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The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  48,641 Ratings  ·  5,523 Reviews
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
Paperback, 222 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by 47North
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Elisa As this series seems to be set in an era somewhere between the Victorian and the 20's , the romance element is more....wholesome. There are a few…moreAs this series seems to be set in an era somewhere between the Victorian and the 20's , the romance element is more....wholesome. There are a few kisses and one thought of the heroine "wishing he were less a gentleman and more a rogue" (which honestly made me snicker). The whole series was a delightful spin on a gentler age with more "light" magic than "dark".(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“One more,” she promised herself. “One more until the end. And even if there’s no door to freedom, at least you know you tried. One more, Ceony.”
This was a good book. At the beginning, I was getting solid heavy magical Daddy Long Legs feels...which descended solidly into Dickensian feels, more specifically, A Christmas Carol. Then it became nigh unbearable, because constant flashbacks are not for me, no, sir. Excellent premise. A heroine that I liked. It was just a shame that this turned out t
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book was sweet and magical 😊

Ceony was hoping to apprentice to become a smelter or chef, but Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined had something different in mind when they set her up with Mg. Thane.

Ceony wasn't happy with this at all as she didn't see any use to being a paper magician. But she was wrong, wrong indeed.

Mg. Thane had a paper skeleton as a butler! How freaking cool, but Ceony didn't like it at all. Mg. Thane got on her good side though when he made her a paper dog sin
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Linda by: An amazon freebie
Shelves: wont-touch-again
Have you ever had someone try to tell you a story. Because they are excited you get excited and can't wait to hear it! But they are speaking so fast that they are leaving out important details which makes it impossible to follow the story. So you politely nod your head and pretend to listen even though you are zoning out and thinking of other things... Did I bring in all the groceries? What was the name of my high school math teacher? At the same time your friend really wants to emphasize her st ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Oct 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, read-2014, netgalley
I give up. I tried I really did. DNF'd at 51%..I just can not make myself continue. I always feel bad when I don't finish a book but this one just has not captured my interest in the least.

The premise is good. The story however, just bobbles along and I'm soooooo pooped from reading it that I want to smash small china doll heads into the wall.
I don't care for the main characters..don't care for the story..just don't care..STOP judging me!

The only part I liked was the paper folding.

I received a
Lia Bonnibel  (pidgey)
on the tune of barbie girl by aqua:
I'm a paper girl,
in a paper wooorld.
life in paper,
see ya layer.
a paper pup right there,
magicians everywhere.
Folding is creation.

Seriously tho

(yes, that "layer" up there is an intentional pun)
I'm pretty picky about my historical fiction. I want it to be, well, historical. If it's set in the early 1900's, I don't want the characters to use modern slang, like something being "shot to hell." I want them to talk and relate to each other as people of the period did. Granted, it does make it tricky for the authors sometimes - to make characters that fit in with historical social conventions but that are still appealing to contemporary audiences. If all you do is take characters who talk an ...more
Maria V. Snyder
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The magical system in the book and series, is very unique as magicians bond to certain man-made materials like paper, glass, steel, etc... and once bonded they can use them. For example the main protagonist, Ceony can make a paper bird and it will then "come to life" and she can use it to scout for danger or find a person.

The setting is England around Victorian times, but doesn't have that "woman can't do [fill in the blank]" vibe. Ceony is very likable and the story
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book honestly has A LOT of promise. The writing isn't bad, even if there were many times I didn't feel the author was true to time period or location. The subject matter was interesting and I liked the idea of the world of magic being split this way, bonding to a specific medium. It was also interesting that the world of magic was generally an accepted part of life in this realm of reality. But there were some big flaws I couldn't overlook, including a desperately dragging second half that ...more
Doug Warren
Sep 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
A note before I start the review. If the author ever happens to read this, or anyone considering writing a book based in a different time or place--just saying it is set in England at the turn of the 20th Century doesn't make it so. It is very hard to get into it when everything sounds like modern day language and dialogue. It sounds exactly how people speak today. Even when the story told me the year and the place, I had a hard time feeling it. Read D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers. That's how ...more
I was trying to think of what was wrong with this book and the only thing I could come up with is that is too wishy-washy. When all the details, from the magic rules to the setting to the time to the characterisation, are as so vague it's impossible to get invested in a book.

First up, the positives. The imagery was pretty and impressive. The first third or so of the book had all these cool paper things coming to life and it was so nice. It had a similar quality to The Night Circus. It had the gu
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
"For the past five years, Ceony had wanted to be a Smelter. However, while most graduates… got to choose what material they dedicated their craft to, Ceony had been assigned."

This book was very, very frustrating.

Have you ever read a book and wished another author would steal the premise and write a much better book?

The premise was fascinating, original and clever. A recent graduate of the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony had her heart set on becoming a smelter. You can on
Aly's Bookish Wonderland
This review is now LIVE on 100% Rock! Click on the link to read the full review.

How many others had she judged and set aside like that, thinking them no more than a one-sided piece of paper?

Quick review:

What I loved:

- The characters. They were funny, peculiar, interesting and very easy to relate to.

- The plot. It was new and innovative and I, personally, had never read something like it. I loved the different areas of magic, the alternate fantasy universe and the "Good" vs "Evil" story line.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
How many others had she judged and set aside like that, thinking them no more than a one-sided piece of paper?

In The Paper Magician, Ceony, a new graduate of Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined she has been forced to study a part of magic no one else will - paper. Upset about not being able to choose to go into the medium of her choice, she is surprised to discover Mg. Thane is nothing like she expected. When he is attacked by a Excisioner, a magician using flesh as a medium, who then
The paper magic was really fun, but literally half the book is spent in someone's memories, which started to drag, and didn't seem to serve much of a purpose besides fostering a one-sided infatuation that I didn't care for much.

Then there's the blood magician threat, which an entire force of magicians and police have been fighting - but (view spoiler)
In this story, a magically inclined individual versed in the art of Folding can create 'living' creatures, braided belts that protect and vitalize the body, and even beating hearts - all out of Folded paper. This is not your mama's origami.

I was hoping for something a bit darker with this Kindle-First freebie, but its fairytale air was charming in its own way. Although there are some semi-wicked sections, there is an overriding innocence to it. The writing was fine, the paper magic was differen
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kaylin by: Lexi
3 Stars:


I finished this book 17 days ago and I’m just now actually writing this review…


Oh well, better late than never right?

Charlie Holmberg's book The Paper Magician takes place in a fictionalized Victorian era where magicians are bound to one element—meaning they can only preform magic using that component. The story begins with the reluctant Ceony beginning her apprenticeship in the arts of paper magic, under the care of one Emery Thane.


I love, love, love this idea. Everyth
Wart Hill
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc2014, netgalley
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

I received a free ARC Via Netgalley

BOOK you could’ve been five stars. You mostly deserved five stars. You were so good! Ceony, while talented and smart and possessing a photographic memory, wasn’t perfect. She didn’t get every fold right the first time. She didn’t take to being a folder right away, and she didn’t change her mind for no apparent reason. She changed her mind because Emery Thane, while different, is also super freak
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley.)

“Material made by man, your creator summons you. Link to me as I link to you through my years until the day I die and become earth.”

This book started out quite promising, but unfortunately took a big turn for the worse.

I found Ceony quite a rude person, and she was also really, really nosey! She was rude to her new employer, rude about his house, and whenever given the
Oct 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
DNF 51%

Another book that was just not for me. I honestly try not to make a habit of binning books, however life is too short for bad books and I can only put up with so much. I feel like my lack of enjoyment of this book was my penance for picking a book based on its cover ( which is awesome btw).

I loved the concept but the execution just didn't work for me. The main character was alright but nothing special. I had no real investment to anyone or anything in this story. Hardly anything happened
Mostly, this was just badly paced. I liked the beginning of this SO MUCH. The slow unfolding of the world, Ceony learning about paper, the dynamic between the characters.

But then the plotty stuff happened! And, first of all, I think it happened too quickly. I wasn't invested enough in the world and characters yet. And I didn't think Ceony knew enough yet.

And then the plotty stuff dragged ON AND ON. I was so frustrated with it, but had read enough that I didn't want to DNF it.

And I was all ready
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, fantasy, ya
1.5 Stars.

Can you hear that?

That is the sound of all my hopes and dreams being crushed.

This book looked so good at the beginning; the characters were likeable and the magic idea was amazing. Magical animated origami sounds like something that was written just for me.

Can you image animating this?

Because I totally can. I'd be folding and animating random things all day long.

Then the problems start: the magical system has no specified set of rules and limitations. This of course means that at
5 "exactly what I needed right now" stars.

The Paper Magician turned out to be a quick and delightful read. Set in 1901 London, it gave me a distinct magic-y feeling I love so much. The atmosphere reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle somehow.

It can easily be read as a standalone - the ending is well-rounded in a way that allows but does not require a sequel.

Even though the MCs are 19 and 30 years old, the book itself and the world depicted in it are a little naive, as if the book is meant for you
Sylvia Mercedes
So, I DID like this one. I'm only giving it three stars because it was problematic in some ways. But once the action really hit, I was definitely caught up in the adventure! This was a late-into-the-night read for me because I couldn't stop turning those pages. The magic system was utterly unique and fascinating, and I loved watching the clever ways in which Ceony used her "useless" magic against such a formidable opponent. Epic!

Anyway, probably a 3.5 for me when all is said and done. It had it'
Maria Clara
Más bien un 3.5

Ante todo, debo decir que al abrir este libro no sabía hacía qué aventura me embarcaba, pues me negué en redondo en leer la sinopsis. Sólo me dejé llevar por la carátula y lo que mi mente fuera capaz de imaginar. Y, como es lógico, mi mente trazó una ruta muy diferente a la original. Sin embargo, y a medida que fui devorando el libro, la historia me enganchó hasta dejarme con ganas de empezar Ya! el segundo.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Sterne
Ich liebe die Idee rund um die Papiermagie. Gefaltete Papiervögel, ein Papierskelett-Butler und rieselnde, kalte Papierschneeflocken, das ist alles so wunderbar magisch. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass man noch mehr von dieser Welt erfährt und diese genauer beschrieben wären und auch die Szenen in Herzen konnten mich von der Beschreibung nicht ganz überzeugen, aber sonst war diese Geschichte wirklich gelungen.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, miei

Lettura di gruppo E&L

Devo ammettere che non conoscevo questi libri. Grazie a delle ragazze che li hanno votati, li ho recuperati, in modo da poter partecipare alla lettura di gruppo. Ho appena finito il primo volume. Mi è proprio piaciuto, anche se è pieno di difetti. Almeno per me.
In questo primo libro veniamo catapultati in questo mondo di fine '800, in cui però c'è la magia. Una magia diversa da quella a cui siamo abituati. E' una magia legata alla carta, a
Ova Incekaraoglu
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short and sweet read, I like Ceony and would love to read more of her adventures!

I loved the way Paper Magic works, although there are lots of books about magic, Holmberg still was able to create an imaginative and original way in magical world.

My only criticism would be that the actions developed a bit too quickly, but this seems like a trait in YA fiction so I am bypassing this and giving this book a 4 stars for the nice company.
Sophia Sardothien
Thank you Netgalley for sending me this book in exchange of an honest review.
It's one of my first reviews, so I apologise for the grammatical errors <--- Update review

Okay I don't know how I feel about this book, It was decent in the very beginning but then it went downhill and then uphill again. Its so confusing.

What I like about this book:

The idea of the paper magician is very interesting, I've never read a book about magicians who plays (manipulate to be precise) with paper. The pro
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
I struggled at times with some of the characterization aspects of this book, plus a touch of insta-love. However, there were some interesting hints dropped about the rest of the series and I'm curious to see how things play out.
I got this as part of the kindle first program and was so intrigued the moment I read the description I didn't even look at the other books offered. A young woman is sent to a magician to learn a magic she was the least interested in (considered the weakest and useless of all the different types practiced) and against her wishes no less. She makes no extra efforts to be pleasing or amenable, going into the new arrangement with quite a chip on her shoulder. And after being met by a skeleton at th ...more
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Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician Series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone nove ...more
More about Charlie N. Holmberg

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The Paper Magician (3 books)
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“Faith is a very personal thing, really. Just because you don’t meet with a group of people once a week who believe everything exactly the way you do doesn’t mean you don’t believe in something.” 41 likes
“Everyone has a dark side! But it’s their choice whether or not they cultivate it.” 37 likes
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