic – as does Anna – but Aunt sees it as an evil to be hidden and supressed, along with all emotions:
“When she was young, Anna had quickly learnt that there was nothing fairy tale about the Binders’ magic. No magical lamps. No wands or capes. Knots were the only magical language tolerated by the Binders. A knot is concise. It is secure. Above all, it is discreet, Aunt had explained. It can be done out of sight without anyone seeing. It keeps our secrets safe.”
The Binders are a group of paranoid, embittered female witches, somewhat akin to religious fundamentalists who believe in Original Sin, and use it as a means to restrict and imprison the will and activities of females. All Binders have their magic bound – only when they reach the higher levels of their order may they perform magic – but never without pain, to remind them of magic’s evil.
Anna’s life is full of pain, cruelty and darkness. At school she perfects her role as a Nobody to avoid the notice of others – especially the notice of the queen of nastiness:
“Darcey Dulacey front and centre, scanning the rows of pupils before her regally, bone structure pure-bred pedigree, hair bronzed, make-up impeccable, a proprietorial smile and cruel eyes, judging and assessing.”
The one bit of light in Anna’s life, is the occasional visits by her mother’s best friend, Selene:
“Golden hair, blazing yellow coat, red lips: Selene arriving like a comet to their house, radiant against the darkness around her.”
For Anna’s birthday this year, Selene turns up with her daughter, Effie, and Attis. Who or what Attis is, is a mystery:
“His accent was strangely nomadic as if it had collected the interesting parts of other accents on its travels.”
Neither meets with Aunt’s approval:
“‘Witches like them ought to be bound on the spot. That girl should not be allowed to practise magic, so untethered and impulsive, she has no idea of the consequences. She’ll end up like your mother, mark my words.’
Both Effie and Attis are now enrolled at Anna’s school, and Anna’s life takes an abrupt turn. She is introduced to Rowan (rather over-weight and daughter of a witch) and Miranda (with very strict Christian parents) – other misfits like Anna – whom Effie decides will form their coven, learn and practice magic. Darcey describes them as: “The Whore, The Virgin, The beast, The Nobody”
Effie is a force of nature:
“No one quite seemed to know what to make of Effie and the rumours swirling around her had taken the unimaginative turn into the realms of what a whore and slut much, the only category they seemed to have for a girl who scared them.”
“‘I don’t think the men in this school know what to do with you.’ ‘Men can’t handle me because I play by the same rules as them.’
There is a strong whiff of misogyny in this book – perpetuated mainly (but not only) by the females, such as the Binders, Darcey and her acolytes. However, blaming all for the sins of few, did not sit well with me (or Anna):
“‘Does this other man really deserve this punishment?’ ‘He’s a man, Anna. They have done us enough harm across the ages that any harm we do to them now is insignificant.’”
The Binders live in fear of the Hunters, whom they believe will kill all witches, so they must remain hidden and supress their magic. Anna must decide whether to continue to ally herself with Effie and her friends, to become a free magical person, or to become bound. At the start of the book, the choice is very clear to any thinking person – but by the end, so much has happened, so much has changed, that the choice is no longer a foregone conclusion.
Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, or who revels in wonderful writing and story-telling.
This is not the sort of book I usually read. I'm not interested in fantasy or magic. I think I must have got it by mistake but once I started reading I was hooked. I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it. It's a long book but didn't feel long at all. Apparently there's a sequel planned. I can't wait.
Threadneedle is an ARC that I still can't believe I got a chance to read early. This debut fantasy with paranormal elements exceeded all my expectations and delivered a stunningly magical story. We follow Anna, who is preparing to have her magic bound by her aunt and the powerful group she belongs to. As she turns sixteen, she begins to unravel more and more secrets about her family and through a group of new friends discovers the real power behind her magic.
We'll start off with the writing which, of course, was so good! Cari Thomas has such a way with words and creating such vivid descriptions that it's so easy to just get completely lost in this story. This is a chunky book at 576 pages and yet the pacing didn't feel slow, the author knew just when to speed things up and when to slow it down but still keep the narrative moving. I also had instances where I forgot this was YA cause the writing is mature and sophisticated yet still easy to read. I think the only instance where I felt slightly confused was the very end as a lot was happening at once and I did have to slow down a bit to take it all in.
Throughout reading this book it definitely gave off major 'The Craft' vibes but did it in a way that it still felt fresh and engaging. I love magic and witches and fairytales, three things this book does so well. The plot was a really interesting take on YA witchy books with the ever looming binding hanging over everything. There's a lot packed in but it also connects together easily, all the puzzle pieces just fit. The overall conflict was good and the ending sets it up nicely for the sequel. There is some general teenage drama in here too but it does link into the plot well.
Anna is our main character and she's very easy to like. Having just turned sixteen she's about to face having her magic binded but struggles with wanting to learn more about her magic and her family whilst going against her aunt, the only family she's ever known. Anna felt very real, her decisions we understandable and her actions felt like those of a teenager discovering what freedom and life tastes like. She develops a friendship with three other witches at her school and together they form their own coven, this was one of my favourite parts of the book as it's where the main bulk of magic is done and explained through them. They also just had a great relationship, Rowan being my ultimate favourite character. She grew up in a magical family, is somewhat of the comic relief and struggles with her weight and school bullies.
There are some romantic elements in here too but nothing felt insta-lovey. The relationship between Anna and Attis is so cute and develops really nicely throughout the book. I may be a little in love with Attis myself, he's so charming and a bit of a loveable rogue!
The worldbuilding might be my favourite part though. It's set in London but Thomas inserts magic into all these different places so that all of these magical, hidden locations throughout the city are uncovered. My favourite place was the magical antique shop that had everything from photographs that emitted the emotions that were felt when it was taken to a candle that smells like your favourite memory; tidbits like that really make me love a story even more. There's just something about combining our world with a magical one that I love especially when it's done as well as it is here.
This was a fantastic series opener, I feel like the magic touched upon here is just the beginning and there's a hundred directions it could go. The magic is pretty complex and there's so many different types that I hope the author continues to explore it in future books. If you couldn't tell, I really loved this book. If you like witches, coming of age stories and endless magic then I think you will too. I can't wait for the sequel (very sad that it's probably not going to be for a while) and I've already pre-ordered a physical copy for myself! Already a favourite of the year!
It was with some trepidation that I started this book I had read the overview and thought it sounded different but I have a love/hate relationship with with fantasy and more so when they are young adult but my goodness this book was absolutely amazing and I really did love it. The writing was spot on and as this story was set in the present day it felt very real with lots of teenage angst and bitchiness going on and wrapped up in a tale of teenage witchcraft and spell casting.
This read has such a lot going for it and I was totally hooked and what’s more this is book one of the series and I can’t wait to read the next instalment all praise to Cari Thomas for writing such a delectable story and please write quick as I really do want to know more from Anna and the rest of the characters that made this a real joy of a read. So at last a fantasy series that I loved and really can recommend it was just brilliant.
My thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK, Harper Voyager for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
I found Threadneedle to be such a wonderful, magical story. I thought all the characters were well developed and so believable. The magic running through out felt so close, taking it's history and inspiration from actual witch practices. The plot was full of twists and turns, and I was rooting for Anna throughout.
I can't wait for the next book in the series!
This is definitely not the sort of book I would normally read, but I was gripped from the start.It’s probably most suited to young adults but it’s so well written and imaginative that I enjoyed it immensely ,even though it’s a long time since I was that age.It deals with the things that affect most young people,the difference being that the main characters are witches!
It’s the first in a series and I will look forward to finding out what happens next to Effie ,Anna and Attis.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review which reflects my own opinion.
Having experienced this dark magical first instalment, I am intrigued to read what the sequels hold.
This reads very much as a coming of age novel; Anna is preparing to submit to her aunt's desires to have her magic 'bound' when a strange event and the reappearance of an old family friend throw her future into doubt. Caught between her aunt's polemic against her magical abilities and the delicious freedom she experiences with her new friendship group, Anna feels herself torn. She becomes more questioning about her own past and about the wider magical world. I rejoiced as she fought back against the bullies at her school, but horrified at the way that she is so badly let down by the adults in her life, even though they faced their own difficulties. I found myself absorbed as I read about the personal struggles that Anna experiences which are connected to a much bigger conflict in the magical world.
Roll on book 2, I will be queuing up for my copy.
My thanks go to the publishers and Net Galley for the advance copy in return for an honest review.
I found this book totally enthralling. It follows the struggle the main character, Anna has in understanding herself and her family history. She is a teenage witch who has been bought up by an aunt to repress her magic. The aunt wishes her to be bound by the age of 16 years. It follows Anna as she begins to fund out about herself, through the angst of teenage woes and emotions set against her abilities as a witch. She has no friends at school and is strictly controlled by her aunt, until Effie comes into her life. Effie, a witch is rebellious and quickly identifies Anna and two others at school as witches. These two are also not accepted by their school mates. Effie leads them through a journey exploring magic and its powers. The story moves quickly and kept be engaged throughout. The ending was in a way unexpected and leads me to believe that there will be a sequel.
I can recomend this book to young adults and even, like myself older adults.
Thanks to Harper Collins for a review copy
Threadneedle is a novel which is hard to catagorise though urban fantasy would probably be the closest description. It tells the story of Anna Everdell, a teenager living with her aunt in London. Both Anna and her aunt are witches and Anna is resigned to soon have her magic bound (like her aunt) and join the coven known as ‘The Binders’ who believe that all magic is evil and should be kept inside them lest it should attract too much attention and draw the attention of modern day witch hunters.
Anna lives with her aunt because her mother was killed by her father in an awful domestic murder-suicide and, try as she might, Anna can find out almost nothing about them other than that her aunt despises the memory of her sister and blames her death on magic.
Anna soon meets Effie, the daughter of another witch, Selene, whom Anna has known since childhood. Effie is much more at ease with her own magic than Anna and the two soon become friends and attend school together along with Attis, a mysterious boy who is deeply attached to Effie and lives with her and Selene.
As the novel proceeds it becomes clear that there is a lot more to the characters than meets the eye and the mystery of their relationships and powers deepens. Meanwhile Anna’s Binding draws ever nearer.
Whilst there will no doubt be comparisons with the Harry Potter books I think that Threadneedle will appeal to a different audience as it is a much darker book and the magic, whilst important, is not the only thrust of the story. This is as much a novel about the choices we make, especially as we grow up and how they combine to make us what we are. It is also, undeniably, a tragedy. There is no cheerful Professor Dumbledore to run to for help, no well defined enemy like Voldemort, and every character has their own secrets. Each and every person in the book can only be described as a lighter or darker shade of grey, black and white goodies and baddies have no place in Cari Thomas’s magical world.
There is much less world building than in J. K. Rowling’s novels. The London in Threadneedle is the real London of today where the magical world nestles, discreetly, alongside the non magical community. Cari Thomas has grafted her world onto contemporary society seamlessly and her story fits perfectly into that mould. The school attended by the main characters is a fee paying day school (of which there are many in London) and magic is most certainly not on the curriculum. There is a degree of cruelty and gossip prevalent within the school, particularly among the older girls which is, sadly, all too realistic. The wholly different responses of Anna and Effie to this environment is starkly drawn at first but, as time goes on, the effect that they have on each other as they try to deal with the bullying that they face forms a major part of their character development.
As Anna grows more confident under Effie’s influence she begins to feel a deep desire to find out more about the deaths of her parents before she is bound. Her aunt’s response to this very understandable wish is also a mystery and, as we understand more about what happened, the tragedy unfolds. I thought I had it worked out but I was totally wrong and was very surprised at the ending (in a good way!)
Whilst Anna’s story is the main thrust of this novel it is set against uneasy stirrings within the magical community. Events are occurring on the world stage, mainly a gruesome and mysterious multiple murder at the very start of the book, which is drawing unwanted attention to those who would much prefer to be left in peace. I sincerely hope that Cari Thomas writes more about the world she has created so we can see how the story of this book fits in to the wider, over arching tale.
This is a book for adults and young adults, it has mature themes and some very unsettling scenes and ideas that would, undoubtedly, give nightmares to younger readers. That said it is a beautifully told story with believable characters about whom I loved reading and I would recommend this book to anyone with love of good writing and a gripping story.
An absolutely adorable read, I didn't want it to end and hope the author has set it up nicely as it seems for an awesome sequel.
A coming-of-age story with many twists the book is beautifully written, the characters are relatable and enticing, and the plot keeps you on edge until the very end.
Loved it - all the angst and elation of being a teenager run through with glitter and magic - don't miss this one!
Threadneedle is one of my most anticipated reads of this year and it did not disappoint!
What I enjoyed most about this book was the comradery of the girls, the coven formed by Anna, Effie, Rowan and Manda, a group of outcasts, bullied and/or invisible, which of course isn’t all positive throughout the book but I enjoyed getting to know them, each character is so different. Rowan is such a delight to read, funny and relatable and Effie is intriguing, dark in many ways but complex, and while their spells do go too far, and at times they are cruel, from bullied to bullied you can’t help but route for them. There is a message in this book of how being different isn’t wrong, being different is powerful, in not denying yourself, that I enjoyed.
Some things I could have done without, the book starts with an intriguing execution of a group of women, a notorious coven who is referred to several times but it doesn’t really go anywhere, similarly neither does the idea of hunters that the Binders seem obsessed with. Perhaps this is for a sequel but starting a book with something that doesn’t really have relevance is a bit confusing.
Of course if this is only book 1, this could be breadcrumbs building up into something greater, it just wasn’t really enough to say much but too much to be ignored. I’m also not a fan of love triangles which have a habit of turning up in YA. Is this a YA book, I don’t know. A lot of the things that happen at the school seem like something that would relate more to a younger audience, however the abuse that Anna endures at home from her Aunt is pretty dark and uncomfortable reading, as is starting with a mass hanging!
Thank you NetGalley for the early read of this book, the book is as brilliant as the cover 😊 I look forward to reading the next instalment.
This book is literally incredible and I’m so happy I got to read it!!!! It’s so meticulously thought out and fun but tense at moments yet magical and sweet and dark but light and I can’t even describe it!! I can’t wait for book two!! Please!!!!
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins, for the review copy.
This is an unbiased review of the author's work and style. If you want spoilers, please see the publisher's blurb and other reviewers' reports.
Let me say at the start this is not a copycat book in the J K Rowling's mold. It is a young adult book, at the start of a series called "The language of Magic", its concept is new, and the characters are well defined. The lore that is used is not wholly new, but it is comprehensive, well defined, and structured.
As a debut novel it is powerful and if to your liking gratifyingly long.
I look forward to reading the next in the series, to my mind the second novel defines the depth and ability of an author so I am hoping for more of the same with a fresh plot line.
This book has the quirky magical charms of Harry Potter, the darkness and smartness of Discovery of Witches and the sassiness of Twilight as you escape into this world of magic. This book is a slow and steady read as you gradually get woven into the magic of the story as it builds up to a satisfying end. I love real world magical stories and this one is no exception blending magic, and myths to create a unique coming of age story. This book is so well written you instantly feel part of this world where magic is possible, the characters are all equally well written and there is nothing as straight forward as good or bad.
ThreadNeedle is stunning. The writing is intensely beautiful, and carried me off into a world of magic and love, secrets and lies. Anna has been warned of the dangers of magic, but as she approaches her sixteenth birthday, things begin to change. Effie and Attis come into her life, and it becomes more difficult to resist that magic and believe what she has been told. Joining The Binders has been her fate. But is she ready for a life of pain and denial? Her Aunt is determined she will do as she is told, but Anna’s eyes are opened to new possibilities. As the story unfolds we enter a world of wonder, of magical libraries, of underground secrets hidden from the ‘real’ world. I was hungry for more. The story was brilliantly conceived and I couldn’t put it down. I want more and more of the same.
I was given this ARC to review.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.
The author has created a magical world, in this story, the magic seems to keep growing.
Anna’s Aunt, whose both scary and cruel, still Anna loves her. An orphan, Anna’s going through school, being invisible and at home she’s getting through by doing as she’s told.
Then, Effie and Attis appear in her life and suddenly things change. Which is terrifying and wonderful.
The world that we get to see with Anna is fabulous and she starts to find somehow to be herself.
Many thanks to Net Galley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Fans of HARRY POTTER, here’s another series that is gonna blow your effing mind, make you squeal with joy, and go into raptures with the reading experience.
Enthralling, Enchanting, Delightful, and Spell-Binding!
‘People think stories are harmless but they are the most dangerous weapon mankind has.’
Threadneedle, the first in the series of The Language of Magic is a young adult fantasy story that is an utterly compelling and riveting read. The author Cari Thomas has been exceptional in creating a place with witches amidst the bustling city of London. Now just don’t begin this with the expectation of Harry Potter coz this is definitely a much deeper and in a sense, a back to the root magical world that has been fashioned by the author. There’s no easy spell learning and magical wands for the wizards or witches to learn their skills, Threadneedle has its base on the elements of earth for its witchcraft. In fact, the depth of traditional witchcraft being mentioned in the story is simply amazing.
The protagonists in the story are 16 yr olds and the school they belong to is like any other high school, with its own share of bullying and body-shaming and mean-girls that feel acutely authentic. Anna’s life as an orphan cared for by her aunt is nothing sort of a miracle. The abuse she has to endure in the name of magical binding is terrifying and the story unfolds in such a way that the reader is given no clue if at all the paranoid aunt has some basis for her beliefs. As new friends Effie and Attis show Anna what she is missing in her life, Anna becomes emboldened to change from NOBODY to SOMEBODY. But nothing prepares her for the magical discovery and the journey she has to bear for the truth of her parent’s death and the curse that is hanging over her head.
That magical library! Who wouldn’t want to be a permanent member there? And, of course, there’s Rowan and her mother in a similar vein to Ron and Weasley’s. I sincerely do wish that Rowan could get over the complex about her weight and grow confident in her abilities, half the book is about her being body-shamed, and as a matter of fact, the use of magic to stop the bullying is what causes trouble for Anna and Effie as things spiral out of their control.
There’s no cliffhanger ending as the crux of this part of the story does get cleared up but I just can’t wait for the unfolding of the drama that forms Anna’s curse and emotional upheaval of that love that is assuredly going to create a hell lot of problems.
J K Rowling did introduce a world of magic that is categorically unparalleled but it is not an adult world. Cari Thomas has her protagonists as young adults but it is a world of magic that can be enjoyed by anyone with a love for fantasy.
Threadneedle is a fantastic series opener and this is surely going into my shelf for keeps and is it too soon to demand book #2?
This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India, Facebook, and Twitter.
Threadneedle is the first in a new YA series and a stunning debut novel. It is filled with mystery, intrigue, magic, and darkness and I devoured every word. The main character Anna turns 16 at the start of the book and we delve into her world, where magic is said to be a sin. Anna lives with her Aunt and as the story unfolds we learn all the ghastly things her Aunt has done to her in the name of protecting her from her magic. In a typical younger YA setting, school play a major role in the story. Anna has always been a nobody and likes to keep it this way, not drawing any attention to herself. We have the usually bullies and torment too. When Anna is introduced to her Effie and Attis, things start to change. Anna has one year before she is to become a binder and have her magic bound and she is determined to make an informed decision by finding out what really happened to her parents, why her magic is flawed, what the binders really do, and why Aunt is determined she become one.
The writing in this book is excellent and pulls you right into the story. There is a mysterious undercurrent running throughout and I was so shocked at how the story played out. I wasn't expecting what happened at the end and can't wait to read book 2 to find out what happens next. Threadneedle is a must read for any YA fan and the characters are all engaging and well fleshed out. This was an easy five stars for me.
This book was absolutely breathtaking, the writing is fantastic and it really draws you in! I've been so excited to read this and I'm incredibly glad I got an early copy! I'll absolutely be picking up a physical copy of this once it has been released and I've already convinced some friends to pick it up!!!
Spellbinding and kept me interested for so long, I really couldn't put it down! I hope to read more from Cari Thomas in the future!
This book was not at all what I expected but I loved it. I initially thought it was an adult fantasy in the vein of JONATHAN STRANGE but it’s actually much more of a YA fantasy. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. Rather, the main character is sixteen years old and a lot of the action takes place at a private girls school.
For me, it was like a combination of THE CRAFT and CHARMED. There’s a teen-witch coven, revenge against the mean girls, and romantic angst. Its expansive exploration of witchcraft and lore was wonderful and the author has woven a world of magic that is unlike anything I’ve read before. The reader can feel the magic building in the book and there’s a sense of anticipation about when the snapping point will come and what consequences it will bring.
Alongside this is the darker tale of the main character, Anna, who has suffered (and is still suffering) an abusive childhood and the coercive control of her aunt. She has been taught that magic is a sin and something to be hidden away. Unlearning years of insidious messages takes time and I appreciated how the author treated this subject with respect and nuance.
The final few chapters are absolutely gripping, leading to an epic magical showdown and the revelation of secrets that have been long buried. Engaging, wildly inventive, and addictive, THREADNEEDLE is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
A brilliantly written book, I cannot wait for the next in this series, a lovely written book of magic and curses. Anna has grown up knowing her Father killed her Mother, living with her Aunt, Anna has not been able to practice her magic freely, but when she meets Effie things begin to change.
absolutely loved this! I do enjoy a good school setting and I’ve never been so glad not to be of school age any more! The idea of a language of magic in the way described in the book was a new one to me and one I found very appealing and plausible. I appreciated all of the characters even the bad ones. There is a lot of intrigue to keep you guessing and I am so glad this is only the first in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes next. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
It has been over a week since I finished Threadneedle and I still can't stop thinking about this book. This is by far my favourite book of the year so far.
Anna has been raised by her Aunt since she was a child and has been warned against the evils of magic. Anna is set to bind her magic within in the next few months so she will no longer be a witch. However, when her mother's old friend Selene arrives on her doorstep alongside her daughter Effie and the mysterious Attis, Anna's world and beliefs are turned upside. After all, what harm could a little magic do?
This is just the perfect witchy read! For anyone who is a fan of The Craft, this will leave you feeling nostalgic. I loved the every day plot of the girls discovering their magic and all the angst that goes along with teenager life but the wider mystery kept you intrigued the whole time.
The last 200 pages were honestly a masterpiece with twist after twist which has left me desperate for the next book. I'm having to fight myself from starting from the beginning all over again.
And don't even get me started on that love triangle!
Threadneedle is the best book I have read in a long while. It will definitely be in my top 10 of 2021 books!
I loved the interactions and the snarkiness of the characters and the development of Anna. There we many times that the book made me laugh out loud, it was great.
I can't wait for the next book in the series!
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