Holmberg, Charlie N. The Glass Magician (2014). 47North. 226 Pages
The Paper Magician | Book Two
- I received a copy for review through NetGalley.
- This review is pre-release. Expected publication is November 4, 2014.
- Because this is the second book in a series, there may be spoilers for the first book, The Paper Magician. Proceed with caution.
Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.
When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.
A late summer breeze wafted through the open kitchen window, making the twenty tiny flames upon Ceony’s cake dance back and forth on their candlewicks. Ceony hadn’t made the cake, of course, as one should never bake her own birthday cake, but her mother was a good cook and a better baker, so Ceony had no doubts that the confection, complete with pink cherry frosting and jelly filling, would be delicious.
I loved the first book so much that I immediately went to see if I could get the second book. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t out yet. Fortunately, my NetGalley account was still active, and it was available as a “read now” book. So I did. And I stayed up most of the night tearing through it, and only went to bed when my boyfriend came in and rather sternly reminded me that I have to get up at 4:45 for work, and that it was nearly midnight.
So I finished it on the train.
The first book was good. I enjoyed it a lot (despite its flaws) and would recommend it. The second book though? The second book was better. The world has been built, and now it is getting expanded on. Ceony is dealing with the consequences of her actions. Emery Thane is becoming more rounded as we see more of his personality.
The book is frustrating. But it is the sort of frustration you feel when the main character is frustrated by circumstance and you are frustrated with them. Ceony is not allowed to be a part of the meetings which affect her and her future, and she is frustrated*. (Rightfully so.) So she does something rash (which, having read The Paper Magician, is hardly surprising.)
We meet new characters, and get to know some existing characters better. We get to see a lot more about the different types of magic, not just Folding. There is more about the Excisioners and Gaffers and the other types of magicians. And all of it is so interesting and each piece of information helps build the world further.
Also, the sort-of romance between Mg. Thane and Ceony is still a factor. Ceony has a major crush. She might even be in love. But Thane doesn’t seem to feel the same way. And to complicate things further, Mg. Aviosky is concerned that Ceony’s behavior is indicative of a less-than-professional relationship between Mentor and Apprentice.
So the main plot of the novel is driven by a madman seeking Ceony’s secret. He wants to know how she did things she did in the first novel. And he’ll stop at nothing to find out. The imminent threat he poses to Ceony and her family and friends drives the novel forward, always leaving the question: how on earth will Ceony get out of this scrape using only paper?
Some of the issues carry over; the time still isn’t very clearly established through narrative (though I believe someone states that it is the early 1900s.) There are still a few spots with overly detailed descriptions, but not as many.
Of course, the downside of reading advanced copies of novels is that the wait for the next book is so much longer. I can’t wait to see what happens in the third novel, which, judging by Charlie Holmberg’s blog updates, should have a release date soon.
I really enjoyed this book. More than the first novel, even. I look forward to the third (final?) novel in the series. It gets a solid 5/5.
* Yes, I said frustrated a lot. Did I mention it was frustrating? 😉