Threadneedle by Cari Thomas

Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.

Magic is the first sin. It must be bound.

Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She has taught her to fear how it twists and knots and turns into something dark and deadly.

It was, after all, magic that killed her parents and left her in her aunt’s care. It’s why she has been protected from the magical world and, in one year’s time, what little magic she has will be bound. She will join her aunt alongside the other Binders who believe magic is a sin not to be used, but denied. Only one more year and she will be free of the curse of magic, her aunt’s teachings and the disappointment of the little she is capable of.

Nothing – and no one – could change her mind before then. Could it?


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.


DNF @14%

Embroidery/needlework/sewing basic magic systems is a sparsely explored fantasy subgenre and I’m always interested in new additions. However, Threadneedle was absolutely not a book I would have been able to enjoy. We open to teenaged Anna, living with her Aunt and taught her entire life that her magic is a sin, her magic must be bound and carefully used, that showing her magic to the wrong people will get her persecuted and killed. Hidden magic is a fairly common theme but almost immediately, we meet Selene, an old friend of Anna’s mother and her daughter Effie, who cast freely with no concern for this so-called persecution. It’s immediately, painfully obvious that the world Anna has been raised in is the equivalent of an extremist oppressive religious cult that Anna’s been more or less indoctrinator into. While some readers may enjoy such topics, that theme hits faaar too close to home for me and it’s absolutely not something I’m comfortable reading. When we Aunt’s friend, fellow members of this group of witches, it’s like the worst of wealthy white suburban housewife sniping, all veiled insults and petty comparisons of who’s ‘better’ at X. Between this and the extremely slow pacing, I found myself forcing to continue page by page. My breaking point was Anna’s first day back at school, where we go through a rehash of every Mean Popular Alpha Girls being petty and mean to the Unpopular Girl at school. It’s 2021, do we really need to go through that trope again? No, we really don’t. Thus DNF. 1/5 stars. Not worth my time.

r/Fantasy Bingo Squares:

  • Mystery Plot
  • Published in 2021
  • Witches (hard mode)

Publication Date: 27 May 2021
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 576
Word Count: ~160,000
ISBN: 0008407002 

One thought on “Threadneedle by Cari Thomas

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