The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician
Paper is not a very formidable thing. At least, that's what Ceony Twill things when she's apprenticed to Magician Emery Thane to learn the art of paper folding. She thought she'd have the pick of assignments after graduating at the top of her class from Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined. But if she had become a Smelter like she wished, she would have missed out on the incredible adventure Charlie Holmberg created for her in The Paper Magician.

As a scholarship student, Ceony buried herself in books. She strove to be worthy of the anonymous scholarship that made it possible for her to follow her dream instead of working as a domestic and cook. She doesn't think much of eccentric Thane when she meets him. Of course, she's not inclined to think well of him when she is greeted at his door by a gigantic animated skeleton made of paper. That would disconcert even the keenest apprentice magician. The first few days don't help her warm to Thane, either. But she applies herself and takes to paper magic better than she expected. Still, she wonders what she's supposed to do with pretty bits of paper.

Ceony's test as a magician comes early when an old enemy barges into Thane's house and steals the magician's heart right out of his chest. The other magicians Ceony calls in to help give him up for dead, she grabs a stack of paper, steals a massive paper glider, and travels to the coast to get Thane's heart back. Then the adventure really starts.

The Paper Magician is a magical book in itself. To describe it here would rob it of its charm, so I won't say too much more about Ceony's revelatory journey to get Thane's heart back before the magician dies. Holmberg fully commits to the world she created and it's clear she thought about how much paper could really do against an enemy that can use someone's own blood and body as a weapon. Of course, Ceony also has a clever mind and a fierce determination to go along with her flying birds and confusion spheres and razor sharp paper stars. This is a fun, fast young adult read.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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