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Review: The Paper Magician

Hey all, Dani here.

Since I’ll be reading and reviewing Charlie N Holmberg’s upcoming release, The Plastic Magician before its release day in May, I figured it was only fair that I share reviews for the previous three books in the series. Today is finally the time to give more than a mini-review for the first book.

I was told about this series by one of my friends (who I think of as more like a sister), and she talked about the interesting magical system and told me to read the trilogy. They are interesting books and they aren’t very long–less than 200 pages each–so they are pretty easy to read through, which makes them perfect for readathons.

Anyway, let’s just jump into the review.



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

Rating: 4 stars

I read this book for the first time during one of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, and because of its length, I read it in I believe just over an hour. It helped my readathon start off rather nicely. Starting readathons with shorter novels or with graphic novels or manga, I find to be rather helpful because then you feel rather productive and accomplished from the beginning.

The descriptions of paper magic were really cool. But from the beginning I found myself as upset as Ceony at not getting to choose her apprenticeship. As someone at the top of the class, she should have been able to pick her own path. Then again, there is a certain logic to having a top student purposefully placed in the smallest group of magicians.

And Thane’s teaching style is a bit odd, since he sometimes leaves for days. But he always expects Ceony to have finished all of the assignments by the time he returns.

Let’s be honest too, because Thane clearly needed Ceony there. The man has no clue how to cook or shop for groceries. That might have been one of the things that started to bring these two together.

Of course, there isn’t a lot of time to really work on any sort of potential romance, because an Excisioner comes and rips Thane’s heart out, and it was only by Ceony’s quick thinking of folding a paper heart that keeps him alive long enough to save him…which involves going into his real heart and traveling through its chambers.

It is that adventure that really makes Ceony fall for Thane, because she is in his heart and experiencing some of his memories. It is bound to make people closer. So this is a decently paced shorter read that I think would appeal to a number of people.

Where to Buy

You can get your own copy of The Paper Magician from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Paper Magician”

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