It’s my turn on the BlogTour Threadneedle by Cari Thomas.
About the Author
Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’ Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books.
She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.
About the book
Anna’s aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences. Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever. Until she meets Effie and Attis. They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revelers lose themselves in a haze of spells.
But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along. Is her magic a gift…or a curse?
Told through spells created with knots and threads, this is a story that is both innovative and based in traditional witchcraft.
Anna has always been taught that obedience and constraint are what is most important in life. She hides her true self to such an extent that she falters at even the simplest steps when trying to use magic. Her aunt has convinced her that she needs to give herself fully to become a Binder – no matter the price.
But there is also the world beyond that of her aunt’s dictatorship, a world that Selene lets her taste now and again. A world that Effie opens the door to and Anna needs to be brave enough to walk through said door, regardless of the consequences. There are the consequences and there are also dark, disturbing secrets that are being hidden from Anna.
I hope this is the first of a series, there is so much more to explore after all that meticulous world building. All the secrets and hidden people in a world full of magic, a world that also tries to curb and bind the natural flow of magic and witchcraft.
For me this is a story of sisterhood, but more importantly about how that can be defined depending on the relationship. Blood bonds, bond through the common denominator of being a woman, bonds in relation to societal expectations.
Simultaneously the story also shows what happens when the threads of sisterhood are torn and women don’t behave in a supportive way with each other, which is actually more of a realistic take on the complicated world of female relationships. They, other women, can be the biggest critic and enemy of women, especially when they adhere to patriarchal rules in order to get validation.
What is at the core of witchcraft and the fear of witches though? It’s not just a fear of the unknown or the inexplicable – it is a systemic eradication of women with a voice, power and healing abilities. It has also always been a rather good way to rid yourself of an enemy. Fear of womanhood, fear of the power a sisterhood can bring to the table. Thomas let’s that aspect flow throughout the story even when that fear is being used as a tactic to control and scaremonger, especially when it’s used by other women.
I really enjoyed it, although admittedly I was always love to read different interpretations of how magic can be and is used, and then woven into a wonderful story. Definitely a book I would recommend.