Cover Image: The Bookbinder's Daughter

The Bookbinder's Daughter

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Member Reviews

My first book by Jessica Thorne, The Bookbinder’s Daughter is truly magical and this is what I loved most about the book….. and that lush cover!
Our main character Sophie is thrust into a world beyond her imagination, she takes a LOT of it in her stride… which amazed me as she was always second guessing her actions, big and small.
I loved the detail description, even the tiny ones. I enjoyed getting to know our characters, especially Will and Tia, I would have liked to have got a bit more dept with these two.
I did feel that Sophie repeated a lot of her thinking lines, the odd time I thought I’d skipped back a page and was repeating myself.
In all I did really enjoy this book, the adventure, the magic, the sleepwalking and that tree! A very magical read, one that had me turning the pages every spare second I got.
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Brilliant 
There have been quite a few books in recent years about books, libraries, and magic.  However, not before this have I read a book that combines them quite so well.  
It mostly reminded me of Genevieve Cogman's The Invisible Library series, together with a touch of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy.  And yet, it felt so fresh and was a brilliant read, rather than repetition of those other books.
I read a lot of books each year, and yet I do feel that this will be one of the most memorable, and if this is the standard and originality of books that this author can produce, then I will be watching her more closely in future.  If she produces any more books like this, I will be rushing to read those, too.  How wonderful if this could be the start of a new series!
A very easily won five stars, if not more.
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Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book.

There's an abundance of books about magical libraries, but The Bookbinder's Daughter stands out for its inventiveness and excellent, atmospheric writing, as well as a sympathetic, flawed, seemingly fragile main character, Sophie, who turns out to be much stronger than she appears at the beginning of the book.

Filled to the brim with strange dark dreams (or are they memories?), long-buried family secrets, and rekindled romance, and a focus on the beauty of language and magic.
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Sophie I like her character. At times the book feels rushed like your rushing through whata happening and then you come to a sudden halt. Besides this it is well written and the stroy flows even with it stops and starts. This is a very pleasant read. I liked the magical library it had so much for potential though to many secrets by too many people.
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Overall, the story was imaginative and the pace was good, continually piquing my interest, but something was missing for me, which left me a bit uninspired by the end. 

Sophie binds books, just like her late father and has been given the incredible opportunity to continue her work at the Ayredale Library - the finest collection of rare books in the world, To make matters more interesting, this was once her home as a teenager before her mother died, although she inexplicably has very few memories. It becomes clear that this isn't an ordinary library with ordinary books, everyone is acting strangely and magic seems to be in the air. Sophie needs to uncover her memories to understand her past ....and future. 

The story itself is wonderful, creative fantasy, but there were parts that felt like I had read them before. I also struggled to feel invested in the characters. Its tricky because all the right elements were there, and I love this genre, and yet I cant help but feel ambivalent overall.
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I wanted to love this book because well, beautiful cover about a magical library…what could be better?! However…. Aside from the deconstruction of God and calling the Bible a myth (or even religion at all) at one point, and the anticlimactic, no chemistry romance, all that aside, the book was just BORING. Like I lost count how many times I fell asleep while reading or listening (I had the ebook and audio). Too many to count.
It just didn’t have a plot. And the on that it had didn’t seem to really arrive until halfway through the book. I didn’t get any magical feels until the halfway point, so it almost felt like two different books. Anyway, just wasn’t for me.
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BLOG TOUR REVIEW 

Review for 'The Bookbinder's Daughter' by Jessica Thorne. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Jessica Thorne, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 20th September 2021.

This is the first book I have read by this author. 

I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful cover and intriguing sounding synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that this book is 'Perfect for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Night Circus and The Binding.' I am a fan of 'The Night Circus' so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a prologue and 29 chapters. The chapters are medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in the UK 🇬🇧 . I always enjoy when books are set in the UK as I'm from Wales and have sometimes visited areas mentioned in the book. This makes it easier to picture where the scenes are set at times. 

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonists are Sophie and Will. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything. 

The 'Bookbinder's Daughter' has a unique and magical storyline. The fact that it is set in a library and the main protagonists are a bookbinder and a guardian of the library is a bookworms dream. A book filled with books!!!! The atmosphere is stunning with vivid descriptions that really bring the storyline to life and are absolutely magical and mesmerising. The plot is filled with magic, mystery, family, love, loss, romance and lots and lots of books!!! The detail in the book is fantastic especially the book binding process and watching it through Sophie eyes, definitely a bibliophiles dream!! The storyline is quite fast paced with alot going on to keep the reader turning the pages. However, I did find that towards the end of the book things started to get a bit confusing and things were being repeated quite alot which is a shame. 

It is set over/includes multiple time lines. When books show what has happened in the past and what is happening in the present I find it really helps the reader (if it is well done) understand why things are happening and what has lead to the present activities and decisions. It also shows the bigger picture. 

There is a wide variety of characters in this book with different personalities, powers and influences. Unfortunately I didn't connect with Sophie as much as I liked and found her to be a bit of, for lack of a better description, a wet fish who made some strange choices. However, although I didn't connect with Sophie that much I did find that I liked Will who seemed to have more of a stronger personality. I also loved Tia who was an extremely memorable character with a lot of passion and personality!! I wasn't a huge fan of Edward and just found most of his choices a bit cliché and obvious at times so definitely a mixed bunch!! 

Overall a magical and unique story filled with magic, books, mystery, love and adventure!!

Genres covered in this book include Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy and Historical Fantasy amongst others. 


I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of 'The Night Circus' and anyone who loves books within books and magic. 


269 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 4 /5 (I enjoyed it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

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The Bookbinder’s Daughter is a fantastic read and anyone who loves books will enjoy this magical tale. Sophie is a bookbinder and she goes back to her childhood home to work in a mysterious library. It is the same library where her mother disappeared many years ago. The library itself is magical and filled with many secrets. Sophie gets caught up in its mystery and its danger, and what unfolds is an enchanting tale well worth the time it takes to read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
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When I hear “bookbinder,” I think of someone who does just that – binds books so that they can be published. But the books being bound here aren’t just for sale at your local bookstore, though. Oh, no. They are so much more.

Sophie’s mother died under mysterious circumstances when she was a teenager. Her father took her away from the Ayredale Library, only home she’d ever known, thinking he was saving her from…something. She’s got a good job, but she’s starting to question her relationship with Victor. Her uncle, Edward Talbot, reappears unexpectedly in her life after her father’s death, with an offer of a job at the Library. Sophie takes it, leaving behind the manipulative Victor and all that she’s known for years.

When she returns to the Library, memories begin to return in bits and pieces. Sophie hopes she can learn what happened to her mother. She also remembers the attraction she and Will, the Library’s guardian, once shared, and wonders/hopes that can be rekindled. The Library is starting to feel like home again, drawing Sophie in, and she’s finding her place there, remembering who she was and who she is, when her past comes crashing back in unexpectedly.

The atmosphere Thorne creates is enthralling. It calls to mind The Night Circus and Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe for me. Her word choices are exquisite, and she builds a lush, fantastical world for her characters to inhabit. The magical system she envisions is intriguing, with chaos willingly sacrificing itself for creativity to thrive, and the ideas going forth into the world, to be seeded and discovered and used. And how can you not be sucked in by a description of a tree with leaves glowing gold, swirling and falling into Sophie’s hands?

The romance with Will feels a little rushed, especially as Sophie has just broken free of an abusive relationship. I understand, though, that it’s made to fit the confines of a story, and there are allowances to be made. I also would have liked to know more about Will – what actually happened to turn him into the Library’s guardian?

And Victor (said abusive relationship) is just SO ROTTEN. I wanted to reach into the pages and shake Sophie (just a little) when she turns away from Will to go with Victor. I know abusers can be very charming and manipulative, and I know Sophie was a young woman wounded by her past. But it’s hard to imagine how she ever saw anything in him worth her time, because he’s written as such a positively awful character.

Tia may have been my favorite character. So much about her seems baffling, until things click into place and her true nature is revealed.

I might have enjoyed this as book one of a duology. A second book might have given Thorne room to expand more on the characters, tell us more of how they came to be part of the Library. But overall, I found it engaging and a worthwhile read. Recommended for people who like magical realism and are willing to suspend their disbelief while they read.
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I liked this novel.

I liked the magical library aspect of the story. The characters including the main character Sophie were fleshed out well and they were all likeable.

The world building was written very well.

I hope to read more from this author in the future.
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I love everything about magical libraries and this book. The premise of the library was extremely fascinating and any book lover will find parts of this that they'll love. The writing is really vibrant and the world-building is excellent.
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I was literally bouncing with excitement when I read about 'The Bookbinder's Daughter' by Jessica Thorne in Noelle from Bookouture's email, it is exactly my kind of book, and I hope it is yours too.

This is such a delicious book, a woman in a relationship that she intrinsically knows she needs to leave, is given a helping hand to run from London to Edinburgh, by her uncle.

Vincent, Sophie's boyfriend is mean and exploitative of her book world  connections and skills, and her growing realisation of this is pushed into action when she finds him being unfaithful in their flat.

Fleeing does not come without its difficulties , however, as it means returning to a place she has few memories of, The Special Collection, where her mother was last seen before her mysterious disappearance.

Grief stricken, Sophie's father has removed her from the environment which he felt stole his beloved wife, causing a schism between both sides of Sophie's family.

Returning is seen as a necessary act for Edward and his team, Sophie has skills with repairing books that they desperately need, and, although it doesn't feel like it at first, Ayredale Library is a place to call home.

As memories and sensations begin to resurface, is Sophie heading towards a moment of clarity and an epiphany about her role in the family business? Can she find who she is by putting the ghosts of the past to rest? And will she reconnect with Will Rhys, librarian's assistant and one time teen crush?

I loved the way this book was written, I am a huge fan of Louisa Morgan and Deborah Harkness and feel that The Bookbinder's Daughter would appeal to those readers who love their work also. Prepare to be swept away and into a world where books, the stories they tell and the places they take you to, is celebrated and centered at the heart of this truly magical novel!
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The Bookbinder's Daughter by Jessica Thorne is a magical tale designed to appeal to book lovers. It tells the story of Sophie , a young woman who is still struggling to come to terms with the loss of her mother several years before, a situation made even more difficult by the amnesia that has plagued her ever since. When she walks in on her boyfriend in a compromising situation it seems like a recent offer from her uncle to come work in an archive filled with rare books will offer the perfect escape. From the moment she sets foot in the Ayredale Library she feels a sense of familiarity, of homecoming, but the library has secrets of its own, and is home to an ancient magic that may explain what happened to her mother. As Sophie starts to regain her memories, with the help of her fellow librarians , it seems like she has finally found a home. 
Books, magic and books about books and magic are like catnip to me so when I read the description of this book I immediately wanted to get my hands on a copy. Having read some of the author's previous books, I knew that I was in the hands of an expert storyteller, and I was not disappointed. I was completely captivated by the world she created and the people she populated it with, from the enigmatic Tia to the villainous Victor, as well as our narrator Sophie. I do wish the magic at the heart of the story had been explained a little more clearly, the concept was interesting but it could have used a little more fleshing out. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for the chance to read The bookbinder's daugher by Jessica Thorne. After reading Jessica's previous book The lost girls of Foxfield Hall, I was eager to read The bookbinder's daughter. I was initially caught up in the story, but soon became lost in the dialogue (too much repetition). The plot, A talented bookbinder get hired on to a mysterious and magical library where she used to live, and where her Mother had worked. Secrets abound everywhere...(one of my issues) and of course there is her childhood crush is still waiting for her.  This may well be a book that you will either love or hate, but if you love fantasy, and books about libraries, give it a try.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. I really enjoyed it. Magic, mystery, romance and more together with the library. It was well written with good character development and kept me hooked to the end. A good read!
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After her father's death,  Sophie is contacted by her Uncle Edward with an offer of a job-- bookbinder at the prestigious Ayredale Library. This is the position her mother held before she mysteriously disappeared when Sophie was still a teen,  and her father dragged her away to London. When she returns to the library,  memories from her forgotten past start to come back to her,  including a dark haired boy, Will, that she'd fallen for all those years ago. But Sophie's ties to this library run deep and strange things start to happen,  whispers of voices long forgotten and an unknown power buried deep under the library's surface. 
The library itself seems to be a malevolent character in this book,  a creeping presence in the background. The descriptions of the library,  the tree,  and the characters just painted a picture for me and I was lost in its magical world from beginning to end. 
Big thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance reader copy of this wonderful book. The views and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.
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3.5+
Thank you netgalley and publishers for this e-arc. 

Magic, library, secrets; a very enjoyable read. I recommend.
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2.5/5 stars, rounded up

Sophie is offered her dream job at Ayerdale Library, a chance to escape from her controlling, abusive, gaslighting boyfriend, Victor, and a chance to reconnect with her roots. Sophie’s mother died when she was a child in this very library and she doesn’t remember anything that happened, even though she was there when it happened. Her memories of the library are blurry at best but, as she refamiliarizes herself with the library, they begin to sharpen. She discovers that, at the heart of the library, is a magical tree, one she’s been dreaming about since she was a child, since that fateful day she lost her mother. 
 
The story is repetitive. Sophie can’t remember something, she is reminded or asked something along the lines of do you remember? And suddenly, she does, vaguely. And this happens several times, the same pattern. Several days are glossed over, with little attention to what Sophie is doing in her day to day work life. You know, the thing she moved to Ayerdale to do? Bookbinding? Book repair? Instead, the focus is on the mystery of the library and on Sophie’s intense feelings for Will, her childhood sweetheart, who she hasn’t thought of or talked to in over 
a decade and can barely remember. 

Even when magic is introduced, there are no hard rules about how it works, who has the power, how they can use the power. Is the power entirely tied to the magical tree in the heart of the library? Can only certain people use it? How does one harness the power of the tree? What can the magic be used for? Is simply reading a spell enough to use the magic? For all that this magic was supposed to be a big part of the book, it fell flat and was poorly explained. 

All of the male characters, even the love interest, Will, are toxic. Sophie’s father, who died recently, never told her how her mother died and kept secrets from Sophie her entire life, keeping her at arm’s length. Victor lies to her and is very controlling, wanting to know her every move; turns out, he was cheating on her and he blames her, using the classic like that he did it because of her. Sophie’s uncle lies to her and gaslights her in an attempt to get her to come to the library.Even Will, Sophie’s childhood friend and love interest, is toxic; he holds back a lot of information about their shared past for no apparent reason and also touches her without her permission, forcefully, not lovingly. And supposedly that comes from a place of caring but I just see it as another way he can assert his power over her. Sophie is very meek and unassertive, too accepting of the way men dominate her life. Many of the characters are name dropped and not fleshed out in any meaningful way. The apprentices, the people Sophie was interacting with. The professor she worked with for several days, binding and repairing books. I couldn’t keep them straight. 

The narrative struggles with telling and not showing, as well. There are pages and pages where what happened and how it was interpreted by the character is fleshed out and reasoned out, instead of letting the reader figure it out themselves. It left me feeling very led and not at all invested in the story, because all conclusions were just written out. Like how Sophie reasoned away her father’s reactions to her mother’s death, how she explained away her uncle’s behavior. 

I needed more aesthetic library descriptions, more about the setting, more about the magic. That was what I was promised and that was not what I got. Instead I got toxic male characters, what felt like insta love even though the couple in question were childhood sweethearts, badly explained magic, and complicated relationships that had no real payoff because the characters didn’t feel real enough for me to care about. While I enjoyed the beginning, the middle and end left me muddled and disappointed. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an early copy of this book. It was, indeed, a book. A somewhat enjoyable time was had by me as I read and I might consider reading some of the author’s other books someday.
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This riveting story of a young woman forced to confront the mysterious disappearance of her mother kept me enthralled until the last page and still hasn't let me go. 

It has everything I (and probably anyone who grew up with a fascination with books) could ever want. There is romance, beautiful books, an enchanted library, a secret society, magic, heart-wrenching mystery, coming home, and healing from personal traumas. The story pulled me in so thoroughly it hurt a little when the book was over. 

I especially enjoyed the character development in this piece. Each of the characters focused on were touched and found growth naturally throughout the story. 

This book will be a fantastic read for any lover of books, libraries, or academic conspiracies.
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I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. The opinions are entirely my own, and any quotes are taken from the ARC and may be different in the final published copy.

Sophie is an average woman in a controlling relationship with a good job. Her dreams, however, are fantastical, full of wonders. When offered a job at the Ayredale Library, which holds the finest collection of rare books in the world, the place she grew up, and the place her mother disappeared from, she jumps at the chance. She is reintroduced to a world she had forgotten, as does anyone who leaves the library. Not everyone is as they seem, and she is in danger. Determined to find out what happened to her mother and keep the library safe, Sophie does whatever it takes.

Jessica Thorne's latest, The Bookbinder's Daughter, is an entertaining read. Parts were confusing, but I thought Thorne's writing style was appropriate because I felt as Sophie felt - confused and unsure.  Once everything became clear to Sophie, everything was written straightforwardly. 

The characters were likable, the setting was a magic library, making the book an enjoyable and quick read. How can you not love a magical library?

According to Goodreads, Thorne writes fantasy and sci-fi romance with a steampunk edge. 

I added Thorne's The Queen's Wing, the first in her The Queen's Wing series, to my want-to-read list.
 
This 200-word review will be published on Philomathinphila.
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