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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 Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Ashley
  • Antioch, CA, United States
  • 09-15-14

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

53 of 60 people found this review helpful

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YOUR TOO NICE TO DIE

SHE RATHER BE A FOLDER, THAN A FAILURE
So much just went wrong with this book. Starting with a SNARKY girl who used to be poor. She was raised poor, yet she is scared to death of physical labor, acts privileged and the narrator gives her an aristocratic upper lip. I understood going in that it was a YA book, and took that into consideration. When she goes into her teachers heart, his actual heart, I just lost total interest. She was not interested in being a paper magician and she eventually convinced me that I did not care for paper magicians.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • JTF
  • Cary, NC USA
  • 09-15-14

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

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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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. <br/>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. <br/>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.<br/>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.<br/>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.<br/>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

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

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The narrator.. oh my god.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, it's a good enough story.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A different narrator would have made this a MUCH better book.

How did the narrator detract from the 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.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

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.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Great potential for a story but...

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Kira
  • Murray, UT, United States
  • 06-06-15

Fun historical fantasy

Any additional comments?

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?<br/><br/>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.<br/>

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

I loved every moment! The story was one heck of a ride and I can't wait to buy the other audio books to this series.

I read other reviewers were displeased with the narrator, but I REALLY liked her. She might've slowed her pacing - I had to back up the book several times to catch what was going on, but she was well spoken and fun to listen to. Unlike some other narrators, she adds an inflection to the voice which suits that character's personality. Percise, young, slightly judgmental and snarky with a side of sweetness that makes its way out as the main character grows. Plus, it's set in 1800s Britain... I'm American, so the accent sounds good enough for me. :)

Bonus, the sappy romance was kept down to a dull roar. What very little love interest there is, is well done and warms the heart. <3

Worth a buy and a listen/read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nora
  • Eustis, FL, United States
  • 06-23-15

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • L
  • 09-23-14

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Matthews
  • 03-04-15

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • greyhound
  • 04-01-15

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Keshnee
  • 07-18-15

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim
  • 04-01-15

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!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 02-01-16

Really struggled with the narrator

Would you try another book written by Charlie N. Holmberg or narrated by Amy McFadden?

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!

Would you recommend The Paper Magician to your friends? Why or why not?

No, I don't think it's a very interesting story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator had an American accent and the appalling British accents detracted hugely from my enjoyment.

Was The Paper Magician worth the listening time?

Just about, but I've listened to many far better fantasy titles.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-29-15

Enchanting

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenn S
  • 06-14-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-12-15

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-23-17

Oh my dear god who is this woman?

I could not bear to listen to more than 5 minutes of this terrible reading. So disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-28-14

bad narration :(

the Narrator butchered the story, her voice and stylw was far too 'teenagey', otherwise an enjoyable story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 09-13-16

story ok, narrator poorly cast

Would you be willing to try another book from Charlie N. Holmberg? Why or why not?

Yes, will read the other two, interesting premise. Once I swapped for the audio to the kindle version was much happier.

What didn’t you like about Amy McFadden’s performance?

Whoever thought casting a fast talking American to narrate a turn of the century english fantasy book was greatly mistaken. I checked several times to see if i had accidently upped the speed of the narration.