Book Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Paper MagicianTitle: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Series: The Paper Magician Trilogy #1
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: September 1, 2014

Book Summary:

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.
Karens review

I’ve been interested to read this book since it came out. I was on the staff of the Leading Edge magazine with the author in college, so I was aware of the book before it came out. I found this book to be well written. The story and characters drew me in and it was difficult to put it down. There was more blood and gore than I’m comfortable with, but other than that I enjoyed reading it. Parts of the backstory were revealed bit by bit. That along with the pacing of the action made it difficult to put down. The magic system is interesting, and I look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy.

4 stars

Rating: 4 stars – Great Book

Content: a few swear words, blood and gore, some violence

Source: purchased

This book can be purchased from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


  1. Love the cover. The story sounds intriguing though not my usual genre. I’ll keep this in mind!

  2. I’ve read the first two books of this trilogy and loved them.

  3. This sounds like an excellent follow-up/palette cleanser for Lev Grossman’s series.