Charlie N. Holmberg
After graduating from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony expects to become a Smelter, a magician bonded to metals. To her disappointment, she is apprenticed to Magician Thane, a Folder. Ceony is now bonded to paper forever, with no hopes of practicing more exciting magic. Just as she is beginning to accept the new direction her life has taken, a dark magician rips Thane's heart out, and Ceony must try to use her fledgling magic skills to save him.
This book began excellently and with great potential. I enjoyed the alternate universe, and learning about the magic. I was drawn to Ceony and Thane, and looked forward to discovering more about them. The build-up to the action was enjoyable and interesting, full of details about Folding, the world, and Ceony's daily life.
When the action came, though, it happened too early in Ceony's training. I was not able to believe that she could beat such a powerful enemy with the few skills she had. That entire adventure, while it fleshed out the backstories of our three main characters (who up to then had been rather one dimensional), seemed forced and even silly. Then there was the big question: why did our villain imprison Ceony, then chase her around that prison trying to kill her, when Ceony could have been eliminated when first captured?
The bottom line is that, after a good start, the Paper Magician didn't fulfill it's promise and was a disappointing read. It must be considered, though, that it was Holmberg's first novel. I'm tempted to read the next in this series to see if it improves on this one, because I genuinely enjoyed the world, the magic, and the characters.