The First Binding

The First Binding : A Silk Road epic fantasy full of magic and mystery

4.52 (71 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 7-10 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


'A work of extraordinary depth; people are going to be unpicking the secrets of Tremaine for years to come' Richard Swan, Sunday Times bestselling author

All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.

I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I've stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I've called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.

My name is Ari.

And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.

Thus begins the tale of a storyteller and a singer on the run and hoping to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren't forgotten, and neither are their enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending.

Readers love The First Binding:

'The world is extremely rich in its myth and history . . . I loved this book . . . it's only a matter of time until Virdi and the Tales of Tremaine will be remembered for many years to come' Novel Notions

'Once you lose yourself in this South Asian-inspired fantasy world, there's no turning back. The First Binding is a grand, mesmerizing story that never ceases to unveil new layers of mystery and wonder throughout its epic scope' Goodreads reviewer,

'If you enjoy slow-paced, character-driven stories with beautiful prose, this book will be for you! The First Binding is a new favourite of mine' Goodreads reviewer,

'A fascinating world to immerse in. It is just so vividly drawn that you can't help but fall into it' Goodreads reviewer,

'Lyrical, lovely, and beautifully South Asian . . . I am really excited to see where the series goes' Goodreads reviewer,

'It's like a song. Slow, but beautiful . . . This reads like those old epic adventure stories about getting to see different worlds and cultures' Goodreads reviewer,

'This book is lyrical and beautiful in all its tragedy and harmony. It definitely feels like a successor to The Name of the Wind but it's also its own creature' Goodreads reviewer,
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 832 pages
  • 152 x 234 x 56mm | 1,178g
  • Gollancz
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1473233984
  • 9781473233980
  • 44,662

Review Text

An unforgettable, magical tale . . . A beautifully told story from start to finish, this is the kind of book that will stay with you long after you finish reading
show more

Review quote

R.R. Virdi's The First Binding is engrossing and beautiful, joyous and painful -- always entertaining, sometimes profound. This book makes me remember why I love epic fantasy * Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author * Crafted with patience, passion and, most importantly, tremendous love. Read R.R. Virdi * Jim Butcher, New York Times bestselling author of the Dresden Files * R.R. Virdi spins a very personal epic fantasy about the consequences of our actions and the nature of heroism. Rich world-building, plenty of action, and devious twists abound. Very highly recommended * Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author * An epic like no other - grand, sweeping, dramatic, a love letter to fantasy burning with the dust and heat and mythos of South Asia. It reads like magic and tastes like saffron * Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Washington Post bestselling author of The Salvage Crew * If you loved The Name of the Wind and The Lies of Locke Lamora, this is your next reading addiction * Dyrk Ashton, author of the Paternus Trilogy * The First Binding is epic fantasy at its finest -- an homage to storytelling and legend, richly told and endlessly engaging. Complex and luxuriant, this is an emotional, multifaceted gem of a book that examines the twists and turns a story takes on its journey from the truth * Andrea Stewart, critically acclaimed author of The Bone Shard Emperor * If you're a fan of The Kingkiller Chronicle, like me . . . well, The First Binding is for you . . . It is a novel about coming-of-age, found family, kindness, empathy, storytelling, magic, truth, and lies . . . [it's] the first volume in a new magnificent and ambitious high fantasy series to obsess over * Novel Notions * Lavish in detail, a saga colourfully flavoured with the mythos of India, R.R. Virdi's The First Binding is a fantasy debut recommended for the exceptional promise that The Name of the Wind enthusiasts have been pining to discover and read * Janny Wurts, author of The Wars of Light and Shadow * A work of extraordinary depth; readers will be unpicking the secrets of Tremaine for years to come * Richard Swan, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Justice of Kings * An ode to storytelling, complete with a rich mythology, turbulent adventures, and a flawed hero you'll root for * Kirkus * The First Binding is, at its core, a coming-of-age/underdog story with the found family and pet companion trope (and LOTS more)! . . . a new favourite of mine * Library of a Viking * The First Binding is a masterpiece of epic fantasy storytelling * Michael Mammay, author of The Planetside series * The pattern woven by the recurring elements is beguiling. You'll want to sit down with this Storyteller again * SFX * I have read many good books this year, but The First Binding climbed incredibly quickly to the top and currently has wiped out every other amazing book I have read * Moon Kestrel * An unforgettable, magical tale . . . A beautifully told story from start to finish, this is the kind of book that will stay with you long after you finish reading * The Bibliophile Chronicles * One of my top reads this year. It celebrates storytelling, is written in lyrical prose, and contains elements that are immersed in South Asian mythos and culture * Fantasy Book Critic * I recommend The First Binding to every epic fantasy fan . . . in a decade it'll be remembered as one of the cornerstones of this genre * Books in Blankets * An immense achievement, and deserves a place on any epic fantasy reader's shelf beside the other greats of the genre. It's a mesmerizing love letter to stories, to the South Asian culture and history that inspired it, and to the fantasy genre as a whole * * This is a SPECTACULAR book, deep and rich and intense. It takes my breath away * Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author *
show more

About R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi is a two-time Dragon Award finalist and a Nebula Award finalist. He is the author of two urban fantasy series, The Grave Report, and The Books of Winter. One of his short stories was part of a collection of artists' works to go to the moon aboard the Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander in 2022. Should the writing gig not work out, he aims to follow his backup plan and become a dancing shark for a Katy Perry music video.
show more

Rating details

71 ratings
4.52 out of 5 stars
5 79% (56)
4 7% (5)
3 6% (4)
2 4% (3)
1 4% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X