You can click the cover to go to its Goodreads page.
I received this book for review via Netgalley -which in no way affects my opinion.
Synopsis: 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.
While I have read quite a few fantasy novels, it always surprises me how many new worlds authors can create. I really enjoyed reading about a world -in the 1900s- that has magicians who bind themselves to one medium like paper, plastic, metal, etc. I will talk some more about the world later on though.
First of all, let me say that I found the plot wonderful. It was so unique, especially the chapters that take place in Thane’s heart! I had never read anything quite like it. This novel is quite fast-paced and that influenced the speed in which I read it as well. It was a quick read for me -which I consider to be a good thing- and the story captivated me enough to make me think about how it would unfold when I was unable to read at that moment. But a fast-paced book can have a downside as well, especially in fantasy books: the lack of world-building. In most fantasy novels that would have bothered me a great deal, as it is often hard to understand the world without having knowledge about it. In The Paper Magician though it didn’t bother me a lot. The thought popped into my mind in the beginning of the book but once I was engrossed in it, I didn’t really care as much. I do hope that one day -maybe in the sequel or even a later book- the world will be explained a little bit more which I would find very interesting. That is really the only downside the plot had to me.
On to the characters.
The first impression we get from Ceony is that of an annoyed teenager. I usually tend to dislike whiny characters but in this case I could understand why Ceony was so angry and sad. She had just lost her dream job to be assigned to one she didn’t want… forever. I could not imagine doing something I didn’t like for the rest of my life. She changed -and evolved- very quickly though: she soon became intrigued by the magic of Folding and turned into a whole other person, one I really liked. She appreciated what she had, and even found joy in the way her life has turned out. And when Magician Thane’s heart gets ripped out of his chest, she didn’t even hesitate. She picked everything up and went on her way to try and save him. I like how she wasn’t afraid to say what she thought even in the chambers of his heart. At first, I thought there was going to be instalove, which I really hate -so much. But after thinking about it for a second, I realized that wasn’t true. The way she gets to know him is fast and different than in other novels but she does know him. She knows everything that makes him him. Which is not instalove -yay!
As for Magician Thane, I won’t discuss the majority of his character because that’s kind of a spoiler but I do love his personality. He’s funny, witty and responsible. And he makes the most beautiful things out of paper -hello, I want most of those things too!
I highly enjoyed this book. it was fast-paced and so very unique in its plot. I got attached to the characters as well -and to Fennel- which made the plot even more captivating to me. I would definitely recommend this book!