This is one of the very few books I have actually read on my kindle, generally preferring a solid copy, but when I read the description of this book I couldn’t resist, I mean she can read out words on paper and the images appear in front of her!? I must learn more of this magic.
Obviously I found the plot of this book instantly fascinating, and something I hadn’t heard of before, magicians bonding themselves to certain materials was a new form of magic to me and I loved the idea of it. As well as the intriguing plot, this book also offers quite interesting characters. So often I complain about 2 dimensional characters that are totally void of personality, and that sometimes when the plot is strong all focus goes to that and the author forgets about the character. However Holmberg managed to make both equally fascinating, both main characters are set up with a wonderful air of mystery and their secrets are slowly revealed quite well.
Unfortunately (now we get to the bad stuff) in spite of this fabulous plot and multi- dimensional characters, throughout this book you can’t help but feel like something is constantly missing. And that is because so much is! The idea is that Ceony graduated Tagis Praff and is starting her apprenticeship with Thane. Now I don’t know about anyone else but when I started at this point in Ceony’s story I had to go back and check I was definitely reading the first book in the series, as it seems like Ceony’s time at school should have been included, and also would have given readers a much better insight into the world which the book is set. I mean I know the whole magic school thing has been done before, but hey it works right? (Also if I am wrong about this plot being original please correct me as I’d love to read something similar!)
In general the setting of this book is not built on enough. I only discovered this book was set in the 20th century from reading someone else’s review of it. There are so many things that were not described in this setting and should have been, I mean Lira, a female, was wearing tight trousers? Is that historically accurate? Point being: if you are going to go historical fiction, put a lot of time and research into it. Don’t have it where it could set anywhere, commit to the world you have selected. Another thing disappointing about the setting is that it is set only on the outskirts of London? I use a question mark on this statement as I personally can not understand how you can set a book right beside one of the most vibrant cities in the world and not use it. Do you even need more inspiration for a story than ’20th century London’?
Overall my biggest criticism to Charlie N. Holmberg is technically a compliment, as I’m in love with the plot and characters of this book, but I want SO MUCH more of it! More research, more setting, more background and also not meaning to spoil but more romance in your romance.Of course due to my wildly romantic hopes I have every intention of reading the follow up ‘The Glass Magician’ to see if Holmberg can deliver, and to catch up with Ceony and Thane of course.