Book(s) Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician 
The Paper Magician Trilogy #1
Charlie N. Holmberg
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
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.
Review copy received thru NetGalley

The rule of magic in the Paper Magician is one of the most unique interpretations of magic there is. Oh, one would think that there are similar ones out there, but I’ve never had something told so matter of factly. The author did not go into details about why such and such is in such a way but explained paper magic through the apprenticeship of Ceony. I bet the nuances of other materials magic will be revealed in succeeding books what with the second book titled as The Glass Magician.

But the book didn’t dwell entirely on Ceony Twill’s reluctant at first journey towards becoming a paper magician. About halfway and for much of the book, the story went into, what I call, a character study of her mentor, Emery Thane – by a journey to through the four chambers of his heart. Literally. It should’ve grossed me out. Blood gushing through your person as Ceony navigated some squishy parts. Yeah…

It was a lengthy but interesting process of character revelation. It also showed that I am not going to read an equally lengthy but more boring road of Ceony’s folding lots of paper in a stuffy study. That there was something bigger for the characters to contend with that not only would test Ceony’s abilities and character but would develop Emery as well. And with that last vision, their fates are more entwined than what they initially perceived.
The Glass Magician 
The Paper Magician Trilogy #2
Charlie N. Holmberg
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.

When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

The delightful sequel to Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician will charm readers young and old alike.
Review copy received thru NetGalley

While The Paper Magician was divided, at least to me, into two: Ceony’s introduction to her new phase in life and then the character study rescue of/journey through Emery Thane’s heart, The Glass Magician dealt with the fallout of what happened in that rescue and what it would mean for materials magic at large. Not to mention the relationship between Ceony and Emery. They’re dancing around each other and making me smack my forehead on the table.

In the first book, I thought Ceony was clever and intelligent. In the second book, I still thought Ceony was clever and intelligent BUT impulsive. Oh, she laid out plans to confront the enemy but impulsive decisions got her out of the frying pan and into the fire. With dire consequences.

The good thing about reading an amazing book is that when you finish it, you sigh with contentment. The bad thing about finishing an amazing book is that you get to wait a while MONTHS to read the next one in the trilogy.

Ayanami Faerudo

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