The second installment of the fun and easy Paper Magician series. Ceony is tracked down and attacked by a crony from the previous story, and Emery takes her into hiding. Ceony makes some half-cocked bad decisions, spurring the novel into action early, although she does learn a few more paper (and glass) tricks that create such a vividly imaginative world.

The best thing about this series is the magical world building, and in this installment the reader explores more of the glass/mirror magic. The plot itself is silly, predictable, and light, but there seems to be more annoying specifics. Don’t take the period and setting of 19th century Britian literally, because it’s not consistent. Don’t expect Ceony to be a model of a clever, innovative young woman. She wants to get married to her 12-year senior teacher, have babies, and wear long skirts.

In addition, I can’t believe how often Ceony’s skin is mentioned in order to convey her emotional state. After some time, I began keeping note of them, and a few are listed below. “Shivers like ants”, ” her cheeks and chest blushed”, “barely registering the tingling of her hands”, ” flush crept into her ears”, “the flush began to creep across her skin”, ” vibrant pink that tainted her skin”, “exile itching under her skin”, “a chill coursed up her arms”, ” gooseflesh tickled her arms and legs”, “flushing redder than the tomatoes”, ” gooseflesh prickled her arms despite the heat”.

Ninety percent through the book, the POV shifts to Emery. Since there is zero precedent for shifting viewpoints, this is quite jarring. The subsequent reveal of his personal feelings for Ceony is heavy handed and not really necessary. 

Recommended as a teen fantasy romance series for those in need of some superficial fun in an imaginative new fantasy world.

“If I didn’t take risks like this, you’d be dead!” she shot back. She swung her hand out, nearly knocking a seashell from the sink beside her. “I can’t sit idly by while the rest of the world goes on without me!”

“You do not hold up the world,” Emery replied, closer to his normal volume. “You are not God, and it’s time you stopped acting like you were.”