Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The Paper Magician Review (The Paper Magician, #1)

Hello, all!

I recently read the Whimbrel House seres by Charlie N. Holmberg (review of the second book here) and was instantly swept away by her darkly whimsical writing. I was looking forward to picking up more of her work, so I decided to start with The Paper Magician series.

Pub Date: 9-1-14
Adult - Historical Fantasy

Ceony Twill should be ecstatic after graduating at the top of her class at Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, but she's disappointed. She had always dreamed of becoming a Smelter, someone who can bespell metal, but instead, she's assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic. Once a magician is bonded to their specific magic, they can never change. Despite it not being her first choice, Ceony is determined to make it work.

Her mention, Emery Thane, is one of the most eccentric people Ceony has ever met. He teaches her how to animate paper creatures, project illusions from storybooks, and even read fortunes. But when an Excisioner--a practitioner of dark, flesh magic--bursts into their home and rips Thane's heart from his chest, it's up to Ceony to save him. Soon, she finds herself on a journey through the chambers of Thane's heart, seeing all the bits of himself he'd rather keep hidden away. But with a dark force chasing her each step of the way, will Ceony save her mentor before it's too late?

While the premise of this one sounds amazing, the execution was lacking. It's such a short book, and it tried to cram too much in, so it felt like there was no room to breathe. If there were more development between the characters, it would've made Ceony's journey to save Thane more impactful. I also enjoyed the magic system and thought it was unique, but I wanted more. The first book in a series is always touch-and-go, and even though I had some issues with this, the overall story was entertaining, and I'm looking forward to picking up the rest of the series.

Rating: 3/5

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