Set in a mash-up of Medieval and 1860s England, this LGBTQ+ fantasy weaves a magical tale of memories being erased & bound in books by Book Binders, a trade that was once sacred but is now being used for greed & perverse entertainment. The story begins with young farmer Emmett & his journey to cure his mysterious & sudden ailment. Along the way, we are introduced to Seredith, an old Book Binder & Lucian Darnay, a mysterious young man who wishes to be bound. How are they all connected? What could be causing Emmett’s illness?
Part One of The Binding details Emmett’s journey to finding a cure for his illness while the second part delves in to the past to tell us how he came to be ill to begin with. And Part Three explores how he is dealing with the aftermath of curing his illness & finding the truth that comes along with it.
Ok, this book was amazing…..until it wasn’t. And then it reeeeallly wasn’t amazing. It had a strong first & second half & then, Collins kills off what I felt was a very important character & abruptly changes the ENTIRE course of the book. It’s like, what was the point of the first half if it means absolutely nothing to the rest of the book??? I feel like it’s purpose was merely to provide Emmett with some essential knowledge but, at the same time, there were important moments that led to nothing & what should have made the character better, basically went *poof*. The entire tone of the book changed with Part Three & I was a bit disappointed in how it all went. I was left with a few questions & a feeling that I did not actually know the characters at all by the end of the book; they were so different than how the were in Parts One & Two, and not in a good way. Perhaps the losing & regaining of memories caused those shifts but, I feel they were quite jarring in terms of the flow of the book.
Personally, if you need something to kill the time & want to read a lovely LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy, then The Binding is for you. Maybe you’ll love it! I sure loved Part One & Two. But, as for me, it goes firmly on the “Meh” shelf all because of that last part.