Monday, August 17, 2015

Mirror Magic

Hola Readers.  How was your weekend?  Did you all do something fun?  I finished a book (finally!) and am ready for a quick ramble so how about it?  The book is The Glass Magician by Charlie Holmbeg.  It is the second book in the Magicians series and follow our paper folder Ceony Twill.  How did I like it?  First as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ceony, our Folder apprentice from the last book is continuing with her learning.  Mg. Thane is continuing to teach her the intricate, delicate, yet oddly versatile world of paper magic.  Of course all of this is tinged with a bit of awkardness after Ceony's trip through Mg. Thane's heart in the last book.  Luckily for Ceony, the trip seems to have affected both participants in a positive way.  Meanwhile Ceony and her friends and family have been targeted by violence stemming from two villains from the last book.  We have Saraj, an Excisioner ( essentially a magician who uses flesh and blood to perform usually nasty tricks) who pretty much just likes to inflict pain and Grath, a Gaffer (a magician who works with glass), a man who wants Ceony to release Lira (again from the last book) from her frozen state.  After several close calls, including a brush with Grath at a restaurant,  and a paper mill exploding, Ceony and Mg. Thane move into London to get things worked out.  Ceony as an apprentice is denied any real part in stopping the villians and she enlists Delilah, a fellow apprentice (who is a Gaffer) to help her catch the bad guys.  Meanwhile, Ceony is dealing with her feelings for Mg. Thane, one cannot expect to explore a person's heart without knowing them intimately.   As for Mg. Thane, it seems as if he shares Ceony's feelings, but keeps her at a bit of a distance due to her being his apprentice.   Ceony convinces Delilah to enchant a mirror for her to travel through and confronts Grath.  This leads to madness and mayhem ( a common theme in books I read).  Eventually Ceony falls into a trap where Grath has learned to unbond with a material and rebond with another (in case you forgot a magician takes an oath at the beginning of their apprentiship that bonds them to their material).  The ritual is simple enough, using the raw material of the magicians bonding element (eg:  sand for glass, wood for paper, etc..) to unbind oneself and then retaking the oath with a new material.  Grath turns into an Excisioner, killing Delilah in the process, and Ceony using the same method turns Gaffer to stop him.  Chaos ensues and Grath is stopped, but Delilah is dead and Ceony injured.  Meanwhile, Mg. Thane sets a nifty little trap for Seraj and imprisons him as well.  He and Ceony profess there love for each other and Ceony admits that she has changed materials, but plans to change back to paper.  She decides to keep the process a secret, but realizes that she is no longer constrained to one material.
First off, you pretty much have to read the first book The Paper Magician for this one to make any sense whatsoever, so there is that.  I felt that compared to the last book, there was a bit more world building in this one which made me happy.  The parts where some of the other magicians and their talents were showcased not only made the world a more sensible place, but allowed for later in the book when Ceony changed materials to make sense.  Since it was shown that she had been taught, had access to, and observed many of these spells being performed, she could then use at least the basics when she changed materials.  I liked that they acknowledged that there is no way for either Ceony or Mg. Thane to go back to "normal" after all of the escapades in the last book.  Speaking of that, I did not really enjoy the inevitable romance between Ceony and Mg. Thane (you will note I refuse to call him Emery, even though in the book it was a big deal).  All of the touching, significant looks, skin tingling and such got repetitive and obnoxious.  They hinted, danced and inferred all the way to the end of the book, but seriously there was no real romantic tension and the rest just felt like grade school note passing.  Delilah's death added some real consequences to Ceony's running off whenever she felt like it, which I felt was much needed since Ceony did not seem to appreciate the magnitude of her behavior most of the time.  On the flip side, the sheer lack of information and allowing of Ceony to do ANYTHING even though it was herself and her family and friends that were in danger was ridiculous considering Ceony was of an age to be an adult!  I enjoyed the extra info on the magics, but felt that such a simple solution to the bonding to materials thing, should/would have been discovered long before and Ceony's insistence on keeping it a secret, even with her valid reasoning seemed kind of selfish and stupid.  Over all it wasn't a bad read.  Not mind blowing, but not unfinishable.  I give it 6 out of 10 paper dolls and will probably finish off the trilogy at some point.  I recommend it to anybody who has read the first book and didn't hate it.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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