Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!
The Paper Magician actually caught me off guard, it was definitely not what I had expected from what I read from the synopsis! Which, to be honest, was a good thing!
I was expecting some magical battles and some instalove, and it did contain those things in part, however what I took from it was a story of forgiveness and redemption.
A quite literal journey through the heart of a man plagued by past deeds, darkness and despair, I was more drawn to the emotional content of this book rather than the magical elements (even though the Paper magic was pretty darn cool! A kind of magical origami!).
I’d usually prattle a bit about world building elements, but when a good majority of the book is set within a man’s heart, I can only comment that I believed that the heart was well built! It had four chambers and was bloody, so whatever else was going on, that felt real enough. I didn’t get a great sense of the turn of 20th century England however, which I think could’ve been given a bit more emphasis just to give it a little extra grounding.
There was a strong sense of whimsy that I find usually goes hand in hand with magical reimaginings of Britain. The romance of it always seems to dominate, though this book did show a tougher side, even if only glimpsed here and there. It reminded me somewhat of Gail Carrier’s work, which I hold in very high esteem.
I really enjoyed Ceony’s company. She felt believable, she wasn’t a mess of extremes and she looked at the consequences of her actions with consideration. She held herself with poise when needed and got her hands dirty when required, which seems reminiscent of the women you hear so much about hailing from the late 19th century. Mg. Thane, her magic tutor has a Darcy/Heathcliff feel and it’s his life story that drives the story forward.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Paper Magician and I think it has enough range to keep readers of any age enchanted. I have already begun The Glass Magician (the second in the series) so, I think that’s a fair indication that I was captivated by it.