The Paper Magician

paperThe 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!



Under a Wild and Darkening Sky

coverA review of my book by Megan, one of my students!

Under a Wild and Darkening Sky, by Linda Ulleseit, portrays Alyna and Ralf adapting to their new home in, High Meadow while working in their father’s bakery. Their parents plan out their future, but Ralf and Alyna chose not to follow in that particular path. They must also make careful decisions, and one wrong step comes the fall of High Meadow. Whew! That’s intense.

Alyna easily adapts to life in the barn, with a little help from a friend. I found this quite nice, as Alyna was never able to make friends in Merioneth. Alyna’s change adds a nice touch to the story. Ralf, on the other hand, is very adventurous. I really don’t know what to say. I can’t describe what he’s like. If I could, the word would be mixed-up-torn-loyal-maker of decisions-helper all mashed up into one word. Other than that description, he is hopeful and courageous when he helps restore- oh! I can’t give too much away, now can I? I was doubtful he would be any good when he helped his new troublesome friend, but as the story progressed, my opinions changed. I was hooked on like a fish, I suppose.

Evan, one of my least favorite characters from the beginning of the series, becomes crazed with power. People lose themselves to power, which I think is what happened to Evan. An important lesson in this part of the story is not to lose yourself to power otherwise you will get hit by- Oh no! I can’t give the book away!  And it was an exciting part about Evan! Oh well. You’ll have to read the book yourself! Anyway, as I just said, it teaches you an important lesson.

This is an excellent ending to the trilogy, and you don’t have to start from the first book, it’s easy to understand the idea of the story. I never thought I would enjoy Historical Fantasy/ Young Adult Books, but this, THIS! is truly fantastic. On my best book list!  The tension and the grabbing plot caused me to keep reading to find out what happened when Ralf and Alyna- No! I can’t reveal it! Okay, never mind. I would DEFINITELY recommend this to everyone in the whole wide world! Only if they would listen…