Anna has always been told by her aunt that magic is a dangerous, sinful thing, that it was responsible for the death of her parents, and that it should never be used. Anna's now a teenager and although she shows little ability for magic, when she turns seventeen the little magic she does possess will be 'bound' to prevent its use.
Then Selene, an old friend of both Anna's aunt and mother, arrives in London, accompanied by her daughter Effie, and a curious young man, a friend of the family, named Attis. Where Anna's aunt is severe and strict, Selene is charismatic and full of life - and more to the point she believes magic should be used to enjoy life to the full. She, Effie and Attis open Anna's eyes to a different side of the magical world (and perhaps the world in general), one full of fun. At school Effie and Attis discover other witches mixing unrecognised among the students, and set up a coven, drawing Anna into their disruptive plans.
At first it's all fun, but the coven's actions take a dark, destructive turn and Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was maybe right all along - that magic is a curse and shouldn't be practised at all.Threadneedle is the first book in great new urban fantasy series. Although aimed perhaps mainly at YA readers, with its share of teenage rebellion, and the school culture of 'Queen Bee' cliques, the style and its thread of dark, twisted family secrets to engage older readers. It's easy to sympthise with Anna and her desire for a more fun-filled life (whether than involves magic or not) but at the same time there's a distinct feeling that Effie and Attis will just lure her into trouble. And as events unfold, it's clear that neither her aunt nor Selene are quite as Anna sees them. I thoroughly enjoyed it.