The Binding by Bridget Collins

April 16th, 2019 Kimberly Review 26 Comments

16th Apr
The Binding by Bridget Collins
The Binding
by Bridget Collins
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten

Magical Realism fantasy historical ROMANCE

I was drawn to The Binding by Bridget Collins for it’s gorgeous cover and promising premise. Collins introduces us to the binding of memories and the damage forgetting painful memories or worse precious ones can do.

Imagine if you did something reprehensible or suffered a loss so great it wrecked you. What if you could go to a Binder and share with them your story. Freeing you of the memory, pain, and distress. It would be as if it never happened. Would you do it?

Books in this historical fantasy aren’t at all like ours. They are beautiful, leatherbound books created by Book Binders. These gifted creators, experience your story as if it is their own. They take all those memories of an event, person or place and bind them in YOUR book. The Binder then protect those books keeping your memories safe. You walk away with no memory of the story or in fact binding.

But, as with any gift some will abuse these powers. Imagine that power and wealth could have a crime erased, keep a witness from remembering. Why one could get away with the most heinous of crimes.

While not all binders are scrupulous some seek to profit. Greed can get you a book filled with the darkest tale. And worse, what if your memories were taken from you? While the person giving the memory must give consent we all know how social ladders work. A maid refusing consent could lose their position etc.

In The Binding, Collins shares a love story between a farmer and the son of a wealthy lord. I was surprised and delighted by the LGBT romance. At first it appears Lucian is interested in Emmett’s beautiful younger sister Alta. There was tension between Emmett and Lucian until the three became fast friends. It was a slow-building, innocent romance that soon became more.

The author pulled me in, with Emmett’s mysterious illness and discovery of his gifts. The story unfolds in both past and present. We follow Emmett and his sister, Alta, as they meet and befriend Lucian Darnay, then to the time Emmet is sent to the binder and eventually to the city to work for a binder.

The world building and writing pulled me in and held me spellbound. I enjoyed how the author showed all aspects of binding with its touch of magical realism. The characters came to life before me as the author revealed twists and turns that brought missing pieces of the story to life.

The Binding was beautifully written. A complex mix of magical realism with a twist on the classic historical romance featuring the privileged lord and the poor maiden.

The Binding by Bridget Collins was beautifully written. A complex mix of magical realism with a twist on the classic historical romance featuring the privileged lord and the poor maiden. #NewRelease #LGBT #Fantasy Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

26 Responses to “The Binding by Bridget Collins”

  1. Olivia Roach

    I was so intrigued by this book because I have been seeing it all over bookstagram but haven’t heard many reviews of it! But it sounds like the inside of the book is just as magical, in the slow and steady moving way. I think this might be one I am going to try.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: The Influential Author [Book Review]
  2. tonyalee

    I loved that this story surprised me with the content! I didn’t think it was going that angle. But loved it all the same! Glad you enjoyed it, as well!

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    Ooh this sounds like a great story. I love that premise, and the cover! So beautiful. I’m happy to see there is an LGBT+ romance too!


  4. Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    I can see how this story left you spellbound. The premise sounds very interesting. Having your memories erased or bound by someone else would make for such an entertaining story, and I like that the author was able to pull you in with her world-building and writing!

  5. Angie Elle

    Oh my goodness. I have never heard of this book, but it sounds amazing! And you’re right – that cover is gorgeous. I’ve added to my TBR, and I’m going to check my library for it.

    Great review.

  6. Susan

    OMG!!! I am so thrilled another gave this such a positive review! I absolutely adored this book. It was so different and beautifully written. The concept was something never done (and isnt that rare)!!! And the villainous ways binding was used was rattling!

  7. Melliane

    I agree that the cover is beautiful and I didn’t know about it so your reviews makes me even more curious

  8. kindlemom1

    This sounds intriguing and for some reason I haven’t heard of it before now. Glad you had a good time with it!

  9. Ailyn Koay

    i did see this in my local bookstore! Sounds really spellbinding, didn’t really know what’s it about but now i do

  10. Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    Oh wow, I don’t think I would want my memories erased, even if they are the worst kind of painful or traumatizing. I think people grow through those hardships. This is so intriguing though! Those Book Binders have my total attention. And an LGBTQ romance! I’m adding this to my TBR. Awesome review!

    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters recently posted: "My Reviews Aren’t Good Enough"
  11. Bookbound

    I liked the book.. I didn’t love it like I thought I would. An interesting premise but I felt it could have been built upon.