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The Paper Magician | [Charlie N. Holmberg]

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.
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Publisher's 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.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight listeners of all ages.

©2014 Charlie N. Holmberg (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (507 )
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3.8 (463 )
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Story
3.9 (463 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ashley Antioch, CA, United States 09-15-14
    Ashley Antioch, CA, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "The narrator needs to relax"
    What didn’t you like about Amy McFadden’s performance?

    As soon as she started speaking I flinched. She sounds manic, as if she drank several cups of coffee before narrating. Her voice was so shaky and shrill I couldn't listen to the story


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GoryAnna 10-08-14
    GoryAnna 10-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excessive Discription Can't Hold Up A Poor Story"
    What disappointed you about The Paper Magician?

    Someone needs to account for this terrible book being published. I have thus far never listen to a book, good or bad, that made me want to vent like this book has. It is probably the worst book I've read in a long time.
    I was sucked in by others' reviews of this book, and the idea of materials magicians. I was quickly disappointed to learn that barely any of the book deals with magic. The main character Ceony has time to learn only paper animals, three paper animals, before going up against the antagonist.
    The characters are so poorly written! The antagonist is obviously a bad horrible woman by her description of having long fingers red lips and a bigger breast size than Ceony. Granted she does dabble in blood magic but you hardly learn any thing about her besides that. Ceony herself is a 19 year old recent magic school graduate with a terrible knowitall superiority that makes no sense since she spends most of the book crying out for help after shooting her pistol that contained one bullet, and then getting trapped. She whines about everything, but thankfully she's a good cook.
    The author describes everything painfully in as many color words as possible, even once describing how lonely and forlorn half a cow carcass looked. Ceony never shuts up about her mentor's eyes taking time out of being chased to ponder his emerald orbs, and if they will ever shine with light again. The author also seems confused about the time period the story is set in. Even in an alternate reality the anachronisms are jarring and insulting to anyone who knows anything about the early 1900's.
    This is a terrible try at a romance with a completely unearned relationship. A love which Ceony admits to having formed less than a month into her apprenticeship Her mentor doesn't even seem aware of the fact that Ceony is in love with him, probably because he's a sane person.
    I was so frustrated with this book, and I rolled my eyes hard most of my way through it. It could have been interesting, but it reads like the fanfiction I used to read when I was 14. Even then I could tell embarrassingly bad writing, but at least I hadn't paid for it.


    What aspect of Amy McFadden’s performance would you have changed?

    I give the reader props, she had horrible material to work with but she was into it. Please don't make her do any more accents though.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, frustration, disgust deep disappointment


    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Frazier Cary, NC USA 09-15-14
    Joe Frazier Cary, NC USA 09-15-14 Member Since 2014

    a dedicated dilettante

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Delightful Story Whose Magic Draws Us In"

    Charlie Holmber's The Paper Magician presents an astonishing level of polish, comedic timing and ability to generate poignant moments in a first novel. Early on in the book, I found myself alternately smiling and chuckling at the protagonist, Ceony Twill, and her interaction with Magician Emery Thane, the magician to whom she's apprenticed. Set in turn of the 20th century London, Ceony has just graduated from well-regarded school for magicians and now must take up her apprenticeship. In Ms. Holmberg's well-constructed world, magicians must bind themselves to a material such as glass, metal or paper and may practice magic only with it. Mg. Thane is a Folder (bound to Paper) and that's considered about as sexy as it sounds. Ceony did well at school and would normally have a choice of materials among which she may bind herself. There are, however, a dearth of Folders, primarily due to the aforementioned lack of sexiness, and so the school assigned her to Paper. She is less than thrilled.

    Ceony can come across a bit haughty and more than a little forthright in her dealings with those in authority. She certainly doesn't back down. Mg. Thane keeps his cards close to the vest, betraying little except through his expressive eyes. Through her ties to Emery, Ceony becomes embroiled in an adventure, risking life and limb, against the nefarious Excisioners.

    As is my typical practice, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions of the book. Amy McFadden did yeoman's work through her narration. I particularly like her Emery with a mostly calm voice often infused with a hint of amusement. Her Lira's syrupy condescension and self-satisfied humor as she is about to harm or kill is also brilliant. My only nit is that the tone of Ceony's voice seems to waiver from posh Etonian English to a much more common flavor from time to time, again without circumstance seeming to warrant a change. I don't believe Ms. McFadden is a native of the UK, so maintaining the dialect throughout was quite a feat. Anyway, the flips are rare and didn't distract from a good narration of the book. I'm delighted she is also the narrator for The Glass Magician and anticipate her narrating any other additions to the series.

    To sum up, the comedic touch is perfect, the action and danger well executed, the relationships are believable, nicely developed and drove the narrative, and the actual writing is spot on. Simply put, it was a fun read that was over all too quickly (even though this did save me from multiple sleep deprived nights). I'm seriously looking forward to The Glass Magician which is out November 2nd and which I've pre-ordered. I highly commend The Paper Magician for your reading pleasure.

    For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-X4

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Geneva, NY, United States 06-23-15
    James Geneva, NY, United States 06-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Valley girl reads book on faux British accent"

    I have seldom encountered a more annoying interpretation. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately the story is too compelling to quit.

    It's maddening.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary San Antonio, TX, United States 02-10-15
    mary San Antonio, TX, United States 02-10-15 Member Since 2015

    I was a 'readaholic' for most of my life. I started crochet and other hobbies. That took away from my reading time. I discovered audio books at the library. That set me off. now, that I am older my eyes make it too difficult to read. So I now am a very diligent audio book listener!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    The story is good. Hidden within an excellent story are a lot of life issues, love, hate, loss, decision making, living with the outcome of those decisions. I listened to it twice in one sitting. The first time was due to wanting to find out what was going to happen next. The second time was to listen to details missed and appreciate it better. Amy McFadden does an excellent job reading this story. I am placing her on my list of readers to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora Eustis, FL, United States 06-23-15
    Nora Eustis, FL, United States 06-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator grew on me"

    I didn't like her voice at first, but she grew on me as I got used to it. She talks with a perpetual pout in her voice. I did enjoy the story very much. The universe that Holmberg creates is unique and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the stories to find out more. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Foster Newark, DE USA 06-20-15
    Rachel Foster Newark, DE USA 06-20-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Charming and delightful fantasy"

    The author provides clever details to bring this world to life. A great escape and romantic fantasy.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KJ 06-17-15
    KJ 06-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very different than I would've guessed"
    If you could sum up The Paper Magician in three words, what would they be?

    Unpredictable, entertaining, unusual


    What other book might you compare The Paper Magician to and why?

    I honestly can't quite compare it to any other book. Very different view of a magical world and not quite like any other.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I definitely had a very shocked moment when things changed very suddenly.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought it was a pretty good book but I wasn't a huge fan of it. It was only the last chapter or two that was incredibly engaging to me personally. I think it was more my own preference than anything negative about the book. Paper Magician is very unique and I think it's great how different it is from other fantasy novels I've read. I haven't decided if I'll continue the series or not but I will admit that because of the last few chapters, I am intrigued to know what happens in the next book and if they're directly connected.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Captain Skurvy Queensland, Australia 09-09-14
    Captain Skurvy Queensland, Australia 09-09-14 Member Since 2008

    I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print

    HELPFUL VOTES
    318
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    "Has Promise"

    It takes some time to get used to the narrator or at least it did for me . . . and the premise of different types of magic based on materials is not all that common for a magic based alternate world.

    At times one wants to just instil some common sense, or some backbone and still other times cheer Ceony on.

    The Author at times runs away with attention to such minute descriptive detail but it does not overly slow down the pacing.

    There is a distinct lack of expletives which is heartening and refreshing.

    I wont reveal the plot but you might want vet it first before recommending it to anyone who has a blood phobia, not that it is overly violent or even bloodthirsty (you have to read it to understand).

    Whilst the book does not end on a cliff hanger it is nicely set up for the next one.

    Some imaginative uses for Paper . . .

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea 07-20-15
    Andrea 07-20-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    "Great schmaltzie love story with simple magic"
    Would you listen to The Paper Magician again? Why?

    Yes, I loved the main character. Too often we read of "plain women" or "nothing special," to relate to those teenage girls who view themselves this way. However, I felt it was refreshing to read a story of a young woman with brains and who valued herself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paper Magician?

    I enjoy the love story! It's very sappy and a little over the top, but she is young and feels deeply. The author holds nothing back when describing her emotions, bodily reactions and kindling hopes of love.


    Which character – as performed by Amy McFadden – was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed McFadden's development of both Emery Thane and Ceony. She is a great reader. Not only did she capture their personalities and accents, her voice is very nice to listen too. Too often female readers are shrill and shallow in their delivery.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! I finished it in a day and bought the next before going to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Such a simple and sweet tale of falling in love without the clique passion of sex. Very appropriate for young readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • L
    9/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange choice in narrator"

    Okay idea for a story, and well written, however the choice of an American narrator for a story set in England is very strange and ruins the story. She doesn't even bother trying to sound English when reading narration by the characters - although this may have actually been a blessing, there's nothing worse than listening to a mangled British accent. Really disappointing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • greyhound
    Lincolnshire
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed this story easy to listen to"

    This was a good story and better than I thought but it was a she the narrator was American as this is set in the uk and some of the pronunciation was a little off putting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Matthews
    3/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fake British Accents Are Distracting"

    It's one thing to have an American narrator for a book set in Britain, I don't have a problem with that, but when that narrator chooses to use unconvincing plummy British accents then I start to get annoyed. The story itself is quite charming, but the listening to the book felt more like a chore than a pleasure.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Keshnee
    London, United Kingdom
    7/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting concept"

    A fairly enjoyable listen with an interesting concept. However the narrator did a really bad imitation of the accents she choose and the accents were all over the place - jumping from American English to bad British English throughout the story. Also there were a few unexpected extremely disturbing scenes in the book, so overall a bit of a confusing story to rate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eva
    Dusseldorf, United Kingdom
    6/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shame about the accent"
    What made the experience of listening to The Paper Magician the most enjoyable?

    It is original and well flowing story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked them all. Good and bad were well developed.


    What three words best describe Amy McFadden’s voice?

    Nice (good narrator but not suitable for this book)
    Wrong (again- the accent! But once you forget it is happening in Britain, you survive it somehow- although- even I can do better English accent and I am Czech!)
    Killer "r"s (the rolled "r" is so annoying at the start of the book, but it is muted later on- just over the top first hour or so, you want to strangle somebody)


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole paper heart part


    Any additional comments?

    It is shame that British narrator was not chosen. I think that Ms.McFadden is a good narrator and I wouldn't mind hearing her narrate American books, but really - whoever decided she is suitable for this book must be deaf. It so damaged my enjoyment of the book that I got the next two in series as e-book. I just couldn't otherwise finish the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jenn S
    6/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fine"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. It's just not good enough.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a good concept.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Amy McFadden?

    someone english. Her english accent as the girl wasn't good. Her accent as Emory was fine. But her females were a little grating.


    Could you see The Paper Magician being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes, I could.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kim
    Bracknell, United Kingdom
    4/1/15
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    The American accent was a little abrasive at first, but stick with it and it all comes together. Great story, and can't wait to have the next one!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
    3/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's good in parts"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This series would have benefited from being fact checked by someone with an extensive knowledge of the period and place set. I know that this is an alternative universe but the ongoing use of american language in a British setting, caused me to loose my suspension of disbelief.


    What will your next listen be?

    The next book in the series, because despite the issues I had, the story telling, characters and reading carried all before them!


    Which character – as performed by Amy McFadden – was your favourite?

    Amy does an excellent job of portraying all the characters. In particualr the viewpoint one Ceony Twill.


    Was The Paper Magician worth the listening time?

    Absolutely, especially if you can overlook the language oddities.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    1/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enchanting"

    I finished this book in a day and can't wait to read the next one. I loved every minute of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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