The Collarbound
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The Collarbound

3.76 (51 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

'A fast-paced, riveting read, with writing that leaps off the page and one of the most compelling magic systems I've encountered in years, this is a must for fantasy fans!' Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

A MAN MARKED BY MAGIC. A WOMAN MARKED BY HER PAST.

On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities.

When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can't remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn't intend to give up now.

Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He's never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar . . .

As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, an unlikely friendship forms between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.

The Collarbound hooks from the opening page and will appeal to fans of magical, brink-of-war settings, like that of The Poppy War and The City of Brass.

'Zahabi deftly creates a fully-realized and richly described world, providing a quiet yet striking exploration of the way inequality and injustice often serve as the bedrock of systems of power' M. J. Kuhn, author of Among Thieves

'Oh, my heart! What an imaginative plot! What fantastic writing! What awesome characters! And what an incredible world!' NetGalley Reviewer

'Beautifully wrought dark fantasy' NetGalley Reviewer
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 38mm | 560g
  • Gollancz
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1473234379
  • 9781473234376
  • 827,700

Review Text

I really enjoyed this book! The plot was more thoughtful than it was action-packed, but the pages still raced by as I was reading. A fascinating, mind-based magic system sets the stage for a story filled with the grim, understated conflict that exists in a world experiencing the tense, fraught "calm" before the storm of all-out war.

Zahabi deftly creates a fully-realized and richly described world, providing a quiet yet striking exploration of the way inequality and injustice often serve as the bedrock of systems of power. The characters that populate the world of THE COLLARBOUND are nuanced and complex, each an exile in their own way, struggling to find a path forward in a world that balances on the knife's edge of war and chaos.

Anyone looking for a book with all the intrigue and gorgeous worldbuilding of high fantasy and a thoughtful, measured prose and characterization style suggestive of more literary fiction should definitely give this one a read!
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Review quote

I really enjoyed this book! The plot was more thoughtful than it was action-packed, but the pages still raced by as I was reading. A fascinating, mind-based magic system sets the stage for a story filled with the grim, understated conflict that exists in a world experiencing the tense, fraught "calm" before the storm of all-out war.

Zahabi deftly creates a fully-realized and richly described world, providing a quiet yet striking exploration of the way inequality and injustice often serve as the bedrock of systems of power. The characters that populate the world of THE COLLARBOUND are nuanced and complex, each an exile in their own way, struggling to find a path forward in a world that balances on the knife's edge of war and chaos.

Anyone looking for a book with all the intrigue and gorgeous worldbuilding of high fantasy and a thoughtful, measured prose and characterization style suggestive of more literary fiction should definitely give this one a read! -- M. J. Kuhn, author of AMONG THIEVES
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About Rebecca Zahabi

Rebecca Zahabi is a mixed-heritage writer (a third British, a third French and a third Iranian, if the mix is of interest to you). She started writing in her home village in France at age 12 - a massive epic which set out to revolutionise feminism. Since then, she has slightly re-jigged her expectations of what she can achieve with a keyboard and a blank page. After honing her craft in a variety of genres - playwriting, short stories, interactive novels - she hopes to write books that can make a difference. Her first YA book was shortlisted for the Northern Writers' Award in 2019. Her adult debut, The Collarbound, was longlisted for The Future Bookshelf program at Hachette UK before being acquired by Gollancz.
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Rating details

51 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 24% (12)
4 39% (20)
3 29% (15)
2 6% (3)
1 2% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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