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Torn ❦ [KINDLE] ❁ Torn By Rowenna Miller ➡ – Thomashillier.co.uk A seamstress who stitches magic into clothing finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother and her secret love for a nobleman in this debut fantasy inspired by the French Revolution In a time of A seamstress who stitches magic into clothing finds herself Torn between loyalty to her brother and her secret love for a nobleman in this debut fantasy inspired by the French Revolution In a time of revolution, everyone must take a sideSophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly embroidered spells A commission from the royal family could secure her future and thrust her into a dangerous new worldRevolution is brewing As Sophie s brother, Kristos, rises to prominence in the growing anti monarchist movement, it is only a matter of time before their fortunes collideWhen the unrest erupts into violence, she and Kristos are drawn into a deadly magical plot Sophie is Torn between her family and her future.


10 thoughts on “Torn

  1. ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ says:

    It s only fair that most of the dick heads got to be wearing magicked phallos shaped hats.Take a small, nifty, menial job and carve it to fit your unique streak of something Something magical So, it s creative seamstress time Luvve the concept The feminist angle is presented really well No rah rah, gah gah stuff but in a clear headed way Nicely done.Q Owning a shop came with responsibility that Kristos couldn t even fathom, and it was weighing on me tonight c Q Bright, quick with a pen, a It s only fair that most of the dick heads got to be wearing magicked phallos shaped hats.Take a small, nifty, menial job and carve it to fit your unique streak of something Something magical So, it s creative seamstress time Luvve the concept The feminist angle is presented really well No rah rah, gah gah stuff but in a clear headed way Nicely done.Q Owning a shop came with responsibility that Kristos couldn t even fathom, and it was weighing on me tonight c Q Bright, quick with a pen, and conversationally competent in Fenian and Pellian as well as Galatine, he would have been a fine university scholar had he been born to the nobility c Q That sounds promising, I said, even though the promise wasn t one I was fond of c Q Coverture laws risked my business, but a dalliance that resulted in rumors or, worse, pregnancy could be devastating, too Romance was a dangerous game, its stakes too high So I didn t play c Q It didn t matter that a laborer was a woman until it did The limits that marriage and children would place on me were plain, and were plain to any woman c Q My anti monarchist brother meeting the duke who walked me home that would go over like a tavern song in the cathedral Q


  2. Esme Esme says:

    I received a free copy of this through Orbit Net Galley thanks This book immediately caught my attention because I love to knit, cross stitch and sew the magic system in this book works through sewing Yes please, I ve never seen this done before I had high hopes, and although the Victorian setting with a romance is NOT usually my thing, I still really enjoyed myself, and not just because of the magic system Plot Sophie s parents were immigrants from an island country, Pellia, I received a free copy of this through Orbit Net Galley thanks This book immediately caught my attention because I love to knit, cross stitch and sew the magic system in this book works through sewing Yes please, I ve never seen this done before I had high hopes, and although the Victorian setting with a romance is NOT usually my thing, I still really enjoyed myself, and not just because of the magic system Plot Sophie s parents were immigrants from an island country, Pellia, which is known for its backwater charms and superstitions , most Gallation people don t approve or believe in charms or magic However, that doesn t stop them from seeking them out from time to time, especially when it s rud there s a young seamstress that weaves charms into dresses, handkerchiefs, and other things for a fee.Sophie has worked incredibly hard to keep her and her brother afloat after the deaths of both her parents, her father died when they were young, and her mother recently passed away from a fever that spread through the city.In order to keep a business running, you have to get an annual renewal contract, to do that, you have to prove that you re a viable business that earns decent money and has a good reputation If the Lord of Coin decides you re not worthy, you could lose your entire livelihood Sophie has been scraping her way up the ladder of customers from the common to the highest of nobility.Things really turn around when she gets one of the highest nobles in the city, Lady Snowmont, as a customer But, she turns into muchthan just a customer, Lady Snowmont is obsessed with progress and art, she surrounds herself with people from all classes and professions looking for the best and the brightest She s picked Sophie as one of her favorites, and through this plotline you get to see how the nobles are reacting to the continued dissatisfied public.On the other side of this coin, Sophie has to placate her brother and try to keep him grounded and out of harm s way because he wants to start a rebellion and make demands of the nobility to make the common citizen s life better The commoners are tired of the Lord of Coin deciding if they have a right to their own shop, they re tired of the social structure, they re basically tired of everything.What I really loved about this rebellion war plotline is that it s overmundane and practical reasons Usually when I read about an upcoming war or civil unrest it s due to very dramatic circumstances, an heir has been murdered, people are being enslaved, there s a dark evil overlord etc etc Not with this book, this reads much closer to actual history than most things I ve read, and I found it absolutely fascinating.Final Score 15 15 I was completely engaged, there were no plot holes or huh moments, and everything felt muchnatural and realistic than the vast majority of things I ve read in a long time Characters Sophie is our main character, and everything is seen through her eyes but you get to see SO much because she s involved in three layers of this world, the Pellians who are sort of at the poverty level of society, the merchant class, and the upper class The way the story was woven together let you see so much through just one person The way she had to handle herself in each of these scenarios was different, and she moved through it gracefully I think what s most fascinating is how gender played a big part in this book, but it did not feel like it was beating you over the head with it It was nuanced and realistic Sophie is 26 and unmarried, but not because she never had anyone interested it s because all of her possessions and wealth would belong to her husband the moment she got married The reason whymen were involved in the Red Caps rebels wasn t that they werecontent with their lives, or weren t unhappy with the situation, it s because logistically they can t Many women are caregivers for both their parents and their children or other members of their family like Sophie s brother Single men do manual day labor, the job changes week to week and they have the freedom of caring just for themselves When you don t have to worry about your shop being closed down which would leave your family hungry, like many bakers, seamstresses, or innkeepers , you can riskSophie gets so upset with her brother constantly trying to drag her into a rebellion that could close her shop, or get her arrested Meanwhile, her brother, Kristos, thinks that she s choosing the nobilities side in the war It s a pretty fascinating character interaction.When I read that she didn t want to get married and gave really good reasons why, I thought I had hit a Victorian book without a romance But, no there is a romance, and he s a noble who s good hearted At first, I was like oh dear god no , I don t typically like the noble who doesn t want to be a noble and just wants to be a good Samaritan because it feels kind of forced However, this botanist wanna be did eventually charm me a bit I didn t dislike him by the end of it, I would imagine that people who really like romance would love this It s a slower burn, he s a decent person from the start, so it s not bad guy turned nice guy cuz love, I absolutely hate that.Final Score 13 15 Sophie s motivations were complex, but also clear and she had a very distinct and strong voice I found her incredibly easy to relate to and root for, reading about her was truly awesome World Building I ve talked a lot about the world building just through the plot and character bits, so I ll keep this section briefer.This sort of feels like France in the 1700s ish, history isn t my strong suit so if this was based in a slightly different place or time period, my apologies The way women couldn t own their own things, how the city was set up, and now the royalty functioned all gave me sort of a Victorian feel, but some of the names and terms sounded kind of French.The politics and philosophy in this book were really a highlight, the dialogue between characters with opposing views was a GREAT way to explore the world building It didn t come off as info dumpy, it came across as natural debate dialogue Fantastic.The nobility in this book aren t painted as the bad guys either, you come to know and care about her love interest and Lady Snowmont They seem to be listening, and want to try and make things work but politics is tricky and getting everyone to agree on something almost never works.The magic in this world is very subtle, and most people don t think it exists The Pellian s are the most prominent as far as spell casters When Sophie wants to weave a charm into cloth, she focuses on the emotions she wants to put into the spell, the thread starts to glow as if there s an inner light in the fabric, and thestitches she puts into it, the stronger the charm The magic isn t limited to thread, other people can cast onto clay tablets or use different herbs but since Sophie is a seamstress that s the most common form of magic we see.Final Score 13 15 Writing This was completely clean, as to be expected since this was traditionally published and received many different editing passes.I actually loved the prose as well, it was descriptive but not overly so, and it focused a lot on clothing This usually bothers me, but since she s a seamstress it flowed with the character and I really got into it.The dialogue was the highlight for me though, the debates between characters and the hesitant romance were both really great.Final Score 13 15 Pacing The flow was nice and even and built up towards the end, I would say the first third was the slower part because it was introducing you to the world and characters but once the rebellion really started to kick into full swing it was fast paced from thereFinal Score 13 15 Originality I can t say I ve read any magic system like this before, the character was fresh and well developed and the interactions between her and the multilayered society was awesome The writing style was immersive and different, and it helped the world building along through dialogue.Final Score 12 15 Personal Enjoyment I truly enjoyed basically all of this, my only detraction is the romance but that s totally a me thing If I make it through a book and didn t completely loathe the romance that s a success in my book.Final Score 8.5 10 Final Score 87.5 100Damn good book, even that cover is stunning


  3. The Captain The Captain says:

    Ahoy there me mateys I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review So here be me honest musings .Upon reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 80% Why ye ask Well for a myriad of reasons Sophie She is the main character and at first I really liked her She was hard working, dedicated, driven, intelligent, and fun But basically she is a character who waffles forever, makes Ahoy there me mateys I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review So here be me honest musings .Upon reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 80% Why ye ask Well for a myriad of reasons Sophie She is the main character and at first I really liked her She was hard working, dedicated, driven, intelligent, and fun But basically she is a character who waffles forever, makes the wrong choices every time, is extremely selfish, and doesn t use her brain People DIE because of her stupidity and yet even that doesn t help her decide By doing nothing but lying she creates a situation that could have been solved in the very beginning just by turning the bad man into the police I kept waiting for her to fix her own mistakes and instead at 80% she FINALLY makes a decision and then runs to a man to whine and ask for help That was the point where I had to stop reading Ugh The Magic Sophie is a seamstress who sews magic into clothing with her stiches This aspect of the novel was awesome It just really didn t get used to its potential I wanted to seeof the magic in action, not just hear about some of the small things it could do as an aside The Love Story Sigh Insta lust turned into love in a couple of weeks She is a commoner He is a noble Star crossed lovers that ye be supposed to cheer for But I didn t really The Love Interest Okay so despite disliking the insta lust, I did like a couple of things about Sophie s man He is a botanist and a violinist He has an eye for artistry He is strong and intelligent But oh so na ve The commoners live like this and well yes we are so rich but we have responsibilities that are given to us by birth and oh it s so hard kinda crap Sophie of course opens his eyes to the common folk problems while he wines, dines, and seduces her with his charm and riches The Brother Sophie s brother is frankly an ass Everything she does is because her brother always gets his way and she loves him Is civil war worth saving yer selfish idealistic stupid brother Ummm apparently yes And then the plot twist happens and Sophie sees the truth Well it was apparent to this pirate Captain from the beginning The Bad Guy He seemingly wants to bring down society in flames because of revenge But his sister was spurned Her reputation was ruined So isn t it justice No it s because he doesn t feel important enough and no one realizes his superiority and intelligent Bah The Hired Help I actually loved the girls working in the shop with Sophie But in her selfishness she really treats them like crap and they deserved better I wanted to seeof the good aspects of the friendships that were hinted at the beginning of the novel The Pacing It took forever to get into the story and was rather repetitive We had to hear about brother s beautiful writing, the anger of the populace, how nobles are evil, and the taverns meetings a bit too much Poor grumpy Nobles evil Sophie needs nobles and money to survive Seriously for something that simplistic, the author pointed it out an awful lot There was no real build up or action Most of that happened off the page Instead we get Sophie waffling and visiting the rich people artists salon.I kept reading because I wanted to see how Sophie used her magic to solve the problem When she ran to lover boy for help I got grumpy When he agreed to help her without any commentary about her mistakes or stupidity because he loved her so, I had to stop With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing I am sad, but I couldn t fight the tide.I wish this one would have focused on the magic and had Sophie be a strong woman and not an idiot I loved the sewing magic So lastly .Thank you Orbit Check out me other reviews at


  4. BAM The Bibliomaniac BAM The Bibliomaniac says:

    Many thanks for the ARC go to Orbit, Miller, and Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.


  5. Lisa Lisa says:

    Review from Tenacious Reader by Rowenna Miller was just a joy to read I loved the concept of integrating magic with sewing and quickly found myself swept away into the world and character of Sophie She is innovative, independent and loyal, though her loyalties wind up rather divided, putting her in a hard position.This is set very much in a have have nots world with the elite upper class, and the lower working class The rich have an extreme amount Review from Tenacious Reader by Rowenna Miller was just a joy to read I loved the concept of integrating magic with sewing and quickly found myself swept away into the world and character of Sophie She is innovative, independent and loyal, though her loyalties wind up rather divided, putting her in a hard position.This is set very much in a have have nots world with the elite upper class, and the lower working class The rich have an extreme amount of control To even attempt to start a business, one must apply for a permit and most applications are quickly denied And if there is an existing business that you would be competition for Don t even think about it It adds enormous barriers for residents to raise themselves to a better quality of life Sophie is a minority in addition to being from the lower class part of town, but has worked hard and risen to a respectible position that serves the upper class She even runs her own shop and even has a couple of employees, which can seem like an unattainable dream for someone with her background and position Charms were not historically desirable in the culture she is now a part of, however, most have been crude and written in clay They were not fashionable or interesting, and people generally doubt their power to actually work They come across as a cheap novelty item one might buy in the street, like a worthless little trinket But Shophie took the charmcasting that is known for people of her heritage and offered it in a unique way that made it muchmarketable and desirable She has created a novel product by sewing charms directly into items that people would actually use and want without the charm And then, her clients started telling stories about how the charms do actually work, and well, business took off.This is very much a character driven story and since I felt a connection to Sophie immediately, it worked incredibly well for me But there are also intriguing things going on in the world I always love a good political uprising, and this book delivered that as well There is an uprising brewing as a group is trying to organize political reform that will remove power from the upper class and allow the general masses to have a say in government, to have the right to attempt start businesses on their own terms Sophie finds herself in a hard position as the clients that have allowed her business to grow and thrive are all targets of this reform And if they leave or lose their wealth, Sophie s business won t survive On the other hand, she wants others to have the same chances she had She recognizes that her permit for her business could have been denied, and each year when its time to renew, she knows it can always be revoked at the whim of whoever is in charge.My only word of very slight caution, is that there is some serious insta love in this, but I found I really didnt mind it this time The story was very well written, I loved Sophie s character, and I quickly wanted her to have whatever her heart desired Even if that meant wanting her to have her insta love I know this is a negative trigger for many readers, myself often included, so I did want to at least put in a soft forwarning about it Know what you are in for and maybe you won t be as bothered by it.Overall, I can say I highly recommend this one It has fun, excitement, and magic all sewn into one amazing story


  6. Audrey Audrey says:

    3.75 starsThis was very enjoyable overall The writing style alone made it a pleasure to read.Sophie is a seamstress, eking out a living by trying to attract rich clients among the nobility She has the ability to sew charms into her products, often considered a superstition by the general population Her brother is a revolutionary idealist, much like Enjolras Sophie doesn t want any trouble to threaten her livelihood and tries to stay neutral The story is good at showing all sides in the brew 3.75 starsThis was very enjoyable overall The writing style alone made it a pleasure to read.Sophie is a seamstress, eking out a living by trying to attract rich clients among the nobility She has the ability to sew charms into her products, often considered a superstition by the general population Her brother is a revolutionary idealist, much like Enjolras Sophie doesn t want any trouble to threaten her livelihood and tries to stay neutral The story is good at showing all sides in the brewing conflict nobody is entirely good or bad.The only thing that bothered me was this worn out trope view spoiler Sophie gets blackmailed into casting curses and totally gives in to the blackmailer Then she tells absolutely no one because it would put them in danger Ack That s the stupidest thing ever It s up there with obeying a bad guy who tells you to put your gun down No You shoot them hide spoiler So that ruined about a third of the book for me Otherwise, the pacing and characters and world and magic are excellent I loved watching how Sophie ran her business and all the cultures and customs of the different countries mingling.Also pretty good editing except for a blatant misspelled word.No strong language that I can remember mild violence a couple fade to black sex scenes Book Blog


  7. Lark Lark says:

    Picked up this book from a list that told me if I liked Tamora Pierce s Circle of Magic specifically Sandry with her stitch witch talents , I should read this book A seamstress that can backstitch charms into her clothes, a politically torn city, nobles and strife, romance, and just our main character caught in the middle What s not to like So for the first half of the book, I really enjoyed pretty much everything the setting, the characters, the plot, the way Miller set up the stage for dif Picked up this book from a list that told me if I liked Tamora Pierce s Circle of Magic specifically Sandry with her stitch witch talents , I should read this book A seamstress that can backstitch charms into her clothes, a politically torn city, nobles and strife, romance, and just our main character caught in the middle What s not to like So for the first half of the book, I really enjoyed pretty much everything the setting, the characters, the plot, the way Miller set up the stage for differences in class strife I thought Sophie was great for the first half of the book And then towards the second half of the book where everything started gettingserious, we meet her noble romantic love interest, everything suddenly starts becoming not so great.First It is such a small world that there are not enough characters with different motives A revolution or a coup has so many different factors that I simply cannot believe that everything would hinge on Sophie and her skills as a seamstress Both creating an assassination plot as well as saving plots as well as saving entire armies Second The politics I am actually annoyed that Miller didn t spendtime on describing the politics because I strongly disagree with Sophie While Sophie is purported to be torn between classes , it is very clear that she actually only supports nobles And Miller somehow justifies this by saying oh nobles have a lot of work to oversee the land Ummmm I really have not heard a good argument for a ruling class that gets to rule by birthright lording it over the plebs Sure, violence is wrong and it would be great to not have a bloody revolutions but the way Miller handles this coup seems a little like she supports a noble class mentality Sure, that might change later, but it leaves a bit of a question of ooookay is this girl honestly supporting the noble class And this is absolutely a digression, but she basically reminds me of the people who support oppression because she is not the lowest class she reaps small benefits from being close to the oppressors and won t give them up to help people who are completely oppressed It is not a quality I want to see in my main characters if they are a hero character and not an anti hero Third The romance I was actually very cool with the romance until suddenly Theodore develops certain skills Yeahhhhh No Not all main characters need to be special And then how he decides that he serious about her Regardless My main problem is actually the first one I mentioned I don t believe the coup is realistic with regards to how important Sophie is Great start Poor finish Not sure if I would read the second book 2.5 stars rounded down But I do think that some people will not be bothered as much as I am So still a decent book


  8. Staci Campbell Staci Campbell says:

    Torn by Rowenna Miller4 5 I was given this title on behalf of NetGalley and the Publisher, Orbit Books Orbit, in return for my Honest review Thank you This was a really enjoyable read I wasn t sure at first, and it did start slow, with a lot of detail However it picked up quickly, and it did not disappoint The editing was great, it was an arc, and had very problems It was fluid and made sense the entire time The plot was really interesting and I actually really liked the way it was wor Torn by Rowenna Miller4 5 I was given this title on behalf of NetGalley and the Publisher, Orbit Books Orbit, in return for my Honest review Thank you This was a really enjoyable read I wasn t sure at first, and it did start slow, with a lot of detail However it picked up quickly, and it did not disappoint The editing was great, it was an arc, and had very problems It was fluid and made sense the entire time The plot was really interesting and I actually really liked the way it was worked Sophie is a seamstress, but not your ordinary one No, she is the best at what she does Sophie learned the Pellian magic young by her mothers side However she crafted it so she could cast them into the stitching and charming the clothing Gowns, kerchiefs anything Although some of the royals were her best customers, her brother made it hard for Sophie Kristos was a part of The League, and they were rebels fighting the work ethics laid forth by the Royals Last summer it ended in rampages and deaths He often scared her, butso with this new professor who is obsessed with Sophies charm casting He was beginning to talk treason and things were heightening Then it happens, Kristos is gone, dead or missing Which puts Sophie right in the middle of everything she didn t want to happen You will have to read on forwhen the book releases March 20, 2018 Surprising, and magical Sophies female protagonist characteristics are amazing and awesome


  9. Siria Siria says:

    A real disappointment Admittedly, I might not have found Torn so thoroughly exasperating if I hadn t read it while living through the first half of 2020 Rowenna Miller s prose is competent, if never thrilling, and the core idea a young dressmaker with magical abilities living in a city that bears a passing resemblance to late 18th century Paris, trying to make a living despite her immigrant background and growing civic unrest has lots of potential That concept plus the admittedly eye catchin A real disappointment Admittedly, I might not have found Torn so thoroughly exasperating if I hadn t read it while living through the first half of 2020 Rowenna Miller s prose is competent, if never thrilling, and the core idea a young dressmaker with magical abilities living in a city that bears a passing resemblance to late 18th century Paris, trying to make a living despite her immigrant background and growing civic unrest has lots of potential That concept plus the admittedly eye catching cover design wasthan enough to make me pick up the book But if you re going to write a fantasy novel that tries to tackle what it means to live within a system of inherited power, actually write that book Don t write a book whose thin veneer of progressivism hides an apparent sympathy for monarchism and a distaste for any attempt at revolutionary change.True, Torn is set in a fictional world There s nothing to say that the class system there would work in the same way that it did in 18th century Europe Miller establishes that the predominant religion bears no resemblance to Christianity, so there s no reason that sexual s should have to operate in the same way as Ancien Reegime France But there s nothing in what Miller writes that shows that she actually understands class, or poverty, or hunger, or oppression, or the intersections of gender with all of those things, then or now Her aristocratic characters are all presented to us as interesting, caring, talented individuals who perhaps party a little too much but can you blame them when running a large estate is such a stressful business Meanwhile all the leaders of the pro democracy movement are villains and or idiots of the cardboard cutout, moustache twirling variety It s 2020 Black and brown people are dying The world s burning The rich are getting richer Forgive me if right now I have little patience for a book whose message boils down to Working class revolt is very messy, isn t it Why not wait for the enlightened aristocrats to decide on some reform to introduce from above without surrendering any actual authority Ugh


  10. Madi Madi says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Politics and scandals and revolutions and dress making and magic and forbidden love Omg so many good things Especially loved that this was a fantasy novel with a 25 year d heroine who works her ass off for her business.


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