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Book 213: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Book 213: The Glass Magician (Paper Magician Trilogy #2).
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg, 2014.
Genre: Fantasy. Magic. Period Fiction..
Other Details: ebook. 224 pages.

The official synopsis is rife with spoilers for Book 1 so will not quote. I can say that this takes place three months after the events in The Paper Magician and Ceony Twill is continuing her apprenticeship though is also hoping for a closer relationship with her mentor. Then a magician bent on revenge targets Ceony believing that she possesses an important magical secret. The more experienced magicians seek to address this danger but Ceony in a rather Mary Sue move decides that she and her friend can handle the baddies themselves.

I was less impressed with this second in the trilogy given Ceony's inability to realise that she is very much a junior magician and as a result putting herself and others in mortal danger. As the title suggests magic involving glass formed a large aspect of the tale. I also was not convinced by the climax, which to my feeling weakened the entire premise of the magical system laid out in the first book.

As before the story was very much let down by the setting with Americanisms and wrenching anachronisms, So hoodies, smiley faces and a very odd concept of Parliament Square in London are among Holmberg's crimes against Edwardian England. Fashion too can be added to that as no one was wearing their skirts mid-calf until the 1920s and in one scene she even has a woman wearing "short skirt that barely covered her knees." Just daft.

There are further geographical fails in the second book. At one point Ceony is threatened to be sent abroad - to Wales. There is also some signage in Belgium, which according to one Goodreads reviewer meant that Ceony was "actually in the water off the coast of France, not in Belgium."

The author also has a weird fixation upon 'buggies', which are automobiles and I assume are meant to be taxis for hire. She completely ignores public transport, which was pretty advanced in the early 1900. Instead we have cars everywhere and also guns, another clearly American influence,.

There was some attempt to inject some sense of manners and yet I am also confused as to why people of their class are doing their own cooking, shopping and laundry, which Holmberg does make a lot of. There was no penne pasta this time though Ceony does decide to make black pudding one breakfast rather ignoring what black pudding actually is. Is this just ignorance on part of the author about the period as well as London and/or some strange obsession with home-making? It detracts from the story, which at this modest length needs no padding.

In all I have to wonder if the period setting was just a whim as there is no evidence that the author did any research into the period in any respect. So this was a case of diminishing returns. I may well read the final book in the trilogy to see how the tale plays out. The first two were Kindle Lending Library offerings so cost me nothing apart from my time.
Tags: fantasy, magic, period fiction (20th century)
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