Review: Charlie N. Holmberg – The Glass Magician

22341276Despite my fears that this book would move on from Ceony and Thane, I was delighted when I started reading and it was a continuation of their story. As with the first book, I loved the complicated relationship between the two characters and how this was developed slowly throughout the book.

After Ceony had defeated Lira in the previous book, she thought that she’d be able to live happily ever after with Thane, progressing through her apprenticeship and maybe more. But it turns out that Lira’s accomplices aren’t very forgiving, and they want Ceony to undo the spell she placed on Lira. And when Thane decides to speak to the authorities about the problems, Ceony is not very happy to be left out, especially since it’s her life that is threatened. So she decides to take matters into her own hands (yet again), and with the help of her glass magician friend, she takes a perilous journey to take on the bad guys herself.

Unlike most of the reviewers on Goodreads, I found the romance in the book quite lovely. At times it seemed a little over the top, but it’s a young girl so that’s kind of to be expected. I found the action full of tension and perfectly described so that I felt like I could be there. The pacing of the book was quite nice, slow to begin with and picking up pace as the story continued. The development of our understanding of the magical world is great, we learn a lot more about the process of bonding with a material and what that entails and rather than just paper magic in the first book, we get a broader picture.

I really can’t wait for the third book in the series, I’m sure it’s going to be great!

4/5

Review: Charlie N. Holmberg – The Paper Magician

20727654Well I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but it completely blew my socks off! The blurb on Goodreads was:

“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.”

It sounded like it could be an enchanting tale of growth and discovery and an interesting concept with ‘paper magic’. I was definitely very intrigued to see what that entailed, and I was finding the book funny and endearing when BAM! All of a sudden the book takes a very dark twist! Turns out that I should have clicked the ‘more’ link on the blurb on Goodreads and I might have expected this:

“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.”

Well let me tell you, I was NOT expecting that! But as we follow Ceony on a journey through Thane’s heart and uncover his deepest desires and hopes, we also learn more about Ceony and the strength and determination that she didn’t know she had. Pursued all along her journey by the excisioner Lira – Thane’s ex wife, Ceony must find a way to free herself in time to save Thane, without getting herself killed or trapped in the process.

I found the book beautifully written and every twist and turn was so carefully considered that it felt like a perfect story. The character development was spot on, and the magic was brought to life so incredibly that it felt like it could almost be real. The book had many quotes that really made me stop and think, and some that made me laugh out loud. Here’s a few of my favourites:

“Faith is a very personal thing, really. Just because you don’t meet with a group of people once a week who believe everything exactly the way you do doesn’t mean you don’t believe in something.”

“Everyone has a dark side! But it’s their choice whether or not they cultivate it.”

“ma always said the word damn came from beavers who gave up on their houses one stick short.”

I’ve already downloaded the second book (The Glass Magician) to my kindle, but I don’t want to read the blurb to spoil it, as I really quite liked the shock that I got from this book and I feel like Holmberg could have a few more tricks up her sleeve. I would dearly love for the story to continue with Ceony and Thane, but since it’s named after a different type of magic, I fear I may be sorely disappointed!

5/5