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book cover There is a trope in fantasy writing that goes like this: young person is uprooted from their life as they learn a new skill or gain a new power, while people in authority teach them things so slowly and inefficiently that the young person needs to make efforts to learn by themselves. Harry Potter had it. The Binding has it. Only in the case of this book, the young person is someone who is always sick without knowing why, is suddenly sent off from home to be an apprentice for someone he doesn't know and while he understands nothing of what he is supposed to do. Months later and 25% of the book in, he still hasn't learnt anything, although he is always tired and exhausted for no good reason whenever he is about to. If he doesn't collapse, his mentor will! And, spoilers ahead, his mentor then dies.

So after a quarter of the book, absolutely nothing happened while I had to suffer a depressed weak and barely teenage boy who didn't want, know, or want to know anything. Bridget Collins' writing is competent and I am sure things are going to get better from here (I mean, they can hardly get worse), but I just won't continue to read the book.


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