torsdag den 11. april 2019

"The Binding" - Bridget Collins

Original titel: The Binding - Forfatter: Bridget Collins - Forlag: The Borough Press - Sidetal: 448

"Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse. For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored. But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten."

Udover at være en gudesmuk bog udenpå, så er præmissen for denne bog også vildt fascinerende. Minder som kan gemmes væk i bøger? Hele "bookbinder" idéen er interessant, men bliver kun delvist udfoldet gennem fortællingen. Forfatteren kunne med fordel have lagt større fokus på denne del og eventuelt have udvidet bogen til at være en trilogi. 

Selvom bogen umiddelbart lægger sig til at være fantasy, så føltes det mere som at læse en historisk roman med et lille drys af fantasy i form af bogbinderiet. Derudover gemte fortællingen på en helt anden historie, end først antaget, og selvom det kom bag på mig, så lod jeg mig rive med og nød det. Elskværdige karakterer drysset med en anelse drama i en historisk setting? Jeg var fan.

"It wasn't like anything I'd ever seen. It was a deep, heavy red, patterned with gold, and it was as soft to the touch as skin. When I opened the cover, the scent of must and wood rose up as though it hadn't been touched for years. It sucked me in." - citat.
Hvis man forventer storslået fantasy, så bliver man nok skuffet, men hvis man godt kan lide historisk fiktion, så er den værd at læse. Jeg ville dog ønske, at bogbinderiet blev uddybet mere, og forfatteren havde gravet dybere ned i det, da idéen er ret genial - men så ville bogen måske også være blevet mere langtrukken end den er nu.

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