Emmett is recovering from an illness when his parents receive the summons; he is to train as a binder. Those who wish to forget can have their memories bound in books.

The Binding wasn’t really what I expected but I ended up loving it. It did take me a long time to get into it, but once I reached part two, I was hooked.

That’s what a book is, isn’t it? A life. A person. And if they burn, they die.

The first part introduces Emmett and the world in which he lives. He is a farm boy but unable to pull his weight after a mystery illness. He had been taught that books were evil and binders were people to fear, so he is surprised when he is requested as an apprentice. He goes to live with Seredith, who distances herself from the binderies of Castleford. Books should be looked after, but never sold. She teaches Emmett the practical aspects of book-making, end pages and foiling, and he starts to wonder if he’ll ever learn how to bind.

When Emmett is exposed to other binders, he learns why they are feared. He becomes embroiled in a world of corruption, where the powerful abuse the weak, as is always the way. At end of part one an OMG moment happens and part two tells a story that reveals so much. Part three returns to the present from a different point of view, and I sped through the pages urging all the pieces to fall into place.

The setting is Victorian in feel but of course it’s an alternate reality where books are something to be feared or revered. There are fakes in this world, called novels, but they are slow to take off as the bound memories hold a certain illicit allure to the kind of people who wish to read them.

It’s one of those books that had me flicking back to the beginning after reaching the end. Those pages I struggled through, it all made sense! I highly recommend, but do have patience at the start.

ATY: 12. A book about reading, books or an author/writer

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Book Source: Purchased