Tag: Mirror

Bridget Collins – The Binding | Review

Title: The Binding

Author: Bridget Collins

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 440

Rating: 3.75/5

I’m naturally a little biased in favour towards this book because it was a gift from my girlfriend, who read it first and highly rated it and then passed it on to me when she was done. I can see why she gave it to me, because it’s a very “bookish” book with a magic system that essentially revolves around the physical act of creating and binding books.

It’s quite a hard book to categorise, but I guess I’d go with a sort of literary fantasy. It reminds me of a bunch of different things, perhaps most notably Frances Hardinge, but it also has its own refreshing feel while still observing a ton of common tropes. I feel like we see a lot of books like this on the market, but it’s rare for one of them to be this good.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot. I think that books have the equivalent of a mouth-feel, something that food reviewers often talk about and which essentially describes how pleasurable it is to chew a given piece of food. I think books have an equivalent, a sort of unexplainable sensation  that they generate somewhere inside you. Here, it has a hell of a good mouth-feel.

I also like the magic system here, which basically revolved around book binding. The binders have the ability to extract memories and to bind them into books, a bit like the literary equivalent of chugging a glass of mind bleach. The problem is that as so often happens, the magic is being abused.

In fact, there are trigger warnings here for sexual abuse, although I thought it was well done for whatever my opinion is worth. The problem is that there are a lot of rich old bastards who are doing things they shouldn’t be doing and using their money to cover it up, which is an all-too familiar story. The only difference is that here, they can go one step further than buying people’s silence. Here, their money can ensure that the victims of horrific wrongs end up forgetting all about it.

It’s pretty chilling really, and I think what this book does well is that it asks these uncomfortable questions and reflects our own world while still telling an overall story. It doesn’t tell you what to think, it just held up a mirror to our own world. One of the reviews on the dust jacket calls it an experience, and I think that’s about right. It’s some absorbing, impressive stuff, all right.

Learn more about The Binding.

William Sieghart – Poems of the Decade | Review

Title: Poems of the Decade

Author: William Sieghart

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 196

Rating: 3.5*/5


William Sieghart – Poems of the Decade

William Sieghart – Poems of the Decade


I think my rating for this book was affected by the fact that I’ve already read a bunch of these after winning them in a National Poetry Day competition. I was familiar with some of the poems because they’d appeared in the other collections and to be honest, by the time I got halfway through it I just wanted it to end.

That’s not to say that this isn’t a good collection. It’s just that it’s deceptive and turns out to be a lot longer than it looks. I think it was the right book at the wrong time for me, and there was too much poetry that required you to think about it and not enough of it that just held a mirror up to the world. Don’t get me wrong, a decent mix is nice, but this probably isn’t the book to give you that.

Still, if you like modern poetry then it’s not a bad little collection. Plus it includes plenty of award winners if that’s your sort of thing.


William Sieghart

William Sieghart


Click here to buy Poems of the Decade.