Title: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Series: The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1
Genre: YA historical fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Received via NetGalley
Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
This was a very interesting concept. I was intrigued. The book started out slowly, but I found that I was interested in what was happening. While the book ended up being just okay, I found that it was interesting enough to at least keep me reading.
Ceony is a magician, who completed the magician school in just one year, with hopes of being bonded to metal. But instead, she is assigned to paper, because there are so few left in the world. She is sure that Folding is the most boring and useless kind of magic, so she heads to her apprenticeship with a heavy heart.
Ceony was an interesting character, but I still don't know how I feel about her. I mean, she seemed nice, seemingly, but annoyingly so. It grated on my nerves. Like, of course she is such a good cook, and is so smart and is selfless enough to give up her dreams of being a Smelter and has no fault. She definitely has a holier-than-thou attitude. But she was brave (or stupid) enough to go after the Excisioner when no one else could to save Magician Thane, so that must count for something.
Magician Thane himself was quite the mystery. He seemed very absent-minded, but still kind and fun. I do think we should have gotten to know him better, seeing as how we did go traipsing through his heart and all.
That was really the part that sold it to me, was the magic. It was a unique take, and the being trapped in Thane's heart was interesting. The different chambers, what they all meant, and how everything connected together. Ceony actually fighting Lira seemed a bit unbelievable, however.
Although I had a few problems, ultimately I was taken in by the story, and feel that this has the potential to be a really good series.
This review can also be found on
My review of book 2, The Glass Magician, here.
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