On Trial: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Posted January 9, 2015 by Kayla in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review Type:

The Paper Magician Book Cover The Paper Magician
The Paper Magician #1
Charlie N. Holmberg
Historical Fiction, Fantasy
September 1, 2014

Under the tutelage of magician Emery Thane, Ceony Twill discovers the wonders of paper magic, but when her teacher's life is threatened, she must face the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic to save him.

Warning: This article may contain spoilers.

I received this book as a member of Amazon Prime via the Kindle First Program. That doesn’t affect how I feel about the book.

My Impressions:

Overall, I liked the book. Because I read it with my son, I think I am going a bit easy on it, but we enjoyed it very much. He asked to read often enough, but it took us longer than expected because we would only read for 1/2 hour a few times a week. Reading out loud always takes longer. He reads much slower than me. We took turns. It’s been a good bonding experience. We’re both looking forward to the second book, The Glass Magician.


While I found the plot to be more or less very straight forward, at least it kept me guessing enough to try to figure out just how Ceony was going to save Magician Thane. My son was surprised by the twists and turns in the story although I could totally see some coming. Basically, the Excisioner steals Mg. Thane’s heart. Ceony helps him, short term, by making him a paper heart and following his instructions to use a vitality chain (made of paper, of course!). She then, foolishly, follows the Excisioner who casts a spell on her and puts her inside Mg. Thane’s heart. In there, she learns about the magician by literally going through this heart. Now she must figure a way out and save the magician and herself before they both end up dead.


Ceony is very naive but honestly it’s believable because she is a young lady of 19 years, and the story is set in the late 1800s when women were somewhat more sheltered. Magician Thane is very secretive person. There are many things that Ceony wonders about him. Then his mysterious disappear happens which makes you, the reader, wonder about him too. Over the story you come to understand him more. Lira is just outright evil. I don’t like her at all. Seeing that she is the villain and all, then that’s a good thing.


The writing was easy to follow, especially considering it is a story for all ages. It was light, not too complicated, and I barely had to explain much to my, now 10-year-old, son. Plus the kindle edition was updated with kindle word-wise that he turned on to get a quick definition of the words he might not know. I found the word-wise a bit distracting but I can see how it’s useful to children and perhaps people who are still learning English.

I wish that the author could take out one word from the book. In one instance, Lira calls Ceony a whore. For a family oriented book? Now watch me trying to explain that whore is a bad name people sometimes call women. (Instead of telling my son the real meaning but it’s still technically true.) This upset him because he is very adamantly against the use of obscene language. And I know he remembers because he brought it up again saying, “Why did the lady, who wrote the book, have to use the ‘w’ word.”

About the Author:

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. The Paper Magician is her debut novel and the first in a whimsical series exploring a world of magicians who animate manmade materials. She currently lives with her family in Utah. [source: Amazon]

The Verdict:

Highly Recommended

Rating Report
Overall: 4

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