Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: The Master Magician (The Paper Magician #3) by Charlie N. Holmberg

 The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #3) 

Synopsis: Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she's kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She's discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own - an ability long thought impossible.

While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another magician for testing - a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony's past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined. 

Date Published: June 2, 2015
Published By: 47North
Number of Pages: 200
Rating: 4/5

The third and final installment in The Paper Magician series is easily the best one. Ceony is practicing different types of magic in secret, an ability long thought impossible. Why is she doing it? Simply because she wants to and because she can. It's fascinating to see Ceony go from a reluctant paper magician's apprentice to an apprentice dabbling in all sorts of magic that even fully qualified Magicians can't do - not at the same time anyway. I love that Ceony is curious and willing to experiment with different kinds of magic while being wise enough to keep the secret to herself until the right moment. 

The relationship between Emery and Ceony has evolved to the point where they're an established couple - but this being the Victorian era, not much happens besides a few chaste kisses and sleeping in the same bed together one night when Ceony had a nightmare. So they're sleeping together but not sleeping together. Not yet, anyway. 

The plot is essentially the same as it was in the first two books - Ceony must hunt down a dangerous magician who is threatening her loved ones. However, the baddest of the villains was saved for this last book which makes for an exciting chase and a thrilling conclusion. I also liked the other part of the plot where Ceony must study for her final exam with a rival of Emery's who absolutely detests him and, by extension, her. It's fun to see Ceony go toe-to-toe with the stubborn Folder, who is determined to remain unimpressed by her, no matter what she does. 

All in all, I was quite satisfied with the ending. This is a nice, light fantasy - there's not a lot of angst, which is nice if you're tired of epic fantasies where your favorite characters are killed off every other chapter. (Nothing against those types of books - I'm just saying this series is nice if you're looking for something different.)

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