Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Glass Magician is a sequel to The Paper Magician and picks up more or less where the previous novel ended. Ceony Twill has embraced paper magic and finds herself increasingly drawn to her teacher, Emery Thane. Having saved his life, she hopes they can settle down and that he will one day reciprocate her feelings. An old enemy, however, threatens her new life, believing she has a secret, a secret that could change the world of magic forever.
The first novel was a charming, but slight steampunk fantasy. Its greatest strength was its original magic system that turned origami, paper mache, and storytelling into a reasonably coherent form of sorcery. Holmberg attempts to transform mirrors and glass into a similar system with mixed results. Indeed, the magical world is paradoxically less clear in this installment. There is a complex master-apprentice system, and a vaguely defined magical government.
This novel is even more interested in the relationship between Ceony and Thane. Thane, however, remains more an idea than a fully-fledged character, for all that he is the object of Ceony’s affections and a major portion of both novels is spent examining him.
The Glass Magician shows a great deal of promise. It offers light steampunk romance with an engaging heroine, and the seeds of a fascinating world, but was not as engaging as I had hoped.
The Glass Magician can be found here on Amazon.
Received a Copy From NetGalley For Review