Paper Mage / Leah Cutter

Title / Paper Mage
Author / Leah R. Cutter
First Published / 2003
Page no. / 312
Overall Rating / ★.5

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This is a standalone historical fantasy book set during the Tang Dynasty. It follows a young girl called Xiao Yen, who is a paper mage that gets her first employment protecting some foreigners travelling through the Middle Kingdom. A Paper Mage is a magic user who can give folded paper creations some semblance of life. The size and versatility of these creatures will depend on the mage’s power. A low powered paper mage may only be able to create a tiger that patrols a certain area, whereas a high powered mage will be able to create a tiger that not only patrols, but also attacks and/or defends when needed.
The magic system was one of the main things that I liked about this book. It was something that I’ve never come across before and I thought it was a really interesting concept. I also liked that the protagonist is a newly graduated paper mage, so she isn’t particularly powerful. This meant that she had to rely on her wits as well. In terms of the plot, it is quite a slow read and the story fluctuates between two timelines. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the flashbacks, it does provide a look into Xiao Yen’s past and more of an understanding of her character. I thought the characters were all well written and I liked Xiao Yen as a protagonist. There is some repetition in terms of the writing, but generally the writing was really good and I found it easy to settle into the flow of the story.
Overall I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend checking it out, if you are interested. It’s not a fast paced read but if you’re looking for a new fantasy book set during the Tang Dynasty with an interesting magic system, then this may be worth reading. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

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