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.
Audiobook Performance was grating. Too many tired details in story. I picked up this book hoping it would be similar to The Night Circus. However, the story was a more childish interpretation. The characters were strangely two dimensional, but the potential was there. It was almost as though i was reading parts of the main story while reading every insignificant footnote that accompanied each snippet.
a dedicated dilettante
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
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
In fact it isn't James. It's Nancy, wife to James, who shares an Amazon account!
I have seldom encountered a more annoying interpretation. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately the story is too compelling to quit.
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.
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.
Anger, frustration, disgust deep disappointment
My name is Kira and I work as a librarian in utah. I love all kinds of books, but especially like fantasy and mystery.
Ceony Twil’s life changed forever when an anonymous donor paid for her tuition to Tagis Praff, an elite magician training school. She’s disappointed, however, when her dream job of becoming a Smelter comes to naught. Short on paper magician and a natural at most magics, Ceony is pushed into apprenticing with Emery Thane. Things get cut short, however, when a person from Thane’s past, his ex-wife Lira, excises his heart. Running against time, it’s up to Ceony to retrieve his heart and defeat the excisioner before Thane dies. With little practical knowledge of paper folding and combat, can Ceony defeat one of the most feared people?
Narrator, Amy McFadden does a great job of bringing to life Ceony's and the other character's voices with her unique, versatile narrative style. The plot is well developed, engaging, and keeps a fairly fast pace despite its historical setting. The characters are likable and humorous. The dynamics between them are enjoyable and McFadden easily navigates their dialogue. Readers who like to get to know the characters well will appreciate the mix of action adventure with the more serious matters of the heart. Although some of the battles with Lira drag on a bit, the humor and action mixed in make up for it. Recommended for those readers who like an action-packed, historical fantasy adventure.
Yes, it's a good enough story.
A different narrator would have made this a MUCH better book.
Her fake accent was AWFUL. Not only that, her regular voice was so over done and harsh. She sounded a lot like the actress from bewitched but not in a good way. She needed to calm down. She punctuates every.single.word. and it gets very old. It doesn't sound natural at all.
I would probably go see a movie and enjoy it a lot more than I did the audio book. The story isn't awful but I wish I had read it rather than listen to it.
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.
My first impressions with the story were that it reminded me of Studio Ghibli's animated films (especially Howl's Moving Castle). Cute, precocious girl moves in with an older (yet romantically age-appropriate) magician under frustrating circumstances. Despite initial doubt and conflict, a montage of her cooking and cleaning his messy house brings them closer just in time for a romantic antagonist to literally stall his heart. A journey of discovery surrounded by inanimate objects come to life ensues.
My only real sticking point with the story is that the romance seems a bit forced and one-sided. The 19-year old goes from hating her teacher to wanting to be the mother of his children very quickly, especially since he never really reciprocates her love. I can accept it, but I felt like I lost respect for the main character considering that she didn't need love to motivate her. It could just as easily been a quest to save her teacher, friend, or just someone in need, any of which would make her seem more like a strong female character than a girl with a crush.
That said, it's a fun story that is well-told with great narration. Definitely worth a listen.
The writer is amazing at setting the scene, but the plot and dialogue is very shallow. I found myself wanting more interaction between the characters, but instead got more interaction with the scenery.
Interesting take on magic. The performer is animated and bubbly. She may annoy others, but she didn't bother me. I will listen to the others since they are extremely short and free with kindle unlimited.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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!!
I finished this book in a day and can't wait to read the next one. I loved every minute of it.
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.
"Shame about the accent"
It is original and well flowing story.
I liked them all. Good and bad were well developed.
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)
The whole paper heart part
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.
No. It's just not good enough.
It's a good concept.
someone english. Her english accent as the girl wasn't good. Her accent as Emory was fine. But her females were a little grating.
Yes, I could.
"Really struggled with the narrator"
I might try the next story in the series but I didn't find it terribly compelling. I wouldn't listen to another book narrated by Amy McFadden if it was supposed to be set in England!
No, I don't think it's a very interesting story.
The narrator had an American accent and the appalling British accents detracted hugely from my enjoyment.
Just about, but I've listened to many far better fantasy titles.
"It's good in parts"
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.
The next book in the series, because despite the issues I had, the story telling, characters and reading carried all before them!
Amy does an excellent job of portraying all the characters. In particualr the viewpoint one Ceony Twill.
Absolutely, especially if you can overlook the language oddities.
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