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(The Unraveled Kingdom #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,011 ratings  ·  229 reviews
A seamstress who stitches magic into clothing finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother and her secret love for a nobleman in this debut fantasy inspired by the French Revolution.

In a time of revolution, everyone must take a side.
Sophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard-won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and disc
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
It's only fair that most of the dick-heads got to be wearing magicked phallos-shaped hats.

Take a small, nifty, menial job and carve it to fit your unique streak of something. Something magical! So, it's creative seamstress time! Luvve the concept!

The feminist angle is presented really well. No rah-rah, gah-gah stuff but in a clear-headed way. Nicely done.

Owning a shop came with responsibility that Kristos couldn’t even fathom, and it was weighing on me tonight. (c)
Bright, quick with a pen, a
I received a free copy of this through Orbit/Net Galley - thanks!!!

This book immediately caught my attention because I love to knit, cross stitch and sew - the magic system in this book works through sewing! Yes please, I've never seen this done before. I had high hopes, and although the Victorian setting with a romance is NOT usually my thing, I still really enjoyed myself, and not just because of the magic system.



Sophie's parents were immigrants from an island country, Pellia,
The Captain
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

Upon reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat. But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 80%. Why ye ask? Well for a myriad of reasons:

- Sophie – She is the main character and at first I really liked her. She was hard-working, dedicated, driven, intelligent, and fun. But basically she is a character who waffles forever, makes
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Many thanks for the ARC go to Orbit, Miller, and Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader:

Torn by Rowenna Miller was just a joy to read. I loved the concept of integrating magic with sewing and quickly found myself swept away into the world and character of Sophie. She is innovative, independent and loyal, though her loyalties wind up rather divided, putting her in a hard position.

This is set very much in a have/have-nots world with the elite upper class, and the lower working class. The rich have an extreme amount
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

This was very enjoyable overall. The writing style alone made it a pleasure to read.

Sophie is a seamstress, eking out a living by trying to attract rich clients among the nobility. She has the ability to sew charms into her products, often considered a superstition by the general population. Her brother is a revolutionary idealist, much like Enjolras.

Sophie doesn’t want any trouble to threaten her livelihood and tries to stay neutral. The story is good at showing all sides in the brew
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Picked up this book from a list that told me if I liked Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic (specifically Sandry with her stitch witch talents), I should read this book. A seamstress that can backstitch charms into her clothes, a politically torn city, nobles and strife, romance, and just our main character caught in the middle. What's not to like?

So for the first half of the book, I really enjoyed pretty much everything (the setting, the characters, the plot, the way Miller set up the stage for dif
Staci Campbell
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Torn by Rowenna Miller

I was given this title on behalf of NetGalley and the Publisher, Orbit Books - Orbit, in return for my Honest review. 

Thank you. This was a really enjoyable read. I wasn't sure at first, and it did start slow, with a lot of detail. However it picked up quickly, and it did not disappoint! The editing was great, it was an arc, and had very problems. It was fluid and made sense the entire time. The plot was really interesting and I actually really liked the way it was wor
A real disappointment. Admittedly, I might not have found Torn so thoroughly exasperating if I hadn’t read it while living through the first half of 2020. Rowenna Miller’s prose is competent, if never thrilling, and the core idea—a young dressmaker with magical abilities living in a city that bears a passing resemblance to late 18th-century Paris, trying to make a living despite her immigrant background and growing civic unrest—has lots of potential. That concept (plus the admittedly eye-catchin ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Politics and scandals and revolutions and dress making and magic and forbidden love. Omg so many good things. Especially loved that this was a fantasy novel with a 25 year d heroine who works her ass off for her business.
Danielle N
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review may also be found at Books, Vertigo and Tea.

TORN had already landed on my radar when I received word that a copy would be arriving. And it was not long into the book that it solidified its spot among many other anticipated releases and immediately took precedence over my current reads.

This is the story Sophie, and young seamstress who has the ability to cast charms into stitches and has succeeded in opening and establishing a successful business during a time when doing so is impossi
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately drawn to this book by its synopsis- seamstress who stitches magic into clothing?? That's a new one!

The book was a lot more political that I expected - I guess I was just anticipating a lighthearted fantasy romance. Not to say that this is a negative point- just not what I was personally looking for. The story seemed to drag, and the love between Sophie and Theodor was unconvincing to me. I feel as if a lot more could have been done with such a unique premise, and it fell short
6.5/10 - Reviews at Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

This was a bit of a disappointment. While I liked the first 1/4, the rest of the book didn't quite match up with the expectations I had going in.

Torn tells the story of a dressmaker named Sophie who has the ability to add charms (things like luck, protection, love) to the clothing she makes. She lives with her brother Kristos in Galitha City during a time of rising discontent within the working class. But Sophie isn't a would-be-revolutionary, handi
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
3.5/5 the first half was like 2-stars but the second half was like 4-stars. I DETEST how much of a pushover the main character is. Her brother's a piece of garbage and she just lets him abuse her! She finally grew a bit of a backbone but the author didn't ever redeem him well enough. He's just trash. I liked the politics and the romance and the magic though!
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This one gained my attention back when it first came out because it involves a magic system that involves sewing. I got the audiobook with the entire idea that I would do some cross stitching while listening to it, but it didn’t end up working out like that. Oh well! :D

This is the story of Sophie, who is a seamstress in the city of Galitha. Her and her brother Kristos are common folk in the city ruled by the noble class. Their parents both died some years earlier
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I was very excited about, as it features two things I'm very into: textile arts (in this case, sewing) and PLANS TO OVERTHROW THE MONARCHY #TIME4THEPITCHFORKS.

It's set in Galitha City, the capital of an 18th century-like country, and follows Sophie, a dressmaker with a magical talent for sewing good luck charms into clothing. She and her brother, Kristos, had struggled to scrape by when they were young, but now her little dressmaking shop is picking up and she's even attracting cl
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I'm very glad I didn't see the "for fans of The Queen of the Tearling" line in the blurb, because if I had, I'd never have read Torn. I am pleased to say, however, that even if you hated Tearling (like I did), you can still really enjoy Rowenna Miller's debut (also like I did)!

Torn has a very historical fantasy feel to it, which I happened to love. The worldbuilding was strong for me, and I definitely got a strong feel of the politics, culture, art, religion, etc. of this world, even th
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Mini Review is up on my blog!
ughhhh, I haven't read a series in so long and maybe this is why.
I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK! And then in the end: TO BE CONTINUED IN APRIL 2019. NOOOoooo, whyy. The romance arc, tell me mooore.

Ok Ok. So. Sophie is a seamstress who can sew charms into clothing, and because she is SO adept at this, she runs her own shop. She has lovely assistants, and loves what she does. She sews charmed clothes for common people and nobility alike.
She is a common person, i
The Library Ladies
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
(Full review here at the

I love to cross-stitch, have loved it for years since I learned to stitch as a little girl. It’s also a handy hobby to support a very unhealthy Netflix binging habit. But it’s also a less common craft nowadays. I have a bunch of friends who knit, a couple of crocheters, but none of my friends embroider. So I was stoked when I saw this book coming this spring from Orbit. A fantasy novel where embroidery IS the magic? I immediately requested a copy a
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fashion geeks, fans of Gail Carriger, cosplayers
What a delightful book!

There was just so much in here that brought me joy. I devoured this book in a single day. So how to tell you about TORN? Well... imagine if, in revolutionary France, Danton had a seamstress sister who could work magic. TORN is a fantasy novel that centers socioeconomic conflict as its motivating force. Sophie is a charming and understandable character, a woman who has used talent and cleverness to claw her way out of poverty -- and though her bourgeois lifestyle, her merca
Unabridged Bibliophile
3.75 stars. I surprisingly really enjoyed this one!
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A tough one. I liked it, but I didn't at the same time.

First, Sophie's brother, Kristos. What a douche-canoe. I didn't understand why she continually stuck by his side. He doesn't seem to care for her one way or the other; unless it has a potential advantage to his Cause, Kristos couldn't care less about Sophie's business, never mind that her work makes up the bulk of their income. And, let's not forget that he completely and utterly (view spoiler)
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book more than I did. The worldbuilding is great, the political concepts hold promise, and the prose is smooth. Torn is an engaging, quick read, sure to delight most fans of romance-tinged historical fantasy. Unfortunately, the weak characters prevented me from loving this novel.

Let's start out with the main character. Sophie is a twenty-something year old dressmaker, a rare female in charge of her own business, who can infuse magical charms into the products of her ateli
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had fun with this one.

The main character Sophie is a magic seamstress, practical and hardworking. Her brother is a very stupid Enjolras trying to bring down the government. There's an evil professor, and a Deeply Convenient™ duke/prince guy without whom the story would have ended far more tragically.

The title comes in when Sophie is forced to get involved in the civil unrest her brother is fomenting, and she is torn between her desire to live a peaceful and successful life with her new friends
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Sophie has risen from nothing into a bustling businesswoman with a niche market—fine garments for wealthy merchants and noblewomen imbued with the good luck charms of her Pellian ancestors. But while Sophie mingles with the upper class, her brother becomes involved in a call for proletarian reforms against the stifling nobility.

What a beautiful and well-thought out book about difficult choices and truth! In addition to all of the amazing characters (particularly female characters who work within
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
*I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
DNF @ 24%

I was so excited for this one. Magic, political intrigue, rebellion/revolution... I was so ready, but this book just didn't hit me right.

It was a bit slow for my preferences. I tend to like a faster pace, so this is something some people won't mind. Definitely a slow build. By 24% the potential romance is hinted at (this is kinda liked--it isn't over the top, subtle), but the bad guy isn't even in the picture. Sur

Thanks to Hachette Audio for the ALC. I wanted to give this one a try, even though it isn’t quite my thing, since I was given a copy in exchange for a review.

Subject matter just didn’t end up keeping my interest. The writing is crisp and the narration is spot on, but it wasn’t enough to keep me invested.

Don’t take these comments as me disliking the book because I think it is well written. It just isn’t for me.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magicians
cute! a charming, lovely story. the last quarter was anticlimactic and i'm not sure where the story will go in the later books - it could either be fantastically creative, or dully milking-the-cash-cow (based on a few reviews and the blurb it seems like the latter). but i'd still definitely recommend this first book if you like victorian stories!
Unexpectedly enchanting until the end - tale of revolution, magic, family ties with a great heroine
Emmy Neal
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the romance and the examination of how fantasy uses nobility and monarchies--it was just so much fun, and I loved that it was packed full of female characters with agency and magic.
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“You do realize that everyone in Galitha City who missed that particular lecture is going to think you're wearing a phallus on your head, right?” 0 likes
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