Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.
When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.
Ceony’s story continues in this second book of The Paper Magician trilogy, where the consequences of her actions at the end of the previous book, which were done to save Emery’s life, now are coming to haunt her. She has been continuing her magical studies, and her confession to Emery inside his heart, and his knowledge of it makes their relationship a bit awkward,but on the surface both are pretending not to be affected by it. There is a growing closeness and affection between them, something which Mg Aviosky definitely doesn’t approve of, which Emery is trying to avoid letting go further on, and which Ceony is determined to pursue. Basically, there is a little angst in this one.
Moving on from the romance, though, the main thing that carries this story is the leader of the Excisioners, who is interested in how Ceony did what she did. There is a game of cat and mouse going on, and Ceony, headstrong that she is, charges right into it without realizing she is the mouse. Look, I am all for a take-charge kind of heroine, but she is inexperienced, and most of her successes are due to convenience. She plans, but she doesn’t fully understand her enemy. The standoff comes about after many altercations, and all I can say about that is that it was a mess I did not understand and am still so confused by. Additionally, there is a single POC character in this book and of course, that one is the crazy homicidal maniac. Figures! *eyeroll*
Overall, this book was underwhelming, especially compared to the brilliance of the first one, and seemed more hung up on casual lingering touches than the high stakes of the plot.