Review: The Paper Magician Trilogy, by Charlie N Holmberg


Paper Magician: 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.

The Glass Magician: Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness. When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

The Master Magician: Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own — an ability long thought impossible. While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

Title: The Paper Magician / The Glass Magician / The Master Magician
Author: Charlie N Holmberg
Publisher: 47 North
Pub Date: 1st September 14 / 1st November 14 / 2nd June 2015
Pages: 224 / 222 / 226
ISBN: 9781477823835 / 9781477825945 / 9781477828694

Rating: 3stars

I am a complete sucker for covers and I fell in love with these on first sight. In typical fashion, I had too many books to read (when do I not?!) and told myself I wouldn’t buy them. A week later all three were waiting on my kindle. Eight months later I started them. Three days later I finished all three.

This is a brilliant, fast-paced, easy to read fantasy trilogy that will get anyone out of a reading funk. Granted, Ceony took on the popular YA protagonist role – annoying self-sacrificing female with a tendency to walk into trouble wherever she goes. But once you accept that (nobody’s perfect, right?) you can really enjoy the novels.

I did have two bugbears, however. First, Ceony’s photographic memory made everything a bit ‘too’ easy, and the plot suffered because of it. Secondly, the environment was very prim and proper – think 1920’s England; a girl in a knee-length skirt is deemed indecent and judged accordingly. For a book whose protagonist is an independent, smart woman that who believes in herself and breaks all the rules; her fears of skirt length came across as a tad too silly.

Overall, The Paper Magician Trilogy is a great little series to kick you out of any reading slump. An easy 3.5 stars average.

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