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.
First of all, the cover is amazing. However, I still don’t quite know what to think of this novel. I liked the idea and I liked the magic/folding, but I don’t think the development of the story was quite what it could have been.
Let’s start off with what the positives of the novel. Ceony is insightful and mature (at most points in the novel), and the romance in the novel is very subtle. It’s not shoved down your throat like a lot of other YA/Fantasy novels. Also, the novel is set in a location that seems very excluded from the rest of the world. This is great, and it makes the protagonist seem isolated and lost. The magic in the novel is unique and interesting and the flashbacks about Magician Thane’s earlier life really add depth to his character.
About halfway through the novel, the main character becomes trapped inside Thane’s heart. I’ll admit, this is a little strange. At first I thought I’d just roll with it, but the idea of her walking through the chambers of his heart, trying to get out, is kind of creepy. And it doesn’t really make sense in relation to the rest of the novel.
I mentioned above that the romance in the novel is subtle, but there are some flaws to it. When Magician Thane first came into the story, I imagined a Dumbledore-ish man. Maybe it’s because of the magician thing, but then I realised he’s actually in his thirties and the main character (who is early twenties) falls in love with him? This didn’t seem real. She didn’t get to spend much actual, face to face time to Magician Thane, and falls in love with him too quickly. Oh and I just can’t get past one part in the novel. When Magician Thane’s heart is ripped out of his chest, Ceony is distraught, and she yells out “You’re too nice to die!”
I think I’ll leave this review at that.
I’d recommend this book to YA lovers, not fantasy lovers. This is book #1 in The Paper Magician Trilogy.
My Score: 7/10