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The Paper Magician #1

The Paper Magician

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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.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

222 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2014

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About the author

Charlie N. Holmberg

39 books6,723 followers
Charlie N. Holmberg is an award-winning, best-selling, and internationally published author of fantasy and romantic fiction. She was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters, who also have boy names. She is a BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.

Amazon: amzn.to/2BXoQNZ
Instagram: Instagram.com/cnholmberg
Facebook: Facebook.com/cnholmberg
Twitter: Twitter.com/cnholmberg

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,417 reviews
Profile Image for Linda.
194 reviews10 followers
February 18, 2015
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 story so she repeats the same things over and over which seriously doesn't help and try as you might you still can't piece together what she is saying. In the end you just continue nodding and thinking soon the story will come to an end and you can make your get away.

Sent from my iPad
November 22, 2014
“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 to be such a boring book for the latter 2/3s.

The good: light on the romance, the heroine is genuinely likeable, no Mary Sues here, the main character gave me heavy Snape feels (without the greasy hair), and the romance...oh, so very light.

Not to mention I seriously want to take up origami now.

The Summary:
Every window in the mansion—and Ceony counted only seven—hid behind black shutters all chained and locked, without the slightest glimmer of candlelight behind them. Dead leaves from a dozen past winters clogged the eaves and wedged themselves under bent and warped shingles—also black—and something drip-drip-dripped nearby, smelling like vinegar and sweat.

The tiles composing the path up to the front door, which hung only by its top hinge, were cracked into pieces and overturned, and Ceony didn’t trust a single one of the porch’s gray, weathered boards to hold her weight long enough for her to ring the bell.
“I’ve been shot to hell,” Ceony murmured.
A most inauspicious beginning to young magician Ceony's apprenticeship. In this alternate reality of England, there exists magic. There exists magicians. Each magician, once graduated, is assigned a speciality.

Ceony has been given paper, or as they call it, folding.
Her heart had broken at those words, and now, standing before the gate of Magician Emery Thane’s lair, she wished it had stopped beating altogether.

Mg. Aviosky obviously did not realize that the reason Folding had become a dying art was because the skills it enabled were so completely useless.
Paper. The seemingly most useless of all the magical arts. What can you possibly do with paper?

And what's worse...Ceony is sent off into the backwaters of England, into a dank, dingy old home...
A skeleton greeted her.

The eyeless head of the skeleton looked up and down almost mechanically, and Ceony, with a hand over her heart, realized all six feet of it was comprised of paper—its head, its spine, its ribs, its legs. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of pieces of paper, all white, rolled and Folded and pinched together to connect in a variety of joints.
If this is the reception, what could the owner possibly be like?
“He’s mad,” Ceony said, aloud this time.
Well, not really. Magister Thane is quite average. Really.
He seemed quite average, his skin neither light nor dark, his height neither short nor tall, and his build neither thin nor broad. His dark hair fell just below his ears in a sort of kempt-but-unkempt way. He had black sideburns down to his jaw, and his nose had a slight bump to it, just above the middle of the bridge. The only thing extraordinary about him was the brightness of his eyes—green as summer leaves and shining as if someone had hid a light behind his forehead.
Magister Thane may not be mad, but he is immensely eccentric, as we readers love for our magicians living in the wilds of England to be. His magic lies in paper, and his entire house is decked out in paper.

And like any bachelor magician, he doesn't know how to cook, and he doesn't have two beans in his cabinet. Try as she might, Ceony can't help but pity the guy, but there is no doubt to the fact that he is brilliant at what he does. Ceony wanted a teacher, she's got one.
His hands stilled, revealing a stout fish between them, puffed out in the middle to form a three-dimensional body. Folds similar to the orange bird’s wings formed its pectoral fins. Mg. Thane picked it up, whispered to it, and released it. The fish soared upward through the air as a real fish would in water, its tail fin paddling back and forth until it hit the ceiling—which Ceony noticed had been covered with long pieces of white paper tied together with a simple string. The white fish used its puckering mouth to bite down on the string and untie its looping knot.
And like any good, mysterious magician...he's got something to hide.
She lowered the fortuity box and narrowed her eyes at him. “Who’s Lira?”
Mg. Thane’s expression did not waver, nor did his stance, but for a moment Ceony could have sworn his eyes flickered dark and back. Only . . . no, they weren’t quite as bright as before. Perhaps it was the late-growing sun outside the library window, but she didn’t think so.
Life is quiet. There is a lot to learn, and Ceony's days are consumed with books...and cleaning. It is a terribly old house, after all. It is a peaceful existence until the day that woman shows up and does something unthinkable. In a single moment, Ceony's world is overturned...and she has two choices. Run away, or face what she fears, despite her greenness, despite her status as an amateur folder. Does Ceony stand a single chance against one who is so much stronger, one who works the dark art of Excision? She must.
The snowflake still felt frosty, just like real snow. Snow he had made for her. All of it had been for her in one way or another, hadn’t it?
In the glow of the candlelight she said, “I have to do it. I have to save him.”
For she knew no one else would.
Ceony had the feeling that, should she get to the buggy with Mg. Aviosky now, she’d run away and never come back. And, though she despised it, Ceony knew she needed to wait for her new responsibility to settle before she could trust herself near any easy exits. She had bound herself to paper indefinitely, and it did her no good to push through a year at Tagis Praff just to throw it all away now.
Ceony is a very likeable, approachable character. She is not overtly feminine. She is intelligent...she had to have been, to have graduated from her school so quickly, at the top of her class, but that doesn't mean she is 100% mature. Quite the contrary at times.
“Well, the absence is rude, isn’t it?” Ceony asked, hating how childish the words sounded in her mouth. She cleared her throat and sucked in a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I’m a little on edge.”
She has a rather grim sense of humor, but above all else, Ceony has practicality. She didn't get the fate she chose, but she never dwells upon the unfairness of it. She makes the best of her circumstances.
Ceony couldn’t bond paper and still hope to be a Smelter, enchanting jewelry and bespelling bullets as she had often daydreamed during her lessons.
It wasn’t fair, but there was no use in further complaining.
She is brave, but never a martyr.

Final comments: It was a solid book, but besides the fact that I found it dull, this book was missing a lot of spark, a lot of soul. I liked all the characters. The love interest was sweet, and there was very, very little romance. This book just lacked that special quality that made the things and the characters within it come to life within my imagination.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,956 followers
September 28, 2017
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 since she couldn't bring her real one due to his allergies. The dog, Fennel followed her all around and acted as much like a dog as he could 😊

Then there is an evil person that comes to the house and hurts Mg. Thane. Ceony must slap together everything she has learned and try to save his heart. < --- Read the book and you will get it!

It gets a little crazy train for a bit but it was fun

Mel ❤️
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,606 reviews5,990 followers
December 7, 2014
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 an arc copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
798 reviews2,888 followers
April 5, 2020
“A heart that’s known love is stronger than one that hasn’t, did you know that?”


Mood: currently punching myself in the face for forgetting just how good The Paper Magician actually is.
Also, I didn't remember the second part of this book to be so dark and creepy. Damn, I loved every second of it. And, if possible, I love Ceony and Thane (and Jonto and Parsley) and the writing and the setting and the whole magic system even more, now.

Can't wait to finally start book 2!


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)


Professional Reader
10 Book Reviews
Reviews Published
Profile Image for Caroline.
70 reviews8 followers
August 13, 2014
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 felt as though it were written as a plea for a screen play rather than a novel.


However, what started out as a promising, fascinating book devolved for me when the second half of the book was spent nearly entirely in visions that didn't even belong to the lead character. I didn't understand the logic of bringing the dog on the rescue journey. I think this would have been more powerful or useful to me if this segment of the book had been no more than a third of the book, either with more descriptions of magical life and relationship development in the beginning, or application of the lessons and visions from inside the heart and on the journey to life after the adventure. All in all, there was just way too much time spent on the section in the heart and everything that followed felt rushed, cliched, and predicable in a way that did not utilize effectively anything I'd learned in the trudge through the rescue. I spent the whole second half wishing the book would just move on and get back to the story.
Profile Image for Melanti.
1,256 reviews117 followers
August 12, 2014
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 and act as if they were in contemporary times and dress them in period garments and give them candles instead of light bulbs... Well, that's something I'm always going to be a bit disappointed in. Why even bother? It's like you've set your book at a costume party!

I guess Steampunk has made the era popular, but there's so much a modern setting could have done for this book! If Paper Magicians were out of style because electronic media were taking over - emails over printed letters, ebooks over physical books - wouldn't that just be awesome and interesting?

Could there be magicians aligned to circuit boards? Or would magicians for plastic and smelting have to work together?

Instead, we're just told that Folding has gone out of style and we're left to assume that's because it's mostly used for decorative and entertainment purposes... Yet we're not really told what can be done with the other materials.

It's a shame really. This book could have been so wonderful. It's got such a whimsical premise that I immediately picked it out of the Kindle First selections this month without even looking at the other options, but in reality, most of that whimsy is left unexplored.

Perhaps my expectations were too high? Maybe the cover art had me subconsciously expecting another Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (which this certainly isn't) or maybe the typically masculine author name didn't leave me prepared enough for the level of romance in the book.

And sadly, the romance doesn't appeal to me at all. In part that's because I'm not a big fan of romances to begin with, but the romance in this book is particularly unappealing to me because it's all about the GUY. The relationship starts out as a student/teacher relationship, so it's an extremely unequal scenario from the very start. But then she gets to know HIS past really well, but neither the reader nor the love interest gets to know her at even close to the same level of detail. It's very one-sided. And after reading the book, I glanced at the author's bio and saw this about her relationship with her husband: "Shortly afterwards, her darling husband dragged her to Moscow, Idaho, where he subsequently impregnated her." Granted, it's a joke to some extent... But I can't help but notice that sentence is all about the guy too.
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 76 books16.9k followers
September 28, 2017
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 took an unexpected turn, going in a direction I didn't predict (a good thing!). There were just a few places where my suspension of disbelief was stretched, but minor quibbles all. I enjoyed the interaction between Ceony and Emrey--another character who I liked just as much.

This book made me look at paper in an entirely different light! :)
February 1, 2022

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So this week I decided to read a whole bunch of books I've been anticipating for a while because I am really bad at reading the books I already own. One of these is THE PAPER MAGICIAN, which has been on my Kindle for several years. The mixed reviews kind of put me off. People were saying it didn't make good use of its world-building and, I guess, had an unnecessary romance (one of my peeves). But I was still really curious about the idea of casting magic with paper, so today I bit the bullet and picked up the book-- and promptly finished it in less than a day because OMG it was so good.

I'm honestly shocked this has such mixed reviews, to be honest. It's got a Victorian setting but not in a super realistic way. More of a steampunk/costume fiction sort of way, which lends a fun touch of archaic charm to the setting. Ceony, the heroine, has just graduated from magic school and wanted to be a Smelter who works with fire, but because there's an oversaturation of certain kinds of magics and balance must be kept, she's assigned to be a Folder instead, which is a group of mages who work with paper, the weakest magic.

When she gets to her apprenticeship, she immediately recognizes that her new master is-- ahem-- an eccentric. He's constructed a spooky facade for his home that makes it look like an evil mansion, but then on the other side, there's a garden of paper tulips and he makes it snow paper snowflakes to show her how fun paper can be. He even makes her a living paper dog! Pretty soon, Ceony realizes that not only does the idea of magical origami seem pretty cool after all (WHICH IT IS), Emery, her master, is a pretty stand-up dude and she actually wants to learn paper from him.

But then his evil ex-girlfriend waltzes through the door and LITERALLY steals his heart, which forces her to undergo a terrible journey to confront the worst kind of magic at all: Excision, or flesh magic.

So this is like a Hayao Miyazaki movie in book form, I swear. It's got that same timeless charmless whimsical vibe to it, gilt with enough of a dangerous edge that you don't feel like you're drowning in fluff. Some of the visuals are just incredible and I thought the magic system was really inventive and interesting. I even thought the romance between Ceony and Emery was okay, especially since she isn't actually in love with him, just falling in love with him. And it makes sense that she'd have a crush on the man, given their backstory and how she ends up fighting to make him whole again.

If you enjoy authors like Gail Carson Levine and Diana Wynne Jones, I think this shares a lot of the same characteristics as those sorts of stories. It's a very different sort of fantasy than the kinds that seem to be popular right now, but I actually prefer these more fairytalesque stories of old.

4 to 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky).
256 reviews442 followers
May 19, 2017
"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 only magically bond with one material and after your bonding ceremony that material is the only one you can work.

Ceony, a scholarship student with a perfect memory, is assigned to paper. An ignoble and unglamorous specialty. Her teacher is strange and possibly mad.

What a great premise! A victorian- era, light- hearted, well mannered romance. An action adventure where Ceony uncovers a dark conspiracy of blood workers (a dark and dangerous magic). Dark pasts, brooding love interests. AWESOME…

Yeah… not so much. The writing can be really clunky, the love interest develops without any real effort at charisma or even much interaction. And pretty early on stuff gets… weird. Basically, Ceony gets trapped in her teachers heart and travels through his memories.

Why create a great world with cool magic and then have the bulk of the story stagnant in a weird dream sequence? Ceony hadn't learnt enough! Not enough had happened in the real world. Her relationship with her teacher had not grown to the degree that what she did made any sense. It was too easy, too weird and too convenient. And it was all over way to fast. It pissed me off.

This novel was such a disappointment. Made more bitter by the glimmers of incredible potential.
Profile Image for Doug Warren.
201 reviews9 followers
September 19, 2014
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 this book needs to feel. That's how the dialogue needs to sound. If not, your book will never be believable. Honestly, if this book had been set in present day America, and had a lot of the unneeded details and adjectives cut out, it would have been better. Would have definitely garnered more stars than me. But as it is, well, you'll see my opinion in my review. My apologies up front, because I'm going to be a bit of a jerk.

Now, on to the review:

Boooooooo! Booooooooooo! I don't think I have ever booed a book in a review before, but this one was more than deserving. I've had Amazon Prime for a while, but August was the first month I remembered to get one of the free ebooks, and boy, I can tell ya, what a let down. I mean, wow, the author sure can put a lot of words on paper without saying anything. And some of her similes and metaphors are just laughable--unnecessary and distracting. And I guess this book is set in England...because everyone once in a while it has some attempt at using an English term, word or colloquialism, but since it is not constant, it just makes it awkward. So, prediction 1-this author is American, and probably had never visited the UK. Prediction 2-she was homeschooled as a child, or grew up Mormon, or something else that keeps you out of the real world, shelters you...something. I mean, is undergarments too big of a swear word to say that we have to call them underthings...And the book is about magicians, and she makes note of one of them noticing the other didn't pray before a meal...well, pretty sure in any realm practicing sorcerers aren't Christians (or followers any other Abrahamic religion)...so they wouldn't pray before a meal, right? And, I mean who else besides a right-winged American would describe an English girl right out of school traveling with a gun in her suitcase? (When I wrote this I hadn't figure out it was set around 1900 yet. Now it makes more sense, but come on! A reader shouldn't be surprised by the year come page 60 or so!) But she describes currency as pounds, so it has to be the UK, right? But the whole ambiance of the book is American. You can't just say a few British words and phrases and call it good. Just like how saying you saw a yearbook from 1888 doesn't all of a sudden make the book feel like it's taking place 100 years ago. That's not how setting works. And I get it, I know, I know, I am not the target demographic for this book. But having been a language arts and reading teacher the past five years, I know there is good stuff out for preteens/young adults. There is quality work. To put this book out and give it to them because they might enjoy it because they don't know any better is insulting. I have read books that were boring, but I could appreciate and give a good review because of the mastery of the word play. And then there are books that I absolutely love with zero literary value, but they are just so darn entertaining. But this book had no redeeming qualities. I hate this book more than Roger Ebert hated any of Rob Schneider's movies. Even with the review as it is so far, I think I am painting it in more of a positive light than I really feel it deserves. I would rather hold in a really uncomfortable fart for 3 hours in a room full of people I look up to and respect and would be humiliated if I embarrassed myself in front of them than have to spend 3 hours reading this steaming pile again. I mean, I have read owners' manuals for lawn mowers that were more entertaining than this. I have read a lot of self published books, and of course they are amateurish; they are amateur books! But this one looks like it is coming from a real publisher, and it is more amateur and poorly written than anything self published, barring the worst of the worst. The only thing this book has going for it over self published stuff is it seems to be free of typos. So yay for the proof reading! BUT! When you were proof reading, for the love of Vishnu why didn't you revise it!?! It's like my 4th graders in class. When I tell them it's time to edit and revise, oh they do the editing well, putting in periods and commas and making sure everything that needs to be capitalized is, but the revising is where they get messed up. They are married to their work and don't want to erase anything. So when there is crap, instead of taking it out, they pile more crap on top of if. And then they get a steaming pile of crap. Like The Paper Magician. The more I read the worse it got. She went up stairs and smelled mildew and it was cooler than down stairs. Before there was air conditioning? That's not how attics work. That's how basements work! This is why you need to proofread for more than just punctuation and grammar mistakes!

Oh. To any future readers of this book-- once you get to the "exciting" part where she is in that thing (don't want to say what for spoilers sake, but it's the main thing you aren't going to miss it) skip to the last chapter. Yep. It's horribly boring and takes way too long to say what is happening, but in the last chapter she gives an abridged version of what happened in a conversation. So yeah. Those tedious chapters were all a waste because you find out what happened without them.

In other words, don't buy this book. Don't read it. The only reason I read it all is because after the first few pages I knew I had to write this review, and I wanted it to be as honest as possible. If the book had just one redeeming quality, I would have told you. But it didn't. I have never hated a book as much as this one. Booooooooo! Booooooooooooo!
Profile Image for rubywednesday.
848 reviews58 followers
September 4, 2014
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 guts of a good concept and I was intrigued at first.

Um, that's all I've got.

The rest sucked.

First of all, when was this book set? Someone please tell me because the text sure didn't make it clear. It seemed to be some alternate version of London in the early part of the last century. Plastic's been available for thirty years. They ride in buggies. They dress in older. idek. Culturally, other than a mention of the Thames, it didn't resembled any London I'm familiar with. Makeup was only recently popular, too.

The main character was bratty and then silly and then just blah. You can tell the author was really trying to make her independent and strong. That was cool, I guess. She was always cooking for the guy. Like at least fifty meals were described. At least forty nine of them didn't fit with what people of their apparent class/background would be eating in the past. Rice and pasta and even sausage gravy and biscuits (!!) were not on the menu then. She was meant to be an apprentice but she spent more time doing her boss/future love interests laundry and cooking.

yay! feminism! The romance here represented a particular kind of relationship that you see a lot in certain books and I was super uncomfortable with it. So, she was only 19 and she developed a crush on her boss/master. It seemed to be her first time even spending time with a guy tbh. As the book progresses, they fall in love in about two days, she still cooks and cleans, risks her life to save him from his evil ex wife, and sees a vision where they will grow old together and have kids. Oh, we also find out he saw her working at an event when she was much younger and decided to fund her magic education.

So every aspect of her life revolves around him. I mean, that's just so creepy and paternalistic and ugh.

The plot was lame. The rescue wasn't nearly as exciting as you would think. it involved literally wandering around his stolen heart. yeah

I guess this is meant to be a YA book. Even though the main characters are 19 and 30ish. It reads young and not in a good way. Honestly, it was kind of insulting.

Profile Image for R.K. Gold.
Author 14 books10.1k followers
February 10, 2020
At the moment I'm saying 3 but it's possibly 3.5

As usual, my reviews contain spoilers so if that bothers you stop reading now.

So, I wasn't bored reading this book but it did leave me questioning the point of it all. Let me begin this by saying I think it was an interesting concept, I have faith it is going to be an entertaining series, and the writing was fine. That being said, it was a short book and a substantial amount of it took place through sort of flashbacks. What I mean is they weren't flashback scenes but during the climax of the story Ceony is pursuing an excisioner (and her teacher's former love interest) to rescue Emery's heart.

Of course, it's a bit of a play on meaning since Ceony is also in love/starting to fall in love with her teacher and is willing to go to great lengths to rescue him from his past. I thought the world itself has potential as does the magic system but we barely see any of that. We know Ceony was familiar with the magical world and the non-magical world so it wasn't like Harry Potter, the two worlds are integrated.

The story is really only two parts. There's the first portion where Ceony is learning how to be a folder, and the second part when a dark magician bursts through the door, takes Emery's heart, and Ceony pursues. We learned far more about Emery than we do about Ceony. Though Ceony tries to hold her own with Emery's troubled past by listing every mistake she made in life, it didn't paint nearly as whole of a picture as the scene by scene journey through Emery's life.

As I said, I was entertained enough to continue this series and I see a lot of potential upside, but nothing about this book blew me away. That being said, the series might end up being fantastic since all my complaints are of omission and not faults in the book itself.
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews142 followers
August 19, 2018
Full Review

Liked the beginning and the end, but the middle was sloooow

What I liked
- I liked the unique concept of the story. Before reading, I thought ‘The Paper Magician’ was some sort of metaphor but it’s actually about a magician that can manipulate paper. It may seem boring (and the MC thought that at first) but the manipulations were actually quite interesting. There are also other magical affinities such as fire, glass and metal. There is also the dark affinity which is the manipulation of flesh. This book mostly focused on the paper and flesh affinities. I also liked how people aren't born with a magical power, but they get to choose and bond with one.

- I loved the relationship!!! There wasn’t any romance in this but it is hinted and I shipped them!! It has a forbidden angle (Teacher and Student, a big age gap: 19 and 30, which just made me ship them even more lol. I just love how they did things for each other before any romance was even hinted at. This is slow-burn/friendship first type of situation and I loved it!

What I didn’t like
- The middle was so slow: It pretty much involved going down memory lane for a long time and it reminded me of books that have long travelling sections. I just wanted it to be over!!

- I didn’t understand/saw the point of some of the things that the villain did in this

Overall, it was okay and I would continue reading the books for 3 reasons: The books are really short, like a little bit over 200 pages, the slow middle seemed like it was unique to this book and thirdly, I want to read about my ship sailing!!!

I really hope there is romance in this because the last two books I read didn't really have any, which is bad for my romance addiction
Profile Image for Kaora.
585 reviews282 followers
November 24, 2014
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 steals his heart it is up to her to save him.

I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars here. I finally settled on 4 because for a first book I was thoroughly impressed. Her writing was simplistic, yet beautiful making this a really enjoyable read. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for some of her later works.


The main character was not very likeable at the start being bratty and snooping through Mg. Thane's things, but she started to grow on me as she realized that things aren't what she assumed. It was a joy to watch her grow throughout the book. She is headstrong and gets herself into some bad situations. But is smart and resourceful and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I found myself liking her.

My favorite character was Mg. Thane, who while a tad eccentric, did his best to be kind to Ceony even when she didn't deserve it.

The world was well built. At no time did it feel like information overload, nor did I feel like I was missing details. It was shown piece by piece in a way that world. And I loved the new take on magic. How magicians manipulated mediums such as paper, rubber, plastic, metal and glass, creating things such as paper flying machines, or bullets that don't miss.

The romance was a tad cheesy but I didn't hate it. You heard it here first folks. Kaora found a book where she did not mind the romance! There was no insta-love. Spotting a person across the room and instantly wanting to brush that hair out of their face. There was no love triangle. Because you aren't pretty unless you have two guys fighting for you. Ceony got to know Thane and genuinely started to care about him.

The pacing was good for the first half of the book. At no time did I feel bored with it. In fact I read it in its entirety in a day, which is rare for me. I often have to switch between books.


I'm going to have to put the romance here too. Mg. Thane was her teacher and he is 31 and she is 19, making it a tad bit on the creepy side.

The pacing for the last half of the book was not as great as the first half. It seemed to be a little more rushed. I would have liked to see more on Lira and Mg. Thane. I felt like the author touched on it, but didn't go into too much detail.

Overall I am really impressed and I recommend anyone who needs a light and clever fantasy read.

Cross posted at Kaora's Corner.
Profile Image for Allison.
554 reviews575 followers
March 25, 2017
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

Towards the end, I also began to notice an increase in modern concepts and American words and phrases, when this is supposed to be set in London around the turn of the 20th Century. Needless to say, I found it jarring and irritating.

So it sounds like I didn't like this much. But I liked it well enough. The concept of paper magic was really interesting, and I enjoyed all the details of folding. It just had some distracting aspects and was not as developed as I like. I can see why some people are calling it YA even though Ceony is 18 and out of school. There's something too simple about it to be adult. I was hoping for it to be more than it was, that's all. I think I will probably still pick up the sequel at some point.
Profile Image for Katie.
2,712 reviews142 followers
October 5, 2014
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 to ship the main characters, but . . . not the way it was done.

And while I'm usually not one that cares a ton about details, a lot of them here really jarred. Particularly all the references to makeup in the very early 1900's.

I'm sort of tempted to read the next one, but I probably shouldn't.
Profile Image for WhatIReallyRead.
725 reviews508 followers
August 16, 2017
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 younger audiences. It certainly didn't feel like any of the YA books I've ever read.

I liked both of the main characters: Ceony - a practical, no-nonsense sort, and Emery - a kind, intelligent and all-around good guy.

“But how will I know if he’s acting strange?” Ceony asked. “He’s strange already.”

In the beginning it surprised me a little that the school board would ship a 19-y.o. girl to become an apprentice and live with a 30-y.o. man, just the two of them in the same house. Isn't that, like, a little creepy? But it wasn't.

So now I'm off to the next one. Hopefully it will be just as enchanting.

Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
425 reviews1,641 followers
June 1, 2017
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. Everything about it. Not only do I think the magical aspect of this is rather unique and very interesting in itself, but I was very excited to learn this doubled as a historical fiction. The time-era really blends with this well.

Both the main characters are very interesting to me. I was never bombarded with background information or details about their personalities, but I was given enough I had an understanding of them before the plot settled in—and then I was allowed to slowly learn more and more. I thought this was handled quite well, with the appropriate amount of showing versus telling.

The writing here definitely wasn’t absurdly gorgeous or original, but it also wasn’t stale. It avoided clichés with clever phrasing that I really enjoyed. One of my personal favorites was“Ceony’s skeleton slumped within her skin.” Which seems very odd, but in context allowed for me to perfectly picture Ceony’s reaction.

I really loved the villain this this. She was coy without being overtly so, and it was great slowly learning more about her

The thing I was most excited to read about was the different uses for paper-magic. I was not disappointed, this was vastly creative and super entertaining.

There were several details that I found kind of clever and enjoyed. For instance, Ceony seems to share several characteristics with the element she binds to (paper). She’s scared of water and says it makes he feel as if she will “fall apart.” There were more, but I don’t remember them all right now. I also thought the term Excisior was clever in itself, considering the form of magic they practiced.


The main thing that drew me in to this book was this fantastic world full of magic. I couldn’t wait to see how it was structured—how are elements assigned? How do the different magicians work together? What roles do they have in society? Is this magic something everyone has; or a chosen few? And… I never really got to see that. Around 25% in, this book rapidly changes plot-wise, and the rest of the book ends up being very flash-back filled and introspective. This was interesting… but seemed premature. I think it would have worked much better in a sequel. If I’d been given a book to learn more about these characters and this world, this entire plot would have had more impact to me

Since there was such a rapid plot shift, it’s hard to really talk about what I disliked—as most of it came after.

I didn’t really pick up on any chemistry between the two-love interests? I honestly thought it was just a friendly relationship until it wasn’t.

The first 25% (before the plot shift) seemed to drag a little bit. I think Holmberg was trying to build up to this later plot-shift, but until that happened, there really wasn’t a lot plot wise.

In Conclusion:

This went a completely different direction than I was expecting, and I was a little let down by that. But it still held my interests and I’m intrigued to read more of this world.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,743 reviews1,305 followers
January 15, 2015
(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 chance would happily nose around his office and his bedroom, rifling through his things, and generally spying on him!

“The front you put on your home is horrid.”

“The tiniest smile teased her lips as she sat down in Mg. Thane’s desk chair and began opening his drawers, none of which had been locked.”

The storyline in this started out okay, I liked the way the magicians made so many things from paper, and did things with it that you maybe wouldn’t think of, like making an origami dog.

“Ceony gaped in surprise. There, wagging its little paper tail, stood a paper dog.”

But at around the half-way mark, things just went downhill rapidly. Whilst I accepted that magic could be used to steal someone’s heart, I really hated the part of the book where Ceony got sucked into said heart, and had to battle her way through it!

I also noticed a bit of a ‘Wizard of Oz’ resemblance in this book. A girl sucked into a strange land through no fault of her own, complete with her little dog, and looking for someone called ‘Em’? Sounds like Dorothy to me.

The ending of this was a relief, and I was so glad that the book ended at 96%! The last 20% of the book was just painful to get through. My eyes now need a rest from all the rolling they did.

4 out of 10
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
January 1, 2015
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 until 45%ish and even then the action was...lacking.

Overall there just wasn't enough happening in this book to warrant the investment of my time.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alexa.
481 reviews122 followers
December 28, 2015
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 some point the author will use "magic" to get her characters out of problems that have no other solutions.

And then it all goes to hell... the plot makes absolutely no sense at all. NONE. . And Ceony, who has what? Two weeks of Magician training? saves the day because magic-ex-machina! (Told you it was going to happen...)

And that was it.

I am so disappointed right now.

Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews692 followers
August 11, 2014
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 different and interesting, and I absolutely fell in love with the 'real live' dog made of paper.
Profile Image for Aisling Zena.
635 reviews476 followers
October 4, 2018
4.5 stars

I have a feeling I read this at the right time and mood. I quite enjoyed it. For me, a sign of a good fantasy book is it's ability to transport you. And this one certainly did that for me.


I know that several of my GR friends couldn't get into this but I fell into it effortlessly. The setting is in the UK, in the early 1900s but magic exists. There's Smelters who bewitch metal, Polymorphs that manipulate Plastic, Gaffers who enchant glass and so on. Ceony has her heart set on being a Smelter but after all her hard work , at graduation time she is assigned to become a Folder. Folders enchant paper and they are going extinct as no one considers it a valuable magic to have. But Ceony has no choice, it's paper or nothing. Once one bonds with their material, they can never revert it. As she is coming to terms with her fate and the crash of her dreams, Ceony also begins her apprenticeship with her new mentor and teacher, Magician Emery Thane.


But it's not all paper hearts and roses and soon she learns not to underestimate what paper can do. When an Excisioner, a dark Magician controlling blood and flesh, decides to take her teacher's heart with her literally, Ceony is left with no choice but to try and save him.


I found all the magic "powers" fascinating and truly unique. I think that's what held my interest throughout most of the book. I wanted to see what more could be done by what power. Ceony is quite a ballsy heroine, especially for it's era, yes she's immature, rash and a bit arrogant but that's how people in their late teens, early twenties often are. It didn't bother me in this book as it fits the situation. It's geared I think for more YA/NA audience. It has no sexy times and very minimal romance. But I was quite enthralled with all the world building regardless.

If you feel like a fantasy book, I'd recommend it purely for it's originality with the Folders and their magic. I found those parts the most fascinating.
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,219 reviews454 followers
January 8, 2023
3.5 Stars

For unknown reasons, I really like a detailed story about magic and learning all about it, and this delivered for the most part.

Our heroine Ceony has had her heart set on being an expert in metal manipulation, but because there’s a shortage of paper magicians, she’s technically forced to apprentice as a Folder. To say she’s not happy about this is an understatement. However, Ceony really has no choice - either become a Folder or she can never legally practice magic.

This really captured my interest right away. I loved learning along with Ceony, and I was intrigued by the enigmatic Emery Thane who’s her teacher. How Ceony gradually became more and more engaged in her craft held me rapt right up until the main conflict happened. Emery’s heart is literally cut right out of his chest by a sect of evil practitioners known as Excisioners who use blood magic, and despite Ceony’s blatant inexperience, she’s determined to save her mentor before time runs out.

This would have been great had it not veered into some existential mumbo jumbo, literally and figuratively delving into Emery’s heart to find insight and help. This is where the story lost me as I typically like a very straightforward quest where it seems wholly hopeless for the ultimate underdog. However, the fight at the end was good enough, and there were a few twisty developments and reveals to keep this reader on her toes.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s an age gap romance brewing in a historical background, and because I really enjoyed the magical set up here, I’m going to check out the sequel for Ceony’s further education and next adventure!
Profile Image for Jamie Dacyczyn.
1,683 reviews91 followers
August 1, 2020
2016: I was really looking forward to this one...But alas, it just didn't pan out. The author had a really interesting, whimsical concept: magicians are "bonded" to one particular "man-made" substance such as paper, plastic, metal (nevermind that metal is naturally occurring), rubber (also naturally occurring) etc. Our protagonist, Ceony, wanted to be bonded to metal, but was instead assigned to apprentice as a paper Folder (apparently for no reason other than there just weren't enough Folders, rather than her having an aptitude for paper). She goes to live with Magician Emery Thane so that he can teach her the art of magical paper folding.

Ok, seems good enough. She gets a fun sidekick that's a dog made of folded paper, and starts to learn some basic folding magic while developing a crush on her teacher.....

And then things went downhill.

Out of the blue, Emery's jealous ex-wife Lira (who is apparently a dark magician who can manipulate blood) shows up, freaks out, and grabs Emery's still-beating heart right out of his chest, and then vanishes. Well then. Ceony does some quick thinking paper folding (despite having very little training yet) and shoves a paper heart into Emery's chest to tide him over while she goes after Lira to get Emery's heart back. Ceony sends some paper birds to find Lira, and then goes up into Emery's attic to find a paper glider, which she expertly uses (again, with very little training) to follow Lira. She finds Lira in an oceanside beach, there's a scuffle....and then Lira somehow traps Ceony INSIDE Emery's heart. Ceony experiences this as a red-walled room with blood on the floor, but soon learns that she can walk from one chamber of the heart to another, and when she does so she sees visions of memories that Emery keeps in his heart.

Ehhh, ok, kind of cheesy in a great big obvious metaphor way. Even so, I waited for this heart-exploring scene to finish up to that Ceony could get back to doing paper magic....

But, egads, it went on for NINETY PAGES! 90! In a book that's only 214 pages long, that's nearly half the book! Half the book is basically one big eavesdropping info dump as Ceony moves from heart cavity to heart cavity, watching Emery's life story play out. Scenes of him as a child, scenes of him meeting his wife, scenes of him finding out his wife was a blood magician, scenes of him divorcing his wife, and then scenes of his future "hopes" with a faceless yet-to-be-found woman to live happily ever after with (gosh, I wonder who could fill that role).

Argh. It's basically like the author wanted to give us Emery's background, but has heard everyone always say "Show, don't tell" and took it overly literally to SHOW us Emery's background in excruciating detail, rather than just telling us key details.

And probably the most irritating thing is that in these 90 pages, there's basically no paper magic whatsoever. There's a small moment where Lira shows up to pester Ceony, who blasts her away with a paper fan, but then nothing for the rest of those 90 pages. Since paper magic was the one intriguing part of this story, omitting it for nearly 50% of the book is definitely a letdown.

During this 90 page drag, Ceony literally has no purpose except to express emotions toward all of the Emery story that she sees. She's merely there as a cardboard cut out so that the author can guide us through Emery's entire life. Not good. Especially not good that we know almost nothing at all about Ceony's past, so she seems even more like a two dimensional device merely used to channel info to the reader.

Finally, around page 180, Ceony escapes Emery's heart to do battle with Lira, and we see that pretty much nothing was gained by the last 90 pages. It's not like she learned a valuable clue to help her defeat Lira.....If anything, it just made her fall in love with Emery more. But, since she was already determined to save Emery's heart no matter what, even this seems a bit redundant.

When I was initially reading this book, I felt like my review was going to say that this book should be longer. The beginning felt rushed (again, we never get background on Ceony's life), and it seemed like more time should have been spent on her learning magic......but looking back, the book really could have stayed this length and still be good if the author hadn't devoted half the book that that running trapped-in-a-heart info dump. Whittle that down by 75%, and use those pages to instead develop Ceony's character, or go into more paper folding detail.......Unfortunately, time management skills don't seem to be this author's strength. The book ended painfully wide open for a sequel, so I suspect this is another one of those deals where a stand-alone book got stretched in order to create a weak trilogy.

I also found that the word building in this book was severely lacking. I got the vague impression that this was supposed to be maybe Victorian or Edwardian times (?) but they have linoleum and plastic, so I don't know. Since half of the book was spent inside a human organ, naturally the setting of the overall story was a bit muddled.

Ceony was also obviously supposed to come across as a smart, independent woman....but that was a bit ruined by the fact that she automatically cooks and does laundry for her employer, and then falls in love with him in only a few days despite the fact that this is probably the first man she's ever spent time with, AND he is much older than her AND her boss. Typical.

I shan't be continuing with this series. I nearly quit this book several times, but it was short and I was hoping that there might be some kind of redeeming revelation at the end. Nope.

Skip this one.
February 1, 2019
This book came along at just the right time for me. I needed something light and magical, and this book did what I expected. I loved the magic system. It was different, and I think it worked well. I particularly liked Ceony, the main character. She was interesting and bold, and I particularly loved the relationship that she formed with the dog. I liked her independence, and the the way that she wasn't treated like a second class citizen, just because she is female.
It isn't relevant, but the front cover is gorgeous. The design would be enough to encourage me to pick this one up. I have took two stars off this book as for one, the plot became rather dull halfway through reading, and I found I had to push through, which is never a good sign, and two, the romance. Without saying too much, I do think it was incredibly rushed, and I do wonder, whether it was actually necessary to include it at all? Time will tell!
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
January 8, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Yukino.
1,021 reviews
July 18, 2017

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, al vetro, alla plastica, ai metalli. Peccato che non venga però approfondita questa società. Mi ha incuriosito parecchio, ma sappiamo poco o nulla. Tutto ci viene dato per scontato, come se fosse normale un mondo così.
In questo scenario vediamo Ceony, che ha appena finito il suo anno di scuola, e con la direttrice sta andando a casa del mago a cui farà da apprendista per altri due anni. E' stata però costretta a scegliere come elemento la carta, mentre lei avrebbe voluto scegliere il metallo.
Così si ritrova con mago Thane un pò strambo ma molto dolce. All'inizio è un pò ripetitivo, poi ad un tratto, dopo un certo evento, tutto scorre a velocità della luce. E sono rimasta praticamente incollata alle pagine.

L'ho trovato molto acerbo, leggero, ma molto originale. Con quel pizzico di magia che rende il libro una bella favola. Tanto da farmi sorvolare sui difetti.

Sono davvero curiosa adesso di leggere gli altri due. Spero che vengano approfondite le cose lasciate in sospeso...

Se siete in cerca di qualcosa di originale, ma non troppo impegnativo è i libro che fa al caso vostro. magari sotto l'ombrellone ^^

Sarebbero tre stelle e mezzo. Ma ho dato mezzo punto in più per la fiducia e per Prezzemolo *_* lo voglio!
Profile Image for Sylvia Mercedes.
Author 30 books1,527 followers
April 18, 2018
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's problems, but it had plenty of virtues to balance those problems out, and I'm definitely curious to read the next book.
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