Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

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.


My Thoughts

Of all the materials Mg. Aviosky could have chosen—glass, metal, plastic, even rubber—she had chosen paper.”

Ceony has always wanted to be a smelter – someone who enchants metal, but any material would do, any but paper. Paper is weakest of the materials and she is assigned to it against her will but she wants to be a magician and so accepts her fate.Though she is fully prepared to dislike paper, under the guidance of her kind but enigmatic teacher, she discovers the beauty in paper magic.

Perhaps the man wasn’t so mad after all. Or maybe it’s a madness that I can learn to appreciate.”

Just when she’s settling into a routine with her studies, someone who practices the dark arts attacks her teacher and literally rips out his heart. Ceony who is unprepared but determined to save him, sets out to pursue the corrupt magician. She is trapped inside the heart she is trying to rescue and must traverse through it and find some way of getting it back in time to save the life of her teacher.

I don’t know how many women can claim to have walked a man’s heart, but I’ve walked yours, Emery Thane.”

The concept was really great and so was the writing style but it dint fulfill the potential. And though you connect with Ceony, somehow there is a disconnect with all the other characters. Also things end up being too abrupt or too stretched out. But though it had its flaws, it was an enjoyable read. Also it keeps the reader interested.

I’d say 3.5/5 stars.


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