Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmburg




Publisher: 47 North

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9781477823835 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.8/5


Publisher Description: 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.

 Review: Reviewer mostly rated this in the two star region with some rating it far higher than it deserved. This started off as really inventive and maintained that inclination throughout the novel.  Magic based on bonding to a material, in this case paper. There were animated paper constructs, flying paper planes to name a few.  While the novel started off with good intent with the world of Ceony unfolding, it plummets when the majority of the novel is spent in the chambers of Emery’s heart where Ceony is chased by Lira, known as an Excisioner- a practitioner of black magic whom bonds to flesh. 

Ceony never develops as a character worthy of following with any alacrity.  It is all about Ceony “and her little dog too!” (Wicked Witch cackling).  Usually novels that focus on a main character at the expense of others, tend to be a little effusive and self-centered with regard to how each scene plays out AROUND the main character. Ceony is more of an Alice In Wonderland character. She runs around without a plan making things up as she goes along. I would describe her as stumbling with intent. As she moves through each of the chambers that represent Emery’s goals, dark times, happy times etc., we see her discovering what makes up Emery while revealing Ceony’s emotional content. To be honest there really wasn’t a lot there. She’s scared, angry, bratty and frustrated but the scenes didn’t add a great deal of depth to her. 

This novel had an inventive story line, was well written but the main character didn’t quite move me into cheering for her to overcome the predicaments. Lira is wonderfully evil and Emery is fully revealed through the movement of the story line.

Here’s hoping that in the next novel, Ceony is able to use other magic or develops some depth coupled with an interesting personality . 



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