Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I recieved an ARC via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

Why oh why did I not read this book earlier?

This story is so sweet and I haven’t read something quite so whimsical since The Night Circus. The writing was beautiful, the characters realistic and the pacing perfect. The only thing I found a little not quite happy with was the teacher apprentice romance developed in the end.

1. The Writing

For once, finally, I’m reading a book written by someone who can actually write good prose. The story is very readable and the pacing very well done. While I thought the whole journey through Mg Thane’s heart to be a little too long, it was nonetheless continuously interesting. The dialogue was good. The descriptions didn’t lack in anything. Everything. Was. Good.


2. The World

There could have a been a little more worldbuilding than there was in the book, but there’s nothing that’s glaringly awful that would make me cringe or anything. We’re not told the limitations of magic asides from the binding to a couple selected materials.

I feel rather uninformed about the excisioner and it would have been nice to have gotten a little more backstory on them and how they came to be. On the other hand, since this is a series, possibly it could have been saved for the next book, so I’m not going to complain too much about that.

I think a time period would have been nice too.

3. The Romance

Ok. Am I the only one seriously kind of creeped out by this eventually apprentice and teacher romance? Especially since this teacher has been married once and the apprentice is barely out of school? I don’t understand why this had to be a romance and why not a really deep friendship.

Friends are a thing you know.


From the complaints of other reviewers, it seems that the biggest problem is historical inaccuracy. I have no clue about any historical facts at the time. In any case, if you’re easily bothered by that, maybe be wary about reading this book. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful book.

View all my reviews


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