Binds (by Rebecca Espinoza)

(Disclosure:  Rebecca Espinoza is a Goodreads friend of mine. Because I have that relationship with her I was a bit nervous about reading this, her debut novel and I read it quietly and without telling anyone.)

“Mages are split into two groups, Naturals and Ascendants. When a Natural is born, they already have all of the ability that they will ever have in their lives. They can’t acquire any new abilities and they can’t perform Binds on anyone. Ascendants, on the other hand, come into their powers around the age of five. They all have a certain level of power. Some children will show an immense amount from the get-go…”

Ophelia is a mage of unparalleled power. As a child her mother placed binds on her powers in the hope of hiding her from those who would use her. But after her mother disappeared she found herself in the hands of the very people her mother was trying to protect her from. After escaping with her chauffeur she enters into an underground she never knew existed, and discovers she is the main weapon of an army that aims to overthrow the tyranny of her husband and his father.

This book is kind of amazing. I read books that come out of major publishers that aren’t as polished as this independently released novel. OK, it’s a debut novel and as you would expect her influences come through in this book and occasionally they come through quite strongly…but this book completely blew me out of the water. In 10 years time I think I’m going to be the coolest person in the room when I say, ‘Oh Rebecca Espinoza?  I knew her way back when.”