Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
This book was very enjoyable, it has some flaws, but they were not so much to take away from the original story at the heart of the book (no pun intended).
I enjoyed Ceony, and her gradual growth. She’s pretty stubborn, a bit selfish, and has strong opinions. With that though, she’s quick to accept her mistakes and move forward, which rounds her out pretty well and makes her likable. Her teacher, Emery, seems like a nice guy, but traveling through his heart really allows us an interesting way to get to know a character. Like Ceony, we are seeing the best and worst of him at one time and weighing those factors against each other to decipher his true character. We also see more into Ceony’s traits and her background through her adventures through his heart.
All of this I thought was really fun and an interesting way to get to know our characters. However, I did have some trouble with how quickly Ceony learns all these magic tricks. I understand she’s very advanced, top of her magic prep school class and all that, but it just didn’t seem like enough time. Maybe I missed time passing in the book or something. Also, I really hope to learn more about these Excisioner’s in the other books, and Emery’s role in trying to capture them, there were a lot of questions about all that left open at the end of this book.
I was able to get this free on my Kindle with my Prime account, which only allows me to borrow one book a month, so I just got the second one and will have to wait till October for the 3rd. If I like the second one though I may just buy them, I really enjoyed this first book, it was a fun read.