Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Bookbinder's Daughter

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The Bookbinder's Daughter is an atmospheric YA/NA fantasy/romance by Jessica Thorne. Released 20th Sept 2021, it's 248 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is an engaging and well written romance/fantasy. The author has quite a lot to say about bullying, entitlement, elitism, and the meaning of honesty, integrity, and family. Protagonist Sophie has a personal history of submissiveness and passivity after personal tragedy has left her with post-traumatic holes in her memory. Several current crises cast her into a new professional life back at the scene of her earlier trauma. 

The character development and plotting were a bit two dimensional and linear in most places. There weren't a lot of deviations or alternative subplot stories to explore. The antagonists were -completely- irredeemable and the protagonists were paragons. The dialogue was often wrought (not cringe-worthy, but definitely stilted) and I found myself being yanked out of my suspension of disbelief not infrequently. On the other hand, I'm not the target audience (I found my way in via the "biblio-fantasy" door, not the clearly marked romance one). Readers who appreciate fresh, well written YA/NA romance will find a lot to like here; especially readers who really enjoy a healthy dose of draaama with their stories. I, on the other hand, found myself wanting to shake some of the characters. 

Three and a half stars, rounded up for technically adept writing and an engaging premise.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.  

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