Author: Charlie N Holmberg
Series: The Paper Magician Series #1
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
This book had so much promise. It started out great, I was quickly sucked into England in the early 1900s where magicians bond to certain man made materials. Unfortunately, the world building didn't quite hold up for the duration of the story.
I was intrigued by the two main characters, Emery more so than Ceony. Ceony is like able and reasonably developed. But Emery really caught my attention, he was quirky and mysterious and I really wanted to know his story.
At about the 45% mark, the story began to drag. This is clearly meant to be the part that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it just felt monotonous to me.
Overall, the writing is decent but it felt like the author was trying to tell the story so quickly that he forgot to tell you everything and left several details out or brushed past things.
However, the last few chapters of the book were redeeming. The climax and resolution are clear and exciting. The ending is sweet and left me interested in the next book.