Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Glass Magician

The Glass Magician

Charlie N. Holmberg
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
47North, 2014   ISBN: 978-1477825945

Three months have passed since Ceony saved Magician Emery Thane’s life, and things are back to normal. The only residual effects of that terrifying adventure are Ceony’s memories of her encounter with Mg. Thane’s blood magician ex-wife, Lira. There is also the fact that Ceony and Mg. Thane have grown close. Neither one of them have forgotten that in the middle of that terrible time Ceony declared her love for her master, for the man who is teaching her how to be a Folder, a paper magician.

Ceony’s education is progressing well and one day Mg. Thane announces that Ceony has to go on a field trip to a paper mill. It seems only right that a paper magician should learn a little about paper, the raw material of her craft. A few days later Ceony and a few other young apprentices travel to Dartford so that they might have a tour of the Dartford Paper Mill.

The tour progresses as one would expect when suddenly the young people are told that the workers are “experiencing some technical difficulties,” and they need to leave the building. They are not outside the mill long before an explosion rips a portion of the mill apart. Thankfully none of the apprentices are hurt, though Ceony and her friend Delilah are rather shaken up. As crowds gather and the police arrive, Ceony notices that a tall, dark-skinned man seems to be looking at her. Then he vanishes and she forgets about him.

The next day Ceony meets Delilah in town for lunch and after Delilah has left the table a man comes and claims her seat. He is wearing a disguise, of sorts, but Ceony recognizes him. He is Grath Cobalt, the most infamous Excisioner, or blood magician, in England. Many people, including Mg. Thane have been trying to capture him for his crimes, but to no avail.  Apparently Grath has been trying to find Ceony ever since her terrifying encounter with Lira, and he wants to know what Ceony did to the evil woman. Ceony ends up telling him that she froze Lira and then she sets off a spell that causes a small explosion. Using the ensuing disruption as a cover, Ceony is able to get away from Grath and she gets home safely.

Mg. Thane explains that Grath had a close relationship with Lira. Ceony already knows that Grath and Lira are close because she saw them together after Lira attacked Mg. Thane, her ex-husband. She saw the terrible things those two are capable of.

Now that they know that Grath is looking for Ceony, Mg. Thane decides that the only thing to do is to leave the cottage where they live and move to the city where they will hopefully be able to disappear. On their way to the city they are attacked. Their buggy driver is killed by someone who stands in the middle of the road and casts a deadly blood spell on him. The buggy crashes into the river, but thankfully Mg. Thane and Ceony survive.

Ceony and Mg. Thane are taken to a police station to report the incident. Other magicians attend and they discuss the situation. Grath is back and he clearly wants to use Ceony to restore Lira, though they do not know why he wants the blood magician back in his life. In addition, another blood magician, Saraj Prendi is in the city and he appears to be trying to kill Ceony; first at the paper mill and then on the road to London. It is hard to understand what the motivations of these two men are, but one thing is very clear; Mg. Thane and the other magicians have to do everything they can to keep Ceony away from them. The problem is that Ceony is sure that she is the only person who can to bring this nightmare to a close. How many more people have to die because she chose, three months ago, to stop Lira from killing Mg. Thane. Ceony feels that she is to blame and decides that it is up to her “to fix this.”

This wonderful second book in the Paper Magician series is just as captivating as the first title was. Ceony’s character is developed further and we come to appreciate that this sensitive young woman is not all she seems. In fact, she is a very special person indeed.