Title: The Binding
Author: Bridget Collins
Genre: Historical Fiction, fantasy- or perhaps a better term is a tinge of magical realism.
Magic Realism | Definition of Magic Realism by Merriam-Webster
Is this part of a series? No
Publish date: First published January 10th, 2019- UK release. US release is April 9th for the eBook and the 16th for hardcover. Personally, I couldn’t wait that long so I went to Book Depository
Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine if you could remove pain.
Imagine if you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Emmitt Farmer never thought to be more than a worker on his father’s farm- to take it over one day. After a long…. illness…. though, people may have other plans. A letter comes, tearing him from his family.
He’s to apprentice as a binder- the ones that can take your memories, a part of you, and bind them in a book. You never need to feel that pain again- you forget it ever existed. So long as your book is kept safe there’s nothing to worry about. But there are those that would misuse this power. Binders that would sell these books- collectors that love knowing the secrets of others… and individuals that would erase a person’s memories to keep their own secrets. In a life where one misstep can take everything you’ve ever worked for away, how far would you go to do the right thing?
And what will Emmitt do when he finds a book bearing his own name?
I first heard of this book from other blogger’s reviews and I was instantly smitten with the premise. Knowing I would never make it until April without driving my poor husband insane ( we went through this with the last Laura Madeleine book), I ordered it from Book Depository (link listed above).
The book is gorgeous! Not just a pretty cover, but gold print and picture on the cover itself as well as three ink pictures inside. Everyone who has seen the book has remarked on the gorgeous attention to detail- which is why I am recommending getting the paper edition of this book- that and the fact that you’ll want to be able to share it. I know I have several friends in mind to loan this one to.
I wouldn’t exactly call this a fantasy- every aspect save the books and the binder is mundane, normal. I feel like this is historical fiction mixed with magical realism, which is a genre I adore- when done well. Collins made the notion of books- and the hatred/ respect people have for the binders- so real and honest that you found yourself nodding along- yes, this is how it is. Her world building, the culture she created around the binders and their craft, was perfection. I also loved the characters- Emmitt, half afraid of himself and only wanting to do the right thing and take care of those he love. Lucian- the self proclaimed coward- a lord’s son that wishes he had the strength to be a better person, to protect those around him. Seredith- the old binder that still sees her craft as a promise, to protect, to help, the books to be guarded at all cost. The interaction between characters was amazing and I loved the relationship between Emmitt and Lucian even as their own insecurities and memories- or lack there of- made them wary. For me, this is a five star book- I can’t recommend it enough.
As far as the adult content goes, this has language, violence and sexual content- not too explicit but enough so that I would be wary of handing it over to my niece who is sixteen.
Again, the book comes out in the USA 4-9-19, but you can order from Book Depository (Link above with the publish date). What do you think? Have you read it? Is it on your wish list?