Book Review

The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician series #1

Charlie N. Holmberg

47North, September 2014

226 pages, ebook, paperback, audiobook, MP3 CD

Fantasy, Magical Romance


The cover is really appealing and definitely relates to the story and the magic of the world within. The story was quite interesting. I really enjoyed the world building and the magic created for this world. The characters are revealed over the course of the story for who they are. The pace builds to rather fast and the tension keeps you at fever pitch towards the end especially as it all becomes a race against evil, or death.

And here the reveal begins…

I loved this book and am certainly looking forward to having some time to read the others in this series. The magic system allows each magician to bond to one element with which to work magic and only one for his entire life. So, if you bond to glass, and keep breaking things, you can’t switch to wood. You are stuck with glass, no pun intended. They can only bond to man-made mediums such as paper, glass, rubber, iron, and plastic, which was very new. Ceony Twill was really hoping to be able to bond to iron. She envisioned iron girders and massive structures. A mysterious donor had provided her tuition for the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined and she had worked very hard and done well. You didn’t get to choose what element you worked with, you were assigned.

Magician Patrice Aviosky, the administrator for the school, was the one who delivered her to mentor’s home to start her internship. She was very secretive about who her mentor was until they got to the house. Everything was made of paper, folded paper. She was being apprenticed to a folder. She was being bonded to paper for the rest of her life. She had dreamed of iron and been given paper. She tried to argue her case with Mg. Aviosky, but to no avail. The die was cast and this was where she was needed and where she was requested. Yes, requested. Her mentor had requested her. Once inside the house, Ceony meets Jonto, a paper skeleton who doesn’t seem to trust her. Could he be a butler of sorts? She sees birds flying up by the ceiling. She sees an entire garden of paper flowers. Finally, she meets Magician Emery Thane, Folder. He seems to understand about her wanting to be bonded to another element but tries to make her understand paper a bit better.

After her bonding ceremony, once she has actually bonded to paper, she seems to put most of that behind her and focus on paper since there are no options anymore. You cannot change once bonded. She works with Mg. Thane on learning some of the basic folds and what they can do, how they can be used to build complex things. They take a close look at Jonto, the skeleton and how some of his folds work together. She learns the commands to animate and deactivate him. She looks at birds to see how they work and how to make one. She learns about different types of paper and what each type can be used for. She learns what’s right and what’s wrong. She also notices Ethan’s bright green eyes that always have so much expression in them. They talk about her schooling and things she learned and didn’t learn and should have learned. They talk about her family and her dog she misses. She even had it at school. Ethan makes her one out of paper to keep her company and she’s delighted with it. Ceony and Ethan get to be quite close. She sees things in his eyes that she thinks he isn’t saying. Every time he might be about to say something, he draws away.

Lira, a young woman from Ethan’s past appears and steals his heart, literally. She uses an illegal form of magic, excision magic, to remove his heart. She puts it in a fortuity box which will preserve it for four days. Ceony has these 4 days to retrieve his heart and put it back in place or Ethan will die. She spends 2 days making paper hearts and gathering the right type of paper. She takes Ethan’s birds and climbs to the third floor of his house where he has kept secret a paper glider big enough for her. She grabs her dog and gathered supplies, jumps into the glider, and is off. Jonto won’t be left behind, and he’s hanging on. What ensues is a journey through the four chambers of Ethan’s heart where Ceony will see the hopes and hurts of his young life, the dreams and disappoints of his young adult life, the love and betrayal of Lira, and his ongoing fight against those who are trying to blacken the magical community, as well as his growing feelings for Ceony herself. Ceony only has two days to make it through all four chambers and fight off Lira without damaging the heart each time. In the end, it is Ceony’s use of words on paper in her own blood that saves the day and she and Ethan both. Ethan is able to mend the damaged dog and the loyal Junto now that everyone is safe at home again. Highly entertaining.


Next book #2 The Glass Magician

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