The Paper Magician

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After graduating Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined top of her class and in one year, Ceony can already feel her apprenticeship for Smelter, one who enchants metal. But fate takes her a different road and she starts her apprenticeship to become a Folder and enchant paper. Though this sounds less cool, it turns out there are quite some interesting things one can do with paper. And there is her teacher, Magician Thane…

I have to admit I have a soft spot for magical schools/apprenticeships. This book being set in Late Victorian/Edwardian London made it even better. So, for me it was going to be hard not to like this novel. Ceony was a nice character, though a bit too perfect for my liking. A large part of the story takes place inside a heart, which is of course a bit strange, but it worked quite well. I was less taken in with the romantic subplot that I feared might get bigger during next books.

I’d liked to discuss the world and the magic, but there’s not much explained during the story. To me, it felt like anyone could learn magic by attending a school, which rises the question: ‘Why isn’t every one a magician?’ If there is some kind of aptitude necessary to become a magician, how are these people found? Ceony definitely comes from a family of muggles and everyone’s magic is bound to a specific sort of object (like paper, glass or metal). It’s not possible to bind something that’s not man-made, like stone. Except for the evil magicians, who are bound to blood (and although blood is made in the human body, it feels a bit strange to therefore classify it ‘man-made’). And they had to decide right from the start to be evil? It’s not clear either just how the magical world fits in the normal one. Are all people aware of the magician? Are they okay with it?

I liked the story, writing, pace and Ceony (Thane’s been unconscious for the largest part of the book so what could I tell about him). I do hope however that the next book(s) will contain not too much romance and that the magic and the world will be explained better.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician #1)Charlie N. Holmberg

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