I have a confession to make: I have fallen hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with Emery Thane.
He’s not your typical literary love interest. He’s not buff, mysterious, and brooding. He’s not an alpha male. He doesn’t ooze sex appeal and sleep with woman after woman yet still make you sympathetic because of his secret loneliness or unrequited love. He’s not the guy all the girls want. But my goodness, he is so absolutely perfect. He’s beautiful on the outside with his shaggy, black hair and sparkling, green eyes, and he’s beautiful on the inside with his quirky, weird, quiet, and sweet personality. He’s also passionate about the things he considers important and the people he cares about and has hidden strength and emotion that you don’t see coming. He thinks differently and sees the world differently than other people do, and it gives him that kind of uniqueness that some people don’t understand, but that’s ok because he doesn’t care what other people think; he’s just himself.
I swear this series was worth reading, to me if for no other reason than finding such a lovable character—there aren’t enough characters like him. But I did also enjoy the book as a whole. I liked the premise a lot; the concept of different forms of magic based on materials was unique, and I don’t know why Ceony was so bummed about being assigned to paper because I thought the paper magic was beautiful! This book actually had me appreciating paper, and all things related, like books, in a whole new way. The plot also kept me hooked and invested in what was going to happen next.
This was a magical book that’s part of a trilogy but works great as a standalone with no cliff-hanger if you decide not to continue. It’s got a unique take on magic and was an enjoyable read.
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 1st read.*
2nd Read Update:
I’m kind of embarrassed by my original review. 😅 I think I felt mostly the same this time, but not as extreme. It could simply be that I didn’t have the same sense of wonder, since I already knew the characters, plot, and magic system. I didn’t fall in love with Emery in quite the same way, but my description of him is not incorrect. He was eccentric and interesting and imperfect. I also enjoyed the uniqueness of the magic system and the whole idea of going into someone’s heart and traveling through the chambers, each of which represents something different. Ceony’s actions were super rash and not entirely believable, but I could let that slide for the sake of the story, and I could believe her falling for Emery after learning so much about him and really seeing the kind of person he was, in such an intimate, unfiltered way that would normally take far more time. Overall, not a book that blew me away, but a unique and memorable one!
Anyone who enjoys a unique take on magic, quirky characters, and cute, clean romance.