The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg is a delightful historical fantasy set in England. Ceony is an apprentice to a magician that uses folded paper to cast spells. For all my students who love origami, this will delight them! Ceony, of course, didn’t want to have anything to do with paper. Her preference was metal. She tries to make the best of being assigned to Magician Emery Thane and is doing pretty well until an Excisioner, who practices dark magic, breaks in and rips the magician’s heart from his chest. Ceony can save him, but only if she can beat the Excisioner by actually going inside Magician Emery Thane’s still beating heart.
I love the whimsical paperfolding in this novel. The images of magical folded paper birds and dogs made me smile. The theme of a young person following a life path they didn’t choose is a good one–somehting modern teens/tweens can appreciate. The horror of the Excisioner’s actions clearly and immediately label him evil, and with it this novel takes on an edge that will appeal to older readers. I highly recommend this book for everyone. The sequel, The Glass Magician, is equally well written, and the third one, Master Magician comes out in June 2015!