Back in Oct 2014 I added a post about a terrific YA book I’d read called the Paper Magician, first in a trilogy. I really loved it, one of those rare YA reads that suit all ages. Clearly Disney agree as they’ve just bought the film ( I can’t bring myself to write Movie – its Film in UK!!) rights to all three books, it was announced in March this year and Charlie Holmberg, the author, has just announced the contracts have now been signed. well done to her, a great start considering this was her debut novel!!
Oddly looking at the critical reviews I’d usually agree, with US phrases in a UK setting that grate with UK readers, but I must have missed them. normally those stick out so it must have been such a good read I glossed over them. Perhaps Disney will sort that out but I doubt it, and sadly things like that really stand out in films 😦
The Paper Magician, Charlie N. Holmberg
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
One of the things about reading a debut book is that it’s a leap into the unknown, you’ve no idea of the writing style of the author. I love books about magic though, and this sounded such fun I couldn’t resist it. I’m really glad I did as it’s a fabulous, magical read.
Its classed as Teens and YA, but it’s one of those that really has enough appeal, and is written strongly enough to appeal to all ages. Its not a dumbed down language type of novel either – so many YA reads are potentially interesting to older readers but I find the language so simplistic and bland that I switch off. Not here, I was interested right from the first page.
Ceony is a great character, she’s done magical school on a scholarship and now is apprenticed to Mg Thane as a Folder, a magician that works in paper. She really wanted to work with metals, as a Smelter but there’s a huge shortage of Folders with only 12 remaining, so she accepts her fate though inside she’s still a little chagrined, paper seems so boring. Its not though, and soon she’s learning how to create animated creatures and bring story books to life. Everything is going well and then…along comes someone from Mg Thane’s past and disaster strikes. Ceony by now is halfway in love with Emory Thane, and can’t just sit back and let him die, but uses what she’s learned to try to save him.
That takes us on a magical ( literally and mentally ) journey, where we learn about some of both Ceony’s and Emory’s history though I’m sure we’ve still lots more to learn. At first, when Ceony was – how can I put it without spoilers – when she’s on a special journey, I thought it was a bit dull but then it took me on a ride though Emory’s memories, and the things she saw and learned were fascinating.
I’ve always had a secret admiration of magic and wished it was real. I recall age 4 when I asked dad for a magic wand for Christmas, entranced by the things Sooty ( a UK childrens TV prog hand puppet ) did with his. Dad said they were very expensive and he’d not be able to afford anything for everyone else – my reply was I could just magic it…didn’t get one though! There’s still a part of me that has a hankering for it to be real, and the way its created here, by use of spells alongside physical substances is so entrancing – I just fell right into the world alongside Ceony, and that’s what I really want in a story, to be taken away from the real world into an imaginary one. There are two more books to come, and I’m looking forward to where the story goes next. Its not a cliff-hanger, in fact you could read this as a standalone, but I think once into it like me you’ll want more.
Stars: Five, fabulous read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.