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 magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper 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.
This series has been so cute and fun. I really liked the unique take on magic that The Paper Magician introduced and the continuation of the second book, but I think this installment was my favorite. The magic and characters that were introduced in the first two books were so much more refined in this one. It still lacked some of the elements that I think would make this series really stand out – more developed characters, more complexity to the plot, and an element of reality that was lacking – but these books were just so charming that it was hard not to like them even with those issues.
I loved how Ceony has grown up in this book, yet she’s still headstrong and impulsive. She thinks more though, and I really appreciated that. We see much more of whats going on in her mind and why she feels so personally responsible to confront the evils that have been following she and Emery throughout the series. I also really enjoyed the development of she and Emery’s relationship. It seemed very one-sided for much of the previous two books, but here we see how Emery feels about her more, and we see why. We know why she loves him – she spent and entire book literally in his heart! So it was nice to see more of how they worked together, their similarities, how they balanced each other, etc.
I also liked the investigation into the different types of magic used in this book and how it could effect the larger scheme of Ceony’s world. Overall, it was a very cute and enjoyable read, like the rest of the series.