The song surrounded her now, the murmuring of the library insistent, and her foot took the first step on the winding stairs. She knew it wasn’t entirely a dream. It was the library calling her, its magic driving her.
When Sophie is offered a job at the Ayredale Library – the finest collection of rare books in the world, and the last place her bookbinder mother was seen when Sophie was just a teenager – she leaps at the chance. Will she finally discover what happened to the woman she’s always believed abandoned her?
Taking in the endless shelves of antique books, the soaring stained-glass windows, and the grand sweeping staircase, usually shy Sophie feels strangely at home, and is welcomed by her eccentric fellow binders. But why is the Keeper of the Library so reluctant to speak about Sophie’s mother? And why is Sophie the only person who can read the strange spells in the oldest books on display, written in a forgotten language nobody else understands?
The mysteries of the library only deepen when Sophie stumbles upon an elaborately carved door. The pattern exactly matches the pendant her mother left behind years ago, engraved with a delicate leaf. As the door swings open at her touch, Sophie gasps at the incredible sight: an enormous tree, impossibly growing higher than the library itself, its gently falling golden leaves somehow resembling the pages of a book. Amidst their rustling, Sophie hears a familiar whisper…
‘There you are, my Sophie. I knew you’d come back for me.’
An absolutely spellbinding read about long-hidden family secrets and the magic that lurks between the pages of every ancient book. Perfect for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Night Circus and The Binding.
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy/Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 248
Date of Publication: September 20, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
Sophie has much more to prove than she ever expected after accepting a job as a bookbinder, pleased to be following in her mother's footsteps. Working with rare books has always been one of her dreams, but there is much more than taking the job. Sophie hopes to find out once and for all what happened to her mother. One day her mother was there. The next day she wasn't, and Sophie wants answers.
When Sophie finds herself surrounded by shelf after shelf of rare and antique books, she feels a rather unusual sense of calm. She is not the only bookbinder there, and there is even a "Keeper of the Library". Perhaps one of them will enlighten Sophie about what happened to her mother?
Despite being dyslexic, Sophie finds a particular book, the oldest book on display actually, and it is full of spells - spells that apparently only she can read. How is it that she cannot read even the simplest of things without difficulty but she can read these spells in what is most certainly a forgotten language?
This unique ability of Sophie's opens a pandora's box and reading these spells is only the first of many strange things happening to her in rapid succession. In fact, Sophie begins to feel her mother's presence. What is more is that a maelstrom of events begin to occur, presenting danger to Sophie as well as to others. Will she be able to control what is happening or will she face her mother's same fate?
What a thrilling ride this book proved to be! I was captivated from the very first page and was completely drawn into the drama and magical mysteries that were happening.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.