The Glass Magician, Charlie N. Holmberg

Caution, mild spoilers ahead.

“But a man doesn’t have to have dark magic to do dark things.”

I jumped from The Paper Magician right onto The Glass Magician. I was biased starting this book because I was already in love with the two characters. But I guess this is a show of good writing, when you just can’t stop yourself from jumping from one page to the other, from one book to the other.

Nevertheless, I didn’t come with high hopes. How many times did you love a book so much that you go for the next one in the series and it just dull and the writing is not as good? Well, this was not the case. If something I found this book with a more gripping story and full of interesting twists that were not there in The Paper Magician.

Needless to say that the scenery was less confusing, but that is not such a hard thing to do when you switch from memories, hopes and fears to the real world, with persecutions, fights and murder. The unique world created by Charlie N. Holmberg keeps surprising with the focus on the glass magic in this new installment of the series.

Some new characters and more presence from the old ones were also a welcome sight. It made the world richer and more welcoming. But there was no story to them. They are there to fill the gaps with no background nor future for them in the series.

On the other hand, the antagonist was more profound with a reason to pursue Ceony, with a rich past and a deep personality, contrary to the one in The Paper Magician. Grath is a powerful enemy, he is respected and feared.

And the love story… Don’t start me on that. I love a good old love story. The more I read, I find fewer and fewer passages that clutch my heart and make me smile like a school-girl but this one certainly did the trick. Yes, it might be wrong, they are a magician and an apprentice, almost 10 years the difference… But was it good? YES!

But, and there is always a but, when there are only 4 stars and not 5. I don’t like a switch from one character to another for the sake of avoiding plot-holes. I think there are other ways of showing a scene that happened without changing the protagonist of the book. I respect Holmberg’s decision, but for me, you either write all the book from one character or all of the book is switching between the two. To find a chapter written from Emery’s point of view was a surprise and for me not a welcome one. I would rather hear it told from his lips when Ceony wakes up in the hospital than to see the scene through his eyes.

And well, we’ll see where this young and smart apprentice will take us in the next book.

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