That's exactly what Ceony Twill just experienced when she arrives at the doorstep of Magician Emery Thane, ready (or not so ready) to begin her apprenticeship in paper. It's surely completely understandable if she isn't exactly polite to him to begin with. But as she learns more about paper (and more about him), she discovers that it isn't so bad. And then, one day over dinner, his heart is ripped out.
How's that for a premise? Every time I read the blurb on the back of the book, I jump when I get to the heart-ripped-out part. Such a nice, harmless story. . . until you get to that. But that is exactly what makes this book more than a harmless story. Suddenly Ceony has to get over her peevishness and jump into rescue mode, with really very little preparation (but with a paper dog named Fennel as a companion). The rest of the book is suspenseful, but it goes beyond chasing-after-the-evil-magician. As readers, we get to piece together the mystery of Emery Thane's life along with Ceony. We get to cheer her on past her fears and insecurities. And we get to hope desperately for the happy ending that we're not sure will come.
Ceony is an awesome character to get to know, and the world that Charlie Holmberg created is one I would love to live in (minus the whole heart-ripping-out thing). Sometimes the unexpected hero is the only one who can save the day. And who knew that origami might one day save your life?