I’m very happy to be part of Bookouture’s books on tour release of this contemporary fantasy by Jessica Thorne.
About the book
The song surrounded her now, the murmuring of the library insistent, and her foot took the first step on the winding stairs. She knew it wasn’t entirely a dream. It was the library calling her, its magic driving her.
When Sophie is offered a job at the Ayredale Library – the finest collection of rare books in the world, and the last place her bookbinder mother was seen when Sophie was just a teenager – she leaps at the chance. Will she finally discover what happened to the woman she’s always believed abandoned her?
Taking in the endless shelves of antique books, the soaring stained-glass windows, and the grand sweeping staircase, usually shy Sophie feels strangely at home, and is welcomed by her eccentric fellow binders. But why is the Keeper of the Library so reluctant to speak about Sophie’s mother? And why is Sophie the only person who can read the strange spells in the oldest books on display, written in a forgotten language nobody else understands?
The mysteries of the library only deepen when Sophie stumbles upon an elaborately carved door. The pattern exactly matches the pendant her mother left behind years ago, engraved with a delicate leaf. As the door swings open at her touch, Sophie gasps at the incredible sight: an enormous tree, impossibly growing higher than the library itself, its gently falling golden leaves somehow resembling the pages of a book. Amidst their rustling, Sophie hears a familiar whisper…
‘There you are, my Sophie. I knew you’d come back for me.’
An absolutely spellbinding read about long-hidden family secrets and the magic that lurks between the pages of every ancient book. Perfect for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Night Circus and The Binding.
Sophie is a talented book binder, hoarded as if she were part of his collection by her controlling boyfriend, Victor, and haunted by the death of her mother, the details of which she can’t remember.
When she returns to the library where she grew up, she finds answers to questions she didn’t even know she had, as well as rediscovering the magic of life.
I love stories about libraries, and if they are magical libraries I love them even more. Sophie’s library reminded me more of The Librarians tv show, or Warehouse 13, than the Clayr library from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom, but that could be because of the contemporary setting.
I found Sophie a likable and relatable character. Her strained relationship with her father, the tragedy of her youth, her creativity, and being caught in an abusive relationship, drew me to her from the start, and I was eager to find out if things improved for her.
Authors are often asked where they get their ideas from, and I liked the answer this book offered. While I disagree with creativity being chaotic, this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book, and I loved the description of the magic.
There is romance in this book, but it is very minor, so it suited me perfectly.
My only quibble is that one of the characters was supposed to be the guardian of the library, but I wouldn’t trust him to protect a paper bag. He had great potential as a character, so I was a little disappointed at how bad he was at his job.
I haven’t read Jessica Thorne before, but I look forward to reading her other books.
I award The Book Binder’s Daughter…
Thank you to the author and the publisher for providing me with an arc and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author
Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.
Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.