Thursday, 19 March 2015

Review: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Publication Date: 4th November 2014
Publisher: 47 North
Length: 222 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.
When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

There were a lot of things I liked about the first book in this series ‘The Paper Magician’ although it didn’t follow the route I expected, I thought that it was fantastic unique idea that echoed a lot of the things that I loved about ‘The Night Circus’. So I was really excited to see where Holmberg took this second instalment.

There was a lot that really worked for me in ‘The Glass Magician’ but there were some things that left me feeling a little cold and sadly the relationship between Emery and Ceony was one of those. I wanted to love them and individually I do, but there is something about the set up of the relationship that really doesn’t work for me. I think it’s a combination of the age difference and that he is in a position of power as her teacher. Whilst nothing is really happening so far and it feels very one sided on Ceony’s side, there are so many little things that Emery does that buoy Ceony’s hope and devotion to him and it feels cruel and unfair. It makes the whole thing feel as though it is an infatuation on her side that is ultimately making their relationship strained and Emery feel uncomfortable – which is not a great state of affairs for a romance plot. In its current state it really doesn’t work for me, which is a shame because I want to love them. However I’m willing to wait and see how things play out in the third instalment before judging it fully.

The same issue that I had with the first book is sadly present again here, with modern language and Americanisms creeping into the characters speech which ruins the setting of turn of the century London.

The last thing is that Ceony’s actions made perfect sense in the first book, whereas here they don’t. She needlessly throws herself into danger and ultimately seems to make things worse and a whole lot of bad things happen, instead of working with the people who actually know what they’re doing. I know they are excluding her which is frustrating and makes her want to take matters into her own hands, but she is so woefully underprepared in every encounter that it just made it painful to read.

However despite these issues I really enjoyed the book. It’s fast paced and is set in such a fantastic and imaginative world. I loved that we saw a lot more of the world in this book and got to meet some more characters. The first book was very much a three person story with Lira, Ceony and Emery, so it was wonderful to branch out and explore the world and the magic and everything that came with that. I can’t wait for the third instalment of the trilogy to come out later this year as despite the set backs, this is a really wonderful series that I have loved discovering.

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