The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #1)

The Paper Magician


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. (Summary and cover courtesy of


I LOVED this book.  I’ve been hearing rave reviews about the series for a while, but I didn’t give it a shot until a friend told me it was the best book she had read in her recent memory.  I understand why people compare it to the Harry Potter world because it has a depth and clarity that is hard to find in many books.  It is clear that the author did their homework – each type of magic has clearly been thought through and the characters are able to embody their bonds. 

One of the aspect I particularly enjoyed was that the element of focus is paper.  Paper?  I have to admit I was on the same page as Ceony when she realized she would be unable to be a smelter as she hoped.  But Holmberg was able to bring paper to life and prove its worth even in the face of life and death.  I think this is a series I’ll be wishing was much longer than a trilogy!   Perhaps some spin off stories as well?

Warning: Contains violence

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of quality fantasy series.

Want to read the whole series?