The Binding by Bridget Collins- Book review

A touching romance is at the heart of The Binding by Bridget Collins set in an alternate historical England

Genre: Romantic fantasy

Source: My own

After having suffered some sort of mental collapse and no longer able to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.


There may be spoilers in this review

This book managed to pass me by when it came out but the bright purple pages caught my eye in a charity shop and I had to buy it especially because of the blurb. I love a book about books.

But unfortunately, the fantasy elements are not very strong and do sort of fizzle out which is shame as I would have loved to learn more about the world the author has created. The binders and their ability to take memories away was fascinating not very well explored in the story. There was intriguing threads of this ability being abused by the rich and the powerful but again this wasn’t dwelled upon.

This is a romance – a romance between two star crossed lovers who can’t be together because of the time they were born in. Emmett is a tightly wound farmer, and the story is told form his point of view for the first two parts and then the story shifts to the worldly, aristocrat Lucien’s point of view. The romance is a clean, slow-burn affair.

Seredith was my favourite character and would have loved to have spend more time with her. The other characters both good and bad were not as well described as the Lucien and Emmett.

The prose if beautiful and it was an easy book to read- I finished it in two sittings but while I didn’t really enjoy the book, I know so many have.

Perfect for Fans

Who like a strong romance with a touch of fantasy

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