The Binding gives us a world where books are strictly forbidden. Created by binding a person’s memories and surrounded by superstition, books are avoided at all cost. Bookbinders are feared and viewed as little more than witches. Unfortunately, Emmett Farmer cannot control the draw they have on him. Emmett’s parents have done everything they could to keep him as far from books as possible: a task that proved impossible when Emmett is summoned by the local bookbinder, Seredith, after experiencing a terrible case of binder’s fever.
An apprenticeship at the bindery unleashes a wave of confusion in Emmett’s life. Seredith, a true craftswoman, takes her time teaching Emmett. As he recovers from his illness Emmett falls into the routine of joining pages, glue, and leather again and again: until he finds a book in Seredith’s vault with his name on it.
What could he have wanted to forget so badly that he allowed himself to be bound? Had something horrible happened to him? Was he the one who did something terrible? His journey to answer those questions is filled with danger, uncertainty, and some very shady bookbinders.
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All In All
Bridget Collins gave us a special kind of bookish magic in her debut adult novel. The Binding Collins introduces Emmett Farmer in such a way that you can’t put the story down until you know what happened to him. Bookbinding is a kind of magic often used to cover the horrors of humanity. Peasants and the wealthy alike openly frown upon the practice, while secretly binding and being bound themselves. This book is not for the faint of heart. The Binding covers a range of topics and ethical issues that may cause an occasional pearl clutch. The Binding may deal with sensitive issues, but none of the issues feel gratuitous.