Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Master Magician

The Master Magician

Charlie N. Holmberg
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
47North, 2015   ISBN: 978-1477828694

Several months ago Ceony Twill and her mentor Magician Emery Thane faced lethal enemies and barely survived the encounter. Thankfully, all their enemies are either dead or incarcerated, and since then Ceony has been able to focus her energies on honing her craft as a Folder. She has progressed so well that Emery has decided that she can take her final test very soon. If she passes, which he is sure she will, Ceony will be a fully-fledged paper magician.

Coeny is excited at the prospect of being a Magician, but she is also looking forward to this advancement in her life because once she is a Magician, she and Emery will no longer have to keep their relationship a secret. Before the awful business with the Excisioners, Ceony and Emery tried to keep their feelings for each other buried. After they almost died at the hands of Grath Cobalt and Saraj Prendi, Ceony and Emery gave up on pretending, and instead they freely accepted the love that they had for one another. Now all they have to do is to wait a little longer and then they will be able to be a couple in public.

In addition to her paper magic studies, Ceony has also been working on another project. Thanks to Grath, Ceony has found out that a magician can be bonded with more than one material. Though she is bonded to paper, she can break that bond and bond with another material such as metal, glass, or fire. Secretly Ceony has been working on spells that manipulate these other materials and it has been a fascinating and enlightening process. No one knows what she has been up to and she plans on keeping things that way.

One morning Emery announces that he does not feel that he can test her for her “magicianship.” Worried that people might think that he is biased, he has arranged for Ceony to go and stay with another paper magician called Magician Pritwin Bailey for a few weeks. At the end of that time Ceony will be tested. Ceony remembers that Magician Bailey and Emery are not the best of friends. Hopefully Magician’s Bailey’s dislike of Emery will not become an issue.

That night a telegram arrives at Emery’s cottage and Ceony finds out that Saraj Prendi, the extremely dangerous Excisioner, has escaped from custody and is on the loose. Emery wants Ceony to trust that the authorities will be able to find Saraj Prendi, but Ceony cannot simply wait to see what will happen next. She has to protect her family and herself.

Determined not be Saraj’s next victim, Ceony decides to go on the offensive. She will find the Excisioner herself. She seeks out information about the man and learns that Magician Aviosky does not seem to know what Saraj Prenti will do next or what the authorities are doing to try to track him down. Magician Aviosky agrees to keep Ceony posted if any new information comes to light. In the meantime, she tells Ceony no to worry because she and her family will be safe.

Not comforted by these words, Ceony decides to use her magic skills to see if she can figure out what Saraj Prenti’s next move might be. She uses paper birds to seek him out. Then she uses her new magical abilities with glass to further her efforts to find the man who could destroy everything that she has worked for and everyone she loves.

This final book in the Paper Magician trilogy brings Ceony’s story to a close, taking readers on an adventure that is exciting and at times truly terrifying. Readers will enjoy seeing how far Ceony has come, and they will celebrate with her as she finds her voice and the courage she needs to face her greatest fears.