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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 he 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?


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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 he 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?

30 review for Threadneedle

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    Threadneedle is my first read of 2021. First, the usual caveats: I received an advance reading copy from the publisher, for free. I have not (yet) meat the author, Cari Thomas. This book won't be published until May of 2021, but you can probably pre-order it now. And, of course, my permanent reminder that I try to avoid all spoilers in a review. And a new notification that I'm adding: The Trilogy or Series notification. This is book one in The Language of Magic. In this case the ending resolves a Threadneedle is my first read of 2021. First, the usual caveats: I received an advance reading copy from the publisher, for free. I have not (yet) meat the author, Cari Thomas. This book won't be published until May of 2021, but you can probably pre-order it now. And, of course, my permanent reminder that I try to avoid all spoilers in a review. And a new notification that I'm adding: The Trilogy or Series notification. This is book one in The Language of Magic. In this case the ending resolves a major issue, but many plot threads will go tendrilling into the next book (s). To begin, this story is a contemporary urban fantasy. The protagonists are mostly school girls. The magic in the book is witchcraft, and it presumes that the ability to do this magic is something passed on through families. Much of the tale takes place in an ordinary school, what we would call a high school in the US. Things that made this book a compelling read for me. We accept the family culture we are born into. When we become teenagers, that is when a lot of us begin to question 'the way things are' and either embrace that culture or rebel against it. A couple of things I really enjoyed about this book: The witchcraft practiced in this book summons enough traditional information about witchcraft that it feels very authentic. The magic both gleams and threatens. The nasty girl politics that hit in the late teens are so accurately portrayed that it almost triggered high school PTSD in me. Any girl who has ever stayed in the bathroom stall because you can hear the 'popular' girls combing their hair as they rip you to shreds will know what I mean. There's a library. Trust me, it's a good one. There are riddles and puzzles to be solved, and they are handled well. For the most part, the young protagonists in this book have only themselves to rely on. There is no Dumbledore waiting to intervene, counsel and guide. There is no kindly mentor offering wise counsel. The protagonists must rely on their own wits. The mistakes they make are the genuine errors of youth, including avoiding the adults that might have helped. And the errors in judgment of the adults are also plausible if horrifying. Anything else I should mention? Hm. I think that about covers it. I will add that if you are a Hobb reader, and what you want is epic fantasy set in a quasi medieval world, this isn't it. But I still think you might really want to give this one a try.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    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 se 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? Highly recommended!!! This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India, Facebook, and Twitter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    With such an interesting title and a gorgeous cover, Threadneedle sets great expectations in the mind. To some extent, it delivers on the promise. The book comes to us from the point of view of sixteen year old orphan Anna who stays with her disciplinarian aunt. This aunt has always warned Anna about the dangers of magic and plans to bind Anna's magical abilities. But soon some new people enter Anna's life and she begins to question the validity of everything her aunt has ingrained in her mind. W With such an interesting title and a gorgeous cover, Threadneedle sets great expectations in the mind. To some extent, it delivers on the promise. The book comes to us from the point of view of sixteen year old orphan Anna who stays with her disciplinarian aunt. This aunt has always warned Anna about the dangers of magic and plans to bind Anna's magical abilities. But soon some new people enter Anna's life and she begins to question the validity of everything her aunt has ingrained in her mind. Where the story clicked with me: - The story is set in contemporary London, so it was nice to see the factual places interwoven with the magical realm. - The fantastical world created by the story is superb. The stitching, the potions, the plants, the coven… every idea was creatively constructed. Using threads and knots for magic was an innovative experience to read. - Some details of the school life, especially with respect to bullying and peer pressure, are very well written. - A few of the characters, especially Anna, Rowan, Effie and Attis, were very well-written. They are complicated and gray, thereby enhancing the reading experience. I wish more characters had been in this category but they were mostly predictable. - There's a magical library in the book and man! I want to go there! It was so amazing! - The author's vocabulary is fabulous. It was a pleasure to read such language. - For a debut work, the scope of the story is marvellous. Where the story didn't work for me: - The plot seemed to move ahead quite slowly and haphazardly. While the ending does redeem the book, the overall story left me feeling like something was missing. - There were too many subplots that seem to exist mainly reveal the personalities of the main characters. At least a few of these could have been chucked out. They don't take the plot ahead but just increase the number of pages. The only possible reason I can think for having these ideas in the story is that the author was trying to establish a clear setting for the continuity of the series. But they hampered the plot progress. - A lot of the plot is predictable and clichéd. To hear a really long audiobook when you already know what’s going to happen is a dampener. - I wasn’t expecting a YA Fantasy, just a regular Fantasy. But the book is distinctly YA in its writing. I do enjoy YA books but I think this book was a bit "too YA" for my enjoyment with its straightforward writing and simplistic twists. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will work better with the correct target audience. The ratings from the other readers are proof of this. This story is the first in the series but the ending is quite conclusive, though not complete. Most of the major plot points are resolved, so those who avoid cliff-hangers can still attempt the book. The ending sets a very firm foundation for the next book in the series. At 20 hrs 25 minutes long, this audiobook is not a cakewalk for the ears. But narrator Bea Holland is stupendous. I doubt I would have enjoyed this book with any average narrator. She nuances her words perfectly and gives the right voice for the characters. Her performance deserves 5 stars. For a debut novel, the book is still pretty decent. Cari Thomas shows promise and I’m sure the rest of the series will take the story ahead well. Thank you, NetGalley and HarperCollins UK Audio, for the audio ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun. Follow me on Instagram: RoshReviews

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Gilmore

    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 lov 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 The Language Of Magic #1 Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She 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 aunts care. It's why she has been protected from the magic world and, in one years time, what little magic she has will be bound by the Binders who believe magic is a sin nit to be used but denied. Anna has grown up w 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 The Language Of Magic #1 Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She 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 aunts care. It's why she has been protected from the magic world and, in one years time, what little magic she has will be bound by the Binders who believe magic is a sin nit to be used but denied. Anna has grown up waiting on the day she can be bound by the Binders. Anna is sixteen and she's spent years keeping out of everyone's way. She's from a family of witches from the Binders sect who believed magic is evil. Anna's aunt is determined to get Anna's magic bound. But when Anna gets the chance to join a coven, she cannot resist. The plotline is interesting with the mystery of the faceless women, Anna's parents deaths and the girl witches that befriend Anna. This story has me guessing to the end. The pace was slow in places but the ending made up for it all. I would like to thank #NetGalley #HarperCollinsUK #HarperFiction and the author #CariThomas for my ARC of #Threadneedle in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    3.5 stars Headlines: Fantasy in a contemporary London setting Coming of age Magic exploration I enjoyed the setting of Threadneedle immensely, I thought the idea of a contemporary London as the backdrop for this tale added an interesting layer. Anna was a mousey, scared character on first glance but she was living in a controlling household where free-thinking, never mind free actions were not permissable. Anna had a lot of character development through the book. I don’t know why, but I thought this w 3.5 stars Headlines: Fantasy in a contemporary London setting Coming of age Magic exploration I enjoyed the setting of Threadneedle immensely, I thought the idea of a contemporary London as the backdrop for this tale added an interesting layer. Anna was a mousey, scared character on first glance but she was living in a controlling household where free-thinking, never mind free actions were not permissable. Anna had a lot of character development through the book. I don’t know why, but I thought this was adult fantasy when it was overtly YA from the off. That meant some teen drama and behaviour I wasn’t expecting and I don’t know if it was just that change to my expectations that brought this read down a bit. I wasn’t always keen on Anna’s grudging companions through the story although some did grow on me. The themes of freedom, exploration and finding yourself were welcome ones and that was interesting reading in a magical context. This is a long book and the pacing had moments of slowness but then it picked up with gusto and I was enthused to continue. Overall, this was an appealing concept, a good start to a series and it has a fantastic cover . It will be interesting to see where the series goes. Thank you to Harper Voyager for the early review copy. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    [8.69/10] I was first interested in reading Threadneedle when I saw it referred to as 'Gossip Girl meets The Craft' on twitter and... this book is exactly that. If that is something that piques your interest then you'll be going into this book with the most satisfying expectations. Just like both Gossip Girl and The Craft, the high school drama was catty and messy and, for me, was absolutely delicious to read. I loved seeing the lives of these girls get more and more entangled in each other. Add [8.69/10] I was first interested in reading Threadneedle when I saw it referred to as 'Gossip Girl meets The Craft' on twitter and... this book is exactly that. If that is something that piques your interest then you'll be going into this book with the most satisfying expectations. Just like both Gossip Girl and The Craft, the high school drama was catty and messy and, for me, was absolutely delicious to read. I loved seeing the lives of these girls get more and more entangled in each other. Add to that an intricate magic system, easy but interesting writing, a murder mystery plot, angsty twisty romance and deeply buried family secrets, and this book had all of the ingredients I absolutely adore. I think perhaps the only downsides were that the main character, Anna, felt a little distant at times - so much so that there were some big portions of the book where she felt like a vehicle for the plot rather than a character that you could really get to know well. (However, this is something that I think is quite common with the main POV character in a lot of Dark Academia books.) And, it was a little on the long side, with some sections of the book seeming a bit superfluous to the overall plot and not doing much to drive forward character. That being said, these things didn't annoy me enough to overshadow my love for this book. In addition to Gossip Girl and The Craft, this book also reminded me a lot of The Furies and A Deadly Education, so if any of that appeals to you, definitely check out Threadneedle!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This is the first instalment in The Language of Magic series. Magic exists. Magic exists and it is dangerous. Magic exists and it is never to be spoken of, to be bound tight, to be stifled with the soul, to be extinguished. This is what Anna has been taught. Her whole life has been spent in preparation for the time when she will forever bind close the doors to the magic that she has access to. She fears the potential that is inside of her. But maybe, buried deep, a part of her longs for it too. I This is the first instalment in The Language of Magic series. Magic exists. Magic exists and it is dangerous. Magic exists and it is never to be spoken of, to be bound tight, to be stifled with the soul, to be extinguished. This is what Anna has been taught. Her whole life has been spent in preparation for the time when she will forever bind close the doors to the magic that she has access to. She fears the potential that is inside of her. But maybe, buried deep, a part of her longs for it too. I don't usually bond so well with magical stories set in our own world, preferring my fantasy to be crafted in a setting of the author's own design. I, early on, had a few issues and thought this one would not appeal either. The focus on magic was intriguing but protagonist, Anna's, ruminations on her school days were of far less interest. I soon became enamoured with her story, however, and eager to see her become the fierce and magical being who transformed her banal existence into something bewitching. Anna was quiet, fearful, obedient, and a conformist. She was not the typical heroine I like to read about but something about her sweet nature appealed to me and I enjoyed witnessing her inner-growth, over the course of this novel. She flourished alongside her magical understanding, ensuring that knowledge was continually imparted, scenes of action concurrently occurred, and the stakes were ever heightened. I had no idea of the trajectory her story was to take, but was hooked on finding out all the way to its dramatic close. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Cari Thomas, and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for this opportunity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lousbookstuff

    You can find my full review for this as well as other books on my blog here 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 You can find my full review for this as well as other books on my blog here 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!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    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 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Threadneedle is the first instalment in The Language of Magic series and undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated fantasy novels of the year. Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic, so even though she's a witch at heart she is not allowed to cast spells. Aunt 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 she was forced to live in modern-day London with her Threadneedle is the first instalment in The Language of Magic series and undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated fantasy novels of the year. Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic, so even though she's a witch at heart she is not allowed to cast spells. Aunt 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 she was forced to live in modern-day London with her controlling aunt in order to be under the care of her family. 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. That is, until Effie and Attis join her school. Luring Anna into a coven they unleash magical chaos throughout the corridors and plunge her into London’s fantastical underbelly. But when Anna’s magic begins to reveal the symbol of a curse, she is forced to unravel the secrets of her past and the truth about her parents’ violent death. Torn between her aunt and magic, Effie and Attis, lies and the truth, Anna soon finds herself and her heart utterly tangled, yet time is running out. This is a spellbinding and utterly captivating fantasy and the first of a proposed four-part series, which is entertaining and addictive, sinister and compelling. With breathtaking world-building and remarkably assured plotting, Thomas’s bewitching debut sees a girl burdened by her magical abilities descend into a London filled with the supernatural and enchanted. It's richly imagined, sumptuous and I mean, how could you not be dazzled by contemporary London where magic exists on the fringes. There are vintage shops that sell memories, underground libraries where librarians feed off words, and most of all, clubs where revellers get high on spells. I fell head over heels with Anna’s world, and from her aunt’s knot magic, to the hidden magical library hidden beneath our own British Library, Cari’s book weaved its spell over me. I’ve always loved books that hide magic within the modern-day and not only are Cari’s characters brilliantly formed and fully developed, but her world within Threadneedle is one you’re aching to explore. This is simply exquisite fantasy, and I cannot wait for the sequel to see what Ms Thomas has in store for us next. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I 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 a I 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    ‘How can I know who I am without knowing who I came from?’ After a tragedy left her an orphan, Anna was raised by her Aunt. She’s known her entire life that she’s going to be a Binder when she grows up. The Binders did all they could to prevent magic being exposed to the ordinary world, to keep it locked away behind doors; brushed under carpets; tied in necklaces and tucked beneath blouses. Now Anna is in sixth form and it’s only a year until her magic, such that it is, will be bound. As the ‘How can I know who I am without knowing who I came from?’ After a tragedy left her an orphan, Anna was raised by her Aunt. She’s known her entire life that she’s going to be a Binder when she grows up. The Binders did all they could to prevent magic being exposed to the ordinary world, to keep it locked away behind doors; brushed under carpets; tied in necklaces and tucked beneath blouses. Now Anna is in sixth form and it’s only a year until her magic, such that it is, will be bound. As the school Nobody, Anna has always tried to fly under the radar. That won’t be as easy to achieve once she joins a coven. ‘We deal in that which cannot be known by the light of day and exact our punishments by dark.’ Attis, resident eye candy/mystery boy, intrigued me, as did Effie, although I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be best friends with her or her archnemesis. She’s kinda prickly so I think I’d want to be cautious around her. Having a religious girl in the coven initially confused me as I had trouble figuring out how the two could possibly intersect. I don’t think I like Miranda/Manda. There’s something about people who claim religion and then act in ways that fly in the face of their spouted beliefs that make me want to point my finger and hiss, ‘Hyprocrite!’ I know we’ve all been guilty of saying one thing and then doing another at some point in our lives but when it comes from someone who evangelises … I don’t know … it just seems different somehow. Then there was Rowan, who I absolutely adored, except for the fact that so much time was spent body shaming her. If someone else wasn’t bullying her about her weight, Rowan was pointing it out herself. She was so much more interesting to me than whatever the scales say about her. Also, her mother is an absolute delight and I need to spend so much more time with her! The Binders gave me cult vibes throughout the book. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you think there’s some truth to what they’ve been saying all along or not. I’m a bit on the fence about this and could argue either way. I suspect there’s some truth there but I definitely question (and that’s putting it nicely) their methods and some crucial core beliefs. I’m usually all for magic, regardless of the form it takes, but some of the magic in this book gave me the heebie-jeebies. I’m not sure if I’ve simply never considered this before or if it was the way some of the magic played out here but it got me thinking about free will. If any spell removes free will from someone, whether it’s their thoughts or actions, then it seems to me that this tramples all over consent. To force your will on someone else in a way that takes away their freedom to think or act in a way they choose feels really icky to me. My brain helpfully came up with the term ‘magical assault’ and now I can’t get it out of my head. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see certain types of magic in action again without my brain shouting that at me. Thanks for nothing, brain! The bonds we have with family and friends and how these can be tied to fear and sacrifice are explored in this book. It’s not always clear whether someone is acting selfishly or in another person’s best interests. There are opposing truths at play, which complicates things even further. One thing that definitely wasn’t complicated for me was my love of this book’s magical library. This could be one of my favourite libraries ever and I want to spend an entire book lost in there. While I wish I’d learned more about the seven faceless women in this book, there are indications that they will play a vital role as the series unfolds. I am particularly interested in the seventh woman and am not so secretly hoping that we’ve already met her in this book but don’t know it yet. I already know who I want her to be. ‘People think stories are harmless but they are the most dangerous weapon mankind has.’ Content warnings include (view spoiler)[body shaming, bullying, emotional abuse, physical abuse and slut shaming. Death by suicide is mentioned a few times as a suspected cause of death (hide spoiler)] . Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for granting my wish to read this book. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Monogamist

    Thank you again to HarperCollins for an e-copy of this book. To be completely honest, I am struggling to sum up what was this story all about. Yes, get ready for another of my unpopular opinion. Anna has magic, but her aunt forbids her to use it. Instead, she keeps teaching her the dangers and the darkness of using magic. In the meantime, six faceless women are mysteriously hanged outside Westminster in London. Then, Anna meets Effie and Attis, who have joined her school, and she starts experimen Thank you again to HarperCollins for an e-copy of this book. To be completely honest, I am struggling to sum up what was this story all about. Yes, get ready for another of my unpopular opinion. Anna has magic, but her aunt forbids her to use it. Instead, she keeps teaching her the dangers and the darkness of using magic. In the meantime, six faceless women are mysteriously hanged outside Westminster in London. Then, Anna meets Effie and Attis, who have joined her school, and she starts experimenting with the limits of her magic on a road to discovering more about herself and her past. I think, this was the first time a book actually triggered me. Let me take a step back. This book starts with very dark tones, with the description of Anna’s relationship with her manipulative aunt. It’s clear that it’s an abusive relationship, physically and verbally, and her aunt uses magic to punish Anna. She takes every single opportunity to demonstrate how useless and worthless Anna is, the danger of magic and love. However, there were some dynamics and dialogues between the two of them (I’m not talking about the magic stuff, of course) that had many similarities with my personal life experience. This is not in any way the writer’s fault, but every time there were parts with Anna and her aunt, the whole reading experience became distressing for me. I considered giving up reading this book. Then, the story suddenly changed the narrative and I decided to give it another chance. The problem is that, in the beginning of this story, the writer sets an atmosphere that was supposed to be for an adult reader. Then, it goes into the high school life of Anna, with its dramas, with scenes that reminded me of The Craft, but more juvenile, and this book suddenly becomes a YA fantasy book and boring. I honestly wouldn’t have picked up a book about the high school life of a sixteen-year-old girl, as it clearly does not resonate with me. The whole school coven and Anna’s high school life drag on and on, with few occasional magic-related events, with this mysterious murder of the six faceless women still in background, literally going nowhere. It became an alternation of distressing and boring moments, adult fantasy and young adult fantasy genre. The only problem is that I actually thought that as YA, this book is projecting a very negative image of sex, which (thank gosh I am not a mother) I would never want my daughter to read. I also thought from the very beginning that the relationship between Anna and Selene, her aunt’s friend, was quite ambiguous. It seemed sometimes sapphic, and not “mother/guardian” and daughter, so I’m not even sure if this is what the writer wanted to achieve. The last 15% is where all is revealed, with very weird supernatural stuff that brings back the book to the adult fantasy genre and I am still here wondering about those faceless women and their purpose. It has an open ending, as I guess things will continue in book two, but I won’t be reading it. And for the sake of honesty, I admit I skimmed throughout the end, if I missed something I apologise. I am still super grateful to the publisher for this opportunity, but unfortunately, this was not for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Oh my god. Oh my GOD. This book was so incredibly well thought out, planned and executed. Only once everything starts being revealed does it make sense but wow. Was not expecting ANY of those reveals. I loved the coven and how they all had their reasons for wanting to be part of it (or to refuse that they wanted to be part of it in one members case haha). The school setting was amazing, it truly made it possible for some of the most wild antics to go down. You just get so attached to the charact Oh my god. Oh my GOD. This book was so incredibly well thought out, planned and executed. Only once everything starts being revealed does it make sense but wow. Was not expecting ANY of those reveals. I loved the coven and how they all had their reasons for wanting to be part of it (or to refuse that they wanted to be part of it in one members case haha). The school setting was amazing, it truly made it possible for some of the most wild antics to go down. You just get so attached to the characters, wow. The overall plot was amazing and I love that it mentioned instances of magic not attached to the main characters, the world building was IMPECCABLE. It also definitely left enough open to make me want to continue the series and find out what's going on. The magic system was something so new and fresh. I also loved that each chapter began with passages from the Book of the Binders, as it really added to the overall atmosphere of the book. Overall, I absolutely adored this book. If you're looking for the perfect witchy, atmospherically beautiful read then look no further! Cari Thomas is a phenomenal writer and this book was absolutely brilliant. Could not recommend it enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lora Milton

    Anna is a young girl born into a family with magic, but her aunt warns her away from using it while simultaneously teaching her magical stitchery. There were things I liked about this story and the writing itself is good, but it went into teenage high school problems and dealing with snotty girls in a way I usually avoid in YA stories. Anna would love to learn real magic, like her cousin who is not nice to her but subsequently clashes with the stuck-up school prefect. At this point the plot was a Anna is a young girl born into a family with magic, but her aunt warns her away from using it while simultaneously teaching her magical stitchery. There were things I liked about this story and the writing itself is good, but it went into teenage high school problems and dealing with snotty girls in a way I usually avoid in YA stories. Anna would love to learn real magic, like her cousin who is not nice to her but subsequently clashes with the stuck-up school prefect. At this point the plot was at odds with my reading preferences, but as I said the writing is good so I carried on. I could sympathise with Anna, who wanted different things for herself than her aunt has mapped out for her and is constantly reminded that magic was at fault for her mother's death. Exactly how isn't told in the early part of the story, but an incident in the news shows that the witch families have enemies and great need to keep quiet about their magic. It all gets explained by the end, but I found the plot rather convoluted and drawn out. I did find the explanation for Attis an interesting concept. Mostly I thought the characters were well done, if perhaps a little over characterised to get the different types in there. The only exception was Manda, who I just didn't believe. I've known too many of 'her kind' in real life to believe that she would go along with Effie's machinations, even with magical influence. Apart from the need to tighten up plotting, I thought the book was well written, especially in the use of language.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Verónica Fleitas Solich

    4.5And the rest? Please I need the following book right away! I have the impression that anything that can be told about this story has the power to ruin it. I entered this almost blindly and I appreciate it. The magic is absolutely excellent. I admit that at first the school environment bored me a bit and that teenage fights are not my cup of tea, the story progresses until it reaches a point where everything gets so complicated that you can't stop reading. I repeat, the magic of this world is simp 4.5And the rest? Please I need the following book right away! I have the impression that anything that can be told about this story has the power to ruin it. I entered this almost blindly and I appreciate it. The magic is absolutely excellent. I admit that at first the school environment bored me a bit and that teenage fights are not my cup of tea, the story progresses until it reaches a point where everything gets so complicated that you can't stop reading. I repeat, the magic of this world is simply stupendous and the complicated plot just twists until it catches you. I really need the next book right now because when I finished reading, I was left with more questions than certainties. Sooo good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    Cari Thomas has given us an utterly magical book in the form of Threadneedle. A young witch with no magic. An aunt who’s abusive in the name of love. A group of witches intent on binding magic. The mysterious murder of the Seven. A curse. Out of control magical rumours and and clubs bursting with the stuff. This book is fantastic. Not only do we get a great magic system, we get great characters, a great storyline and a dark, twisted side. All of which completely draws you in. I was hoping to enjoy this Cari Thomas has given us an utterly magical book in the form of Threadneedle. A young witch with no magic. An aunt who’s abusive in the name of love. A group of witches intent on binding magic. The mysterious murder of the Seven. A curse. Out of control magical rumours and and clubs bursting with the stuff. This book is fantastic. Not only do we get a great magic system, we get great characters, a great storyline and a dark, twisted side. All of which completely draws you in. I was hoping to enjoy this and I wasn’t disappointed. The writing is easy to get into and the world building is really good too. It feels as though magic is real, it’s a part of everyday life and we’re just unaware of it. I, for one, can’t wait for the next one. Thank you Harper Voyager for the gifted proof copy. Pros: + witches + magic + plot twists + good world building + great characters Cons: - having to wait for the next one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cartwright

    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!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bec (booktineus)

    3.5 THAT ENDING Thank you to Tandem Collective Global for having me as part of a readalong for this book, and the publisher for sending me a copy of the book! This review first appeared on my my Instagram, @booktineus The Good Things + I read Threadneedle as part of the Tandem Collective's Aussie readalong! + A new upper YA contemporary fantasy series. + It had a really interesting and unique magic system! The magic and the world lore were my favourite parts. I couldn't get enough of them! + The 3.5 THAT ENDING Thank you to Tandem Collective Global for having me as part of a readalong for this book, and the publisher for sending me a copy of the book! This review first appeared on my my Instagram, @booktineus The Good Things + I read Threadneedle as part of the Tandem Collective's Aussie readalong! + A new upper YA contemporary fantasy series. + It had a really interesting and unique magic system! The magic and the world lore were my favourite parts. I couldn't get enough of them! + There were some quite gruesome moments which I didn't expect to see in this but loved! + It had some great characters! Rowan was my favourite, but Anna and Attis weren't far behind. + The plot took turns I was not expecting, especially during the last few chapters! I thought I knew where things were going, but I was completely wrong. + I cannot wait to see how the story and world expands in the sequels! The Not-So-Good Things - I didn't realise this would have a strong contemporary element. For some reason I was under the impression it was a historical fantasy (it's not). - A large part of book is set in high school. Which is fine, but some of the character motivations and plot points revolve around popularity and high school drama and I just UGH. I have never enjoyed popularity-centric plot lines. It's why I don't read much YA contemporary anymore. - I struggled through the first part because of those high school plot lines and slow pacing. I wanted more of the magic and mystery. - Sometimes I wondered if this book was originally intended to be a New Adult story set in university. Mostly because I didn't think the way the characters described some things made sense for teenagers. For example, they occasionally referred to themselves as men and women... They're 16 years old. TLDR; While this wasn’t the historical fantasy I was expecting, I did end up enjoying Threadneedle. It has a really interesting magic system and took some intense turns that surprised me! I’m really looking forward to seeing how everything unfolds in the sequels.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maddy (maddyandbooks)

    Thank you Tandem Collective Global & Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy of Threadneedle. Threadneedle was quite the journey. I was instantly intrigued from the very first page. It had a kind of mystery, eerie, thriller vibe to it that slowly incorporated elements of The Craft (movie) with that highschool magic/witch coven vibe. This was a long book and because of that, it did sometimes have dips in the pace but was never dull or stagnant in its storyline. I really liked Anna (ou Thank you Tandem Collective Global & Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy of Threadneedle. Threadneedle was quite the journey. I was instantly intrigued from the very first page. It had a kind of mystery, eerie, thriller vibe to it that slowly incorporated elements of The Craft (movie) with that highschool magic/witch coven vibe. This was a long book and because of that, it did sometimes have dips in the pace but was never dull or stagnant in its storyline. I really liked Anna (our MC) and I truly felt for her with everything that she had been through and was going through presently. The mystery surrounding her life was honestly so well written in it’s complexity and atmosphere that I couldn’t help but be totally invested or put the book down! The supporting characters were all so interesting and impossible to figure out. I never really knew who to trust at any point. I also really loved the tension surrounding Effie, Attis and Anna - I could never figure out the relationships between them. And I still can’t! The storyline remains quite steady until we get to the end where things get completely wild and out of hand. There are so many revelations, twists and turns that I often tripped over words trying to get to the next page faster! It was so enthralling! I am left with a few questions and I certainly have theories as well. The ending mostly answers the mysteries surrounding Anna but there are some that are left (intentionally) vague. I cannot wait to read the next book, it’s now one of my most anticipated reads. Ps. Does anyone else have a big ole crush on Attis, or is it just me?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Halima (Starlight_and_blooms)

    I had the pleasure of being an early reader for it and simply adored the story!     ꧁ Review ꧂    'Magic is the first sin, we must bear it silently' - Rule Number One, The Book of the Binders.     Threadneedle is a beautiful, riveting and dark tale of magic. This book is a contemporary urban fantasy with witchcraft and elements of fairytale & folklore. It’s a tense, slow build to start with, that unravels into a entrancing read.    The story is mostly set in a high school, following a young witch, Anna, I had the pleasure of being an early reader for it and simply adored the story!     ꧁ Review ꧂    'Magic is the first sin, we must bear it silently' - Rule Number One, The Book of the Binders.     Threadneedle is a beautiful, riveting and dark tale of magic. This book is a contemporary urban fantasy with witchcraft and elements of fairytale & folklore. It’s a tense, slow build to start with, that unravels into a entrancing read.    The story is mostly set in a high school, following a young witch, Anna, as she discovers her magic, navigated friendships, secrets, an abusive parental figure, falling in love for the first time – and all the other usual YA dilemmas. It gets to the heart of the complexities of friendships, feeling authentic and raw when it deals with love, lust and romance.    However, there’s so much more to this story. The book deals with heavier topics, most notably the abuse Anna experiences from her aunt, the traumatic death of her parents, murder/ suicide. The topics are handled sensitively and with care.    I enjoyed that it was set in a modern London; loved the way the magical world was built into the city. And did I mention the magical library! The magic system felt enchanting and threatening in the same breath - a beautiful juxtaposition.     Cari’s writing is effortless & captivating. The first of 4 books in the series, Threadneedle is addictively fun and yet compellingly dark.   4.8 dazzling stars all the way ✨✨✨✨

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    Cari Thomas, I need the next book immediately!!! 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 an Cari Thomas, I need the next book immediately!!! 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! Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Voyage for providing me with a copy to review (I immediately bought my own copy because this was just *chefs kiss*

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    I listened to the audiobook of this title. I loved this. The story drew me in straight away. It is pretty overwhelming to start an audiobook and see it has a duration time of 20 hours! But it honestly didn't feel like that, and through the whole book I only felt my attention wane once in the middle. The narrator was excelllent, and really captured the beautiful writing. Oh, but the characters! I loved them all, but Effie was fantastic. SO funny, she made me laugh out loud frequently! And Attis, h I listened to the audiobook of this title. I loved this. The story drew me in straight away. It is pretty overwhelming to start an audiobook and see it has a duration time of 20 hours! But it honestly didn't feel like that, and through the whole book I only felt my attention wane once in the middle. The narrator was excelllent, and really captured the beautiful writing. Oh, but the characters! I loved them all, but Effie was fantastic. SO funny, she made me laugh out loud frequently! And Attis, he was a great and complex character. This was a fantastic start to a series which I look forward to already.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tilly

    3 Stars I was really looking forward to reading Threadneedle and although I did enjoy it, it also let me down in many ways and here is why... Threadneedle is a book about magic, intrigue, drama, danger and love. Anna is our lead character who is 16 and has magic but is being forced by her aunt to have it locked away. The story is based around a bug mystery and also Anna finding other young witches, creating their own coven and enjoying all magic has to offer. There are also some rather dark themes 3 Stars I was really looking forward to reading Threadneedle and although I did enjoy it, it also let me down in many ways and here is why... Threadneedle is a book about magic, intrigue, drama, danger and love. Anna is our lead character who is 16 and has magic but is being forced by her aunt to have it locked away. The story is based around a bug mystery and also Anna finding other young witches, creating their own coven and enjoying all magic has to offer. There are also some rather dark themes invovled as well. What I enjoyed was the magic. It was really interesting to learn about all the different types of using magic and to see them put to use. I also enjoyed the magical world that Anna dipped into and wish there had been more of this and Anna practicing her magic. The writing was also very good with good usenof language. On the whole it really sold the story, was verbalised well and there were very few mistakes even in the and ARC. The story was decent and although on the whole I generally enjoyed it, it involves alot of high school drama which I found really tiring and quite boring. I think the book would have been better if the lead characters had been 18 or over and not had to deal with the high school pettiness. The book is incredibly long at 555 pages and reads partly as a YA fantasy and partly as adult fantasy. This created a rather odd read as one page was high school drama and the next was darker themes. I also feel I am too old to connect with the high school aspect which is why I found it so tedious. The plot was way too drawn out for me. I feel the book could have been over 100 pages shorter and it would have been better. At times it seemed to drag and for aspects to be repeated which made me a little bored at a few points. The characters were good, if a little over dramatised with use of stereotypes like the high school bully, the fat girl, the "slut" and the geeky christian. I did connect with the lead Anna to an extent but not enough to really care. I hated that every mention of sex was so negative. The use of the words "slut" and "whore" and portraying women that have sex in a bad light. I found this rather frustrating. The ending was almost too convenient in some aspects and a bit ridiculous in others. I am not a fan of how things ended so openly and sadly it hasn't enticed me enough to continue the next book. Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    I retweetet. I prayed. I crossed my fingers. Retweeted some more. And yet I was never the lucky one getting this ARC from Netgalley on Magic Monday. However, last week I finally, unexpectedly, found a surprise in my mailbox. My wish was granted! I had just pre-ordered the gorgeous Waterstones edition and that one e-mail literally made my day! So, I finished the book I was reading and then I dove into this gem. And promptly I was late for work for the first time ever. And I'm now working from hom I retweetet. I prayed. I crossed my fingers. Retweeted some more. And yet I was never the lucky one getting this ARC from Netgalley on Magic Monday. However, last week I finally, unexpectedly, found a surprise in my mailbox. My wish was granted! I had just pre-ordered the gorgeous Waterstones edition and that one e-mail literally made my day! So, I finished the book I was reading and then I dove into this gem. And promptly I was late for work for the first time ever. And I'm now working from home... 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Rouillard

    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 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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Connor

    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 absol 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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Corinne Sparks

    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 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!)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Carrie

    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. 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.

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