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The Binding

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,998 ratings  ·  1,046 reviews
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 bu
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by The Borough Press
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,998 ratings  ·  1,046 reviews

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Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bridget Collins has written a beautifully imagined piece of fantasy historical fiction, a sumptuous love story, of poor farmer's son, Emmet Farmer, and the wealthy, privileged Lucian Darnay, doomed to be star crossed lovers. In this world, books are not what we would recognise them to be, books are for all those things that people feel destroyed by and cannot live with in their lives. They are extraordinary hand crafted, leather bound repositories of actual peoples memories, their secrets, grief ...more
Will Byrnes
We’ve been called witches since the beginning of time. Word-cunning, they used to call it—of a piece with invoking demons…We were burned for it too. The Crusade wasn’t new, we’ve always been scapegoats. Well, knowledge is always a kind of magic, I suppose.
Emmett Farmer is a young man with issues. He used to think that he would inherit his family’s farm. It was the life he was used to and the road he expected to follow to, and beyond, the horizon. But he has not been himself lately. His abilit
Ova - Excuse My Reading
This is a difficult one to review.

I think I expected this book to be more fantasy than it currently is. It started very slow for my liking, and I think if it wasn't all the PR campaign and the interest that's built on Social media, if this was a book I've myself picked, I'd probably give up around 20%. But I continued reading because I was really intrigued, also the reviews are really good for this book. Sadly I will not join the fan base, this time. I confess, I stopped proper reading at 40% t
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Emer

The premise of The Binding in one sentence : terrible people are terrible, and when I say terrible what I really mean is everyone. It's terribly gruesome and disturbing at times and portrays abuse in many shapes, yet I couldn't look away. For the past few days, I've been wondering why I was so damn affected by a novel that many of my friends found lacking. Yet I'm pretty sure that the sense of dread I felt came from how very realistic the horrors pictured were : you can wrap up abuse with a fan
I'm starting to become a little disillusioned with upcoming releases by unknown or new-to-me authors. THE BINDING has an excellent marketing campaign, a gorgeous cover, and was a book I wanted to get into my hands, desperately, due to a (inaccurate) comparison to a book I love. However, for this reader, the insides don't match the outsides.

This book has three parts to it. The first act is slow, plodding, and mired in the familiar 'other characters know things but cannot tell the protagonist for
Umut Reviews
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I had high hopes for this book, really loved the premise, but I think it’s one of those cases that it delivered something else than promised. The idea sounded very original; people’s bad memories binded in a book, so that they don’t remember them anymore. It sounded like it has fantasy elements, some magic with interesting characters. The book is divided in 3 parts. I loved the first part, but things went into a completely different direction starting from the second part. The rest of ...more
Lucy Langford
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book was spellbinding and included an original concept (about books!) that I had never read before; it completely ensnared me into its pages.

The tale starts of with Emmett, a farmer from a small house in the country, plagued by nightmares which in turn effect his work. Suddenly one afternoon, he receives a letter, telling him that he must go to be a binder, a job that promotes fear, prejudice and superstition among communities.

Emmett goes to be an apprentice as a binder so that one day

Historical fiction mixed with folklore and magical realism, and a love story that gave me all of the feels!!!!!!!! YASSSSSS. Do yourself a favour and read it.

Perfect for people who liked The Thirteenth Tale or The Shadow of the Wind

The freaking blurb on the back cover gave away a plot line that didn't occur until page 161.... Like I get that I probs would have figured it out anyway BUT STILL! Robbed me of some of my fun so bah humbug to you blurb writing t

In this surprisingly emotional fantasy–literary fiction blend, books are sordid things, definitely not read, and locked away in vaults at reputable companies with names such as Lyon & Sons. Each book in this world contains the wiped memories, most often horrible, of one person. Destroy that book by fire, and restore the horrible memory. Or, in rarer instances, destroy that book and restore destroyed lives.

On the simplest level, The Binding is about same-age characters Emmet
Jul 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
ugh - tell me this technology is available and sign me up, please.

also, sign me up for the book, double please.
I had such high hopes for this book, and I'm left feeling dreadfully disappointed. This book was overhyped, and that I'm positive of. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on this. The plot sounded intriguing and I adored the cover. Lets be honest, it is quite something, and I was kind of lured in by it.

This book consists of three parts. The first part was slow, and it really, really dragged. The second was better, as I think it is the only part of the entire book that I liked and was tolerabl
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, this was a surprise!

‘Emmett,’ he said, ‘don’t ever let me see you with a book again. You understand?’
I didn’t. What had happened? I’d bought it, I hadn’t stolen it, but somehow I had done something unforgivable.

The Binding is far from perfect and, in some particular aspects, it barely scratches the surface, but I am forever fascinated with stories that deal with the subject of memory loss and its consequences and, in this, Collins’s fantasy novel is extraordinarily unique.

At the centr
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I was drawn to this book by its intriguing title, by its beautiful cover, and by the promise of a story in which books were fundamental. They were but they were books quite unlike any that I had ever read. They were books that held dark secrets and unhappy memories; drawn out from peoples minds and bound into the elegant leather-bound volumes by Bookbinders, so that memories were erased, secrets were concealed and the troublesome pasts were securely locked away.

The story was set in a place somew
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Binding, Bridget Collins's first adult novel, is a book full of wonderful magic and searing heartache. A special hybrid of fantasy and historical fiction, it is a sumptuous and emotional affair which is substantial in its sincerity and exquisite in its writing. The premise, that memories you wished to be forgotten can be bound and effectively erased from a person's life, is a unique one and one I was on board with from the beginning. But this original concept is not the end of the story as i ...more
Liz Barnsley
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very difficult book to review this, without giving away the secrets that make it pure magic on the page, but let’s see how we go.
Imagine if you could bind away your memories in a book – once written and bound you forget. You can leave the bad behind. Is that good? Or would it empty you of that which makes you who you are..
Emmett has been unwell, a fever of the mind, when he is called to learn the trade of the bookbinder. So begins an unusual love story, a speculative fantasy tale, a beautifully

Title: The Binding
Series: Standalone
Author: Bridget Collins
Release date: January 7, 2019
Genre: historical fiction, fantasy

I had such high hopes for this book and I'm so disappointed that I didn't love it. When I read the synopsis it sounded like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is a favorite film of mine. It's about a couple who have broken up and erase each other from their memories to forget the heartbreak they suffer from. The twist on that concept is that the memories being erase
Brenda Waworga
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Im so glad i love The Binding story as much as i love the cover!! this was a total cover buy book and dive into this knowing nothing about this book and basically just expected nothing too

This book is kinda a mixed between Historical Magical Realism and Romance set in Victorian era and i love it

The Story divided into 3 Parts.. Part 1 about the Magic system where people can bind their memory (mostly memory they dont want to remember) onto a book!, this part is slow and so eerie it took quite a w
Tanja Berg
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at the airport on Friday. It was lying by itself and I was drawn to the beautiful binding. The sheer beauty of it and the promising blurb made me pick it up. It seemed to hold the promise of magic.

I didn't really find magic. I found a broken boy, Emmet, who is being sent of to become apprentice to a binder. That means that he is to bind people's memories into books, making them forget terrible things they did or were exposed to. Not that he knows this. He doesn't know much
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I finished it, it took me some time but I finally finished it. And to be honest I don’t know should I kick myself for not finishing it sooner or pat myself on the shoulder. I loved reading this so much.

Collins created a world where books are forbidden and feared, where Bookbinders are looked upon as witches that can steal memories that they bind into books and all that is narrated with a wonderful, eloquent writing. I must say that I usually don’t like when there are miles and miles of descri
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**3.5 stars**

The Binding by Bridget Collins. (2019).

Emmett is working on his family's farm when a letter comes summoning him to be an apprentice for a bookbinder; bookbinders evoke fear, superstition and prejudice. He will learn to handcraft beautiful volumes with something unique inside - a memory extracted from people who wish to forget something and never remember it. But one day, Emmett discovers a book with his name on it...

An int
I adored this book. Truly. I'm honestly struggling for words to talk about it.
I was so deeply invested in this story that the scenes played through my mind like a movie and, were I an artist, I could draw every setting. So deeply invested that a tragic moment left me short of breath and tearful. Of course, I have at least some level of investment and interest in every book I read, otherwise I wouldn't be reading them, but the most recent book that comes to mind which affected me this strongly is
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the idea of this book. I enjoy a well written fantasy read. The idea that a binder could take away a person's painful memories and put them into a book was novel to me.
Certainly the opening chapter appealed and was powerful. We have Emmett, a boy working on his family's farm, who is ill. He is to be apprenticed to an ageing binder against his will. Binders are seen by many as akin to witches and to be avoided and feared.

The book is in three parts. The first part follows Emmett
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs
I was very lucky to receive a beautiful proof copy of this book from the folk at Borough Press and I am so pleased I did. This is a phenomenal book that is going to be a front facer in the fantasy section for a long time coming. The story of a young man who is summoned to be an apprentice binder is beautifully written and full of emotion. A wonderful imagining of a world where your memories can be taken from you, if you wish, and bound into a book that is so cleverly written it doesn't seem like ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
This book is an interesting example of light magic realism used in a otherwise realistic scenario. The book is set in a vaguely medieval setting (We have pistols and some machinery, coaches ect), though not much writing is dedicated to expanding on the world building of time and place.

This novel is, essentially a YA love story with the slight twist that the romance is LGBT rather than standard. The twist to the romance, and the world, is that in this world a 'book' is usually made through a 'bin
Kindling Micky
THE BINDING felt to be a unique read, within a historical/magically-orientated world. THE BINDING is about my favourite subject, books. It is about the making of them and what is behind the whole need to make a book; it wasn't at all what it seemed to be. More than anything, THE BINDING was about the binder, a young man, an apprentice, Emmett Farmer.

This is a book that started slow, and for me, it had pacing issues right through the first half. There were periods of confusion in the first few h
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book deserves all the stars. To be honest it's the best book I've read this year so far. (Now some of my friends will say "What about King of Scars"?....well )

"The Binding" is a historical fiction with a little dose of magic, which hooked me from the first pages and I held my breath reading the last. I love Bridget Collins style as she introduced me to victorian England where books are made of human memories by the binders. It is a love story full of hidden desires and regret ♥
Just read it
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Great concept, but didn't live up to its potential in my opinion. I wasn't keen on the characters and I kept on thinking how much better a plot I could have come up with based on this concept.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Blog Post:


*I was provided with an ARC of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

The Binding was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2019, and so I was more than eager to get my hands on it, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have quite high expectations going into it, because I’d hyped it up so much. And I’m
Skye ~ A Court of Binge Reading
***Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review***

Guess who stayed up until 3 am reading this book? If you guessed me, then you would be correct. The Binding is everything I expected and more. Quite honestly, this book is unlike any other I have ever read.

At its core, this book is about love and the power of choice. You see, binders have the power to take memories--good, bad, happy or sad--from an individual. After they take their memories, t
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Bridget Collins has works written under the name B.R Collins.
  • The Women's War (Women's War, #1)
  • The Beckoning Shadow (The Beckoning Shadow #1)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow
  • What Monstrous Gods
  • The Wicked Cometh
  • The Monster of Elendhaven
  • Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood #1)
  • Untitled
  • Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)
  • Armistice (The Amberlough Dossier, #2)
  • The Other Side of the Sky (Untitled #1)
  • The Doll Factory
  • Magic for Liars
  • There Will Come a Darkness (There Will Come a Darkness, #1)
  • The Bright and the Pale
  • The City We Became
  • Guardians of Dawn (Guardians of Dawn, #1)
  • A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, #1)
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“Who the hell are you?"
"I'm the witch's apprentice. Who the hell are you?”
More quotes…