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Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales's Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine, where she ran the book club and quickly realised she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books. She wrote her first novel, Threadneedle, while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.
As the first in what is setting itself up as an epic magic realism series, this captivating debut thrills with a fabulous cast, intriguing plot and fascinating exploration of magic. Anna is just about to turn 16, her Aunt is arranging a ceremony to bind her magic but when Anna meets Effie and Attis she begins to question everything she has known. The main characters are teenagers on the brink of adulthood, due to the content I would say this is balanced between a read for older teens, and adults. Cari Thomas has made the magic in Threadneedle feel age-old and real, and while the teenagers release themselves to the wilds of experimentation, dangerous undercurrents swirl through the book. The characters are vibrant and relatable, even when throwing spells around. Abuse and bullying run as a theme alongside the fantasy element, and are explored with empathy and compassion. As I read, I believed, even though this is a new take on magic, it immediately settled in my thoughts. This is such a beautifully easy yet all-consuming read, I swam in its depths before coming up for air and back to reality. The ending sets itself up nicely for the next in the series. Threadneedle, the first in the Language of Magic is just wonderful, I wish it all the very best as it deserves to fly.