Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Celes Chere

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

<–Squall Leonhart

*Potential spoilers for everything involving the topic character and their game.

CW: Discussions of depression and suicide.

Name: Celes Chere
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Job: Imperial General
Age: 18/19

Major Arcana: The Hanged Man – Picking Celes’ card was so much harder than I originally thought it would be.  I’d pegged her as either The High Priestess or The Empress since those are the typical female defaults, but Celes isn’t a “typical female” (whatever that means anyway).  She’s a woman general, a typically masculine job, and she’s young, really young.  Everything about her seems to exist as a unity of opposites to Terra, the other main female character.  She’s heavenly (Celes as in “celestial”) to Terra’s “earth;” ice to Terra’s fire; and she’s a high ranking military officer to Terra’s bondage.  Of course Celes is bound herself even before her arrest, which is proven by her very imprisonment .  She acted on her conscious after disillusionment with the Empire and wound up sentenced to death.  Her entire existence, occupation, and powers were entirely predicated on the Empire’s whims, but it isn’t until she defies Imperial orders that she understands that…and realizes that even someone completely raised and indoctrinated into a regime can still be themselves.  There’s an ineffable quality to a person that can override even the deepest programming if pushed to the limit.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Light Motifs

Final Fantasy Friday

We’ve been without a music question for far too long, and since it’s a bit too late for me to do another character assessment (alas!).  Those take a momentous amount of time.  I think I did the last (and first) one in around three hours.  I’ll probably do quite a few in the weeks to come since I’ll be on vacation, so you should leave your suggestions for whom I should do next in the comments!  I was planning on going through every character one game at at time starting with IV, but you all should know by now, my position can be swayed, and I try to keep my minions followers happy 😉

What’s your favorite character theme?

Now, I could say Sephiroth, since “One Winged Angel” could be considered his leitmotif, but he technically has another song associated with him, “Those Chosen By the Planet,” which is the one you first hear in the basement of the mansion with the bells and the drums that sound like a beating heart (a common feature in VII’s music for an eerie but obvious reason).  Then the bass drops, and what’s been appropriately dubbed “the music of evil” comes through on an organ with strings in the background.  Give a listen to this version here.  The organ is replaced by sepulchral voices, but this in no way diminishes the effect (in fact it’s possible the organ in the original game is supposed to represent such voices).

OWA became his leitmotif as the song most associated with him, but since I can use Sephiroth and his song as an answer for favorite final boss music, I can give another answer here (I just couldn’t resist talking about him for a little bit :p)

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Final Fantasy Friday: Character Crush

Final Fantasy Friday

One of the best things about being a fangirl or fanboy (though they apparently have nuanced differences beyond suspected gender, which I’ll explain momentarily) is our ability to crush on anyone (and sometimes anything).  Hell, the term “fangirl” is now a verb meaning (among other things) to flail wildly, crush, and/or obsess over a character, and this is one of the areas the two terms have slight differences.

While fanboy and fangirl should only denote the gender that the particular person identifies as, their meanings go a bit beyond.  Fanboys are usually the ones who nitpick, weed out, and formulate theories about their favorite works and characters.  They argue over what’s canon, what’s head canon, what’s non-canonical, and what’s just plain crackpottery/tinfoil.  Fangirls stereotypically freak out and flail over their crushes, write fanfiction, swoon over pictures, and create and disseminate gifs and fore mentioned pictures.  Both fanboys and fangirls cosplay, and fanboys seem to be more connected with fanart as fangirls are connected to fanfiction (this could also be why fanart is held in higher regard than fanfiction, something I continually critique and that you can read more about here).

By these definitions, I am both a fanboy and a fangirl.  The difference is pretty sexist if you ask me, where fanboys are implied to be more interested in the narrative, characters, and foundation whereas fangirls are portrayed as more vapid and insipid.  This is sadly common where things girls and even women like are viewed as less valuable (e.g. fanfiction, romance novels, boy bands, etc.), and they’re often mocked for it.  If they try to be more “fanboyish,” they’re accused of being “fake geek girls,” *rolls eyes* and the accusers will then force them to prove their devotion in ways that would never be demanded if they were male.

So…I got a little bit ranty and venty.

Enough venty to hold all the coffee

My point was being a fan of any type usually means you have at least one crush, and Final Fantasy plays host to so many beautiful people, you have the crème de la crème from which to choose.

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The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: Kept – I’ve only read one book that involved Mercedes Lackey, and it was a collaboration with Piers Anthony, If I Pay Thee Not in GoldThis held my interest enough to give it a try.
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Kept (RWTR) – This is currently one of the many books with giveaway contests on Goodreads.  I doubt I’ll win, but I’d buy I plan to buy it eventually anyway.  It’s so beautifully written with such a dark premise.
  3. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene: Passed – This comes off as overly religious and preachy.  I love religious symbolism, but this book seems like it’s going to have some judgmental moral at the end of it as to why the town is shrouded in darkness, and I just have no interest.
  4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Kept (RWTR) – I saw this book in Target a few months ago, but didn’t make the purchase because I wasn’t sure.  I regret not doing so.  The beginning is haunting as the main character Adelina overhears her father literally sell her to a merchant in order to pay off his debts, because no other man would want her due to the ravages of the “blood fever.”
  5. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Green: Passed – The beginning is very confusing and jumbled.  I’m guessing the author wants to introduce the premise of what it feels like to “jump” into the minds of other species, but that’s already enough of an odd concept that obfuscating it even more makes the narrative damn near impossible to follow.  I was hoping for something akin to how GRRM describes warging in ASOIAF, but the beginning of this book is unfortunately a convoluted mess.  The blurb sounds really interesting, and I hate to pass on it, but it really lost me at the start.
  6. The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer: Kept (RWTR) – I’m surprised by this one.  I thought I was going to pass on it and didn’t consider it would wind up on my really-want-to-read list, but the way the people of this fantastic version of Venice are subjugating and abusing mythical creatures such as mermaids and stone lions calls for a great reckoning.
  7. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Kept (RWTR) – This book was fascinating from the start.  Set in the Gold Rush Era, the main character is a girl who can sense gold, yet her family is still struggling.  Her father has some kind of ailment, and her parents don’t seem as overjoyed with her ability as you’d think.  I’m guessing because if anyone knows about it, they’d try to exploit her, and this seems to be the catalyst of the story.
  8. A Thread in the Tangle by Sabrina Flynn: Kept – I think if I hadn’t added the last two books to my really-want-to-read list I would’ve added this one, too.  Sometimes I reconsider and do that later, if a story stays with me, because this one is introduces some fantastic dynamics.  The one character (who appears to be more than human) is clearly not afraid of the emperor, and he seems to care far more about the monarch’s daughter than her father does (what is the title for an emperor’s daughter anyway?  I guess you could still use princess), seeing as the emperor is threatening to lock a four year old in the dungeon until she can be sold.  WTF.
  9. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Kept (RWTR) – This book is a dream to someone who loves both magical realism and angels.  The main character may not be one for true, but having the wings of a bird is close enough for me.  The  language is lush and beautiful, and this is firmly on my to-buy-next shelf.  I could’ve purchased it on Kindle, but this is one of the novels I want to own a physical copy of.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $16.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $22.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 18

Day 1

<–Day 17                                                                                                                 Day 19–>

Day 18: Favorite protagonist.

Why is this question harder than favorite antagonist?  Athena from AmbiGaming asks the same thing in her post to the same, so if you’re seeking some clues to the answer, I’d suggest you look there.

For Final Fantasy, it’s a toss up between Cecil Harvey from IV and Celes Chere from VI.  Cecil manages to fight and overcome the darkness that threatens to consume him and manages to consume *spoiler* his brother and his best friend *end spoiler* at least for a time, because Cecil is a literal white knight at heart.

Then there’s Celes who went from general to prisoner to rebel to depression/suicidal after she lost everything.  I never realized how deep that part of the game was until I was older, but if certain things go awry (even after the world ends), Celes throws herself into the sea.

For non-Final Fantasy Aurora from Child of Light is up there.  She’s brave, resourceful, and compassionate, much more mature than her years even in the beginning when she’s a little girl.  She’s the best fairy tale heroine I’ve ever come across, doesn’t  bleed “damsel in distress” in the least, even throughout all the trials and heartbreaking revelations in Lemuria.

Favorite protagonists are hard to pick.  I can’t pinpoint just one like I can with villains.  I think it’s because with villains we pick our favorites based on what qualities inspire the most sympathy and connection.  In a way we may fear falling as they did, so we might be more forgiving for our favorites because we see a reflection of ourselves.  There are many different ways to be a protagonist (not saying there aren’t many different ways to be a villain), and each one we find will have qualities we like and can look up to.  This may be why we’re more likely to like different types of protagonists, but generally prefer one type of villain.

Let’s hear your favorite protagonists in the comments!

<–Day 17                                                                                                                 Day 19–>


Final Fantasy Friday: The Age of Acquisition

You can answer this question with merely a number, possibly even a single digit…

How old were you when you played your first Final Fantasy?

I was 14, and I know this for a fact because Final Fantasy VI (then Final Fantasy III) was my first FF, and it came out in 1994.  I remember how happy I was when I watched my brother beat it for the first time, because it has such an uplifting, hopeful ending.  I mean the entire theme of the game is hope and how Terra represents that in a sort of Pandora’s Box parallel per the story Banon (the Returners’ leader) tells in an attempt to persuade her to join.

Holy shit…I actually remember that.  Well, I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy VI. It was the video game that brought me into the world of fanfiction.  I’ll have to dig those up some day, dust them off, and present them for your amusement.  They mostly concern Celes, my favorite character,

but at one point I attempted to novelize the entire game.  I think I stopped around the time the party first gets to South Figaro, but I elaborated on some side characters, delved into some of the implied politics, and tried to render in words what the game meant to me at the time.  I’d probably do a much better job of it now with two decades worth of life experience (and knowledge of A Song of Ice and Fire for political intrigue), but at the time, it was a great way for me to stretch my writing wings.  There are still parts I made up for my FFVI fanfics that I use to this day in original work.

Even though I didn’t continue with the story directly, I did pick up later to write about the part where Locke rescues Celes, and I restarted again during the World of Ruin with Celes on the edge of that cliff.  My teenage brain never registered that this was the first game (and possibly story) I’d ever seen where a character made a suicide attempt, but I found it much easier to write about the former general’s despair in the face of Cid’s death than if the old man had survived.  That colored the character and her journey through a desolate, despondent world, and I’m a bit sorry I didn’t continue with it.  With that part, I stopped right before Celes and co reach Jidoor to connect with Setzer again.  Writing the fight with the tentacle monster infesting Figaro Castle’s engine room was both exhilarating and fun.

Maybe I’ll down a bottle of wine and actually post my old fanfiction without any edits for you to peruse 😉

I picked this question because I thought my answer would be short o.O

When did you play your first Final Fantasy?  If that’s an N/A question for you, let me know when your played your first RPG (Legend of Zelda counts in my book).


30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 16

Day 1

<–Day 15                                                                                                                 Day 17–>

Game with the best cut scenes.

You all know I have to say Final Fantasy VII, though it’s obviously not the only game with great cut scenes.  I’m not going to post the most famous cut scene in the land since the Remake is coming out…eventually, and amazingly, that scene is now spoiler territory again for those who didn’t play the first time around, but it occurred 20 years ago, and is still counted amongst the best and most shocking scenes in video game history.

All of the Final Fantasies have amazing cut scenes to be honest, ever since they started them in FFVII and even the ones added to older FFs are stellar.  I’m particularly fond of the opening to Final Fantasy IV.

And this one for FFVI always gives me chills.

For non-Final Fantasy there are too many in Mass Effect to count, especially Mass Effect 2.  I’m trying to remember what the name of the green skinned asari was, but she had a thing for Shepherd, and the look on her face when she made a bit of a pass at her was heartbreaking and beautiful.

Then of course there’s the cut scene in Twilight Princess when the eponymous Midna’s true form is revealed.

I was just as speechless as Link.

What’s your favorite cut scene?  Let me know in the comments, and yes, I accept links 😉

<–Day 15                                                                                                                 Day 17–>

The State of the Reader: 6/14/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/7/17          The State of the Reader: 6/21/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Starglass by Phoebe North: Kept – I kept it, but I didn’t read that much of the sample.  Too many dead mom feels :\
  2. The Passage by Justin Cronin: Kept (RWTR) – I would’ve bought this had it not been so expensive.  Stories this immersive come along once in a blue moon, and the brief sample painted a picture I wish more people could understand: how poverty, domestic abuse, and lack of support utterly destroys lives.  Some people have no one to turn to when everything goes wrong, and they are driven to make undesirable choices when in reality there is none.
  3. Everlost by Neal Shusterman: Kept – I took it off my really-want-to-read list because the language is a bit juvenile, and I was expecting it to be more profound.  I think it’s more mid-grade than YA, so the author chose simpler language I suppose.
  4. Anomalies by Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman: Passed – Just rereading the blurb again told me this would have to blow me away with its prose for me to keep it.  It didn’t and the title makes me think it’s going to be in a similar vein to Divergent, which I was lukewarm on anyway, so this is going into my passed bin.
  5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: Kept – The gentle writing in this reminded me of how the early 1900 were romanticized, not how they really are.  While that narrative isn’t true, there is still a beauty in the lie.
  6. Fire, Fury, Faith by N. D. Jones: Kept – There’s a dearth of paranormal romance that features people of color, so I like to support whenever I can.  Plus this is about angels, my favorite thing ever.
  7. Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia: Kept – The writing is lush and pretty, and there’s something endearing about the android main character Mattie.
  8. Among Others by Jo Walton: Kept – Though the blurb puts this book into the fantasy genre, what I’ve read so far could just be considered magical realism or even magical wishism.  Nothing particularly magical has happened or rather the supposed magical thing could be chalked up to coincidence.  The language of the writing and the fact the main character loves reading sci-fi has me intrigued.

Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: Gaslight Hades
Series Title: The Bonekeeper Chronicles
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Purchased: June 11, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Reader: 6/7/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/31/17          The State of the Reader: 6/14/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Names by Don DeLillo: Passed – I read White Noise by the same author in my postmodern literature class, and I loved it, but this one just didn’t catch me at all.
  2. All Fall Down by Christine Pope: Kept – I love the main character’s blunt, no-nonsense voice.  It works perfectly for her role.  I also love that she’s a doctor in a medieval fantasy setting, and she’s respected as such for the most part.  The only people who don’t respect her are the slaver’s who’ve captured her, obviously.  She makes it a point to say that her order values science so she’s not like the religious healers they compare her to.
  3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Kept – It didn’t strike me as hard as The Raven Boys, but Maggie Stiefvater still has this way about her writing that’s just so alluring.
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: Passed – I really wanted to like this one.  I talked myself into adding it after seeing it pop up in my newsfeed a few times.  I won’t say I should’ve just passed on it without giving it a try, because you never know, but the story just doesn’t grab me.
  5. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds: Kept – The mystery of what killed off this alien civilization almost a million years ago overrides my dislike of the main character.  He could just be driven, but if there’s something called a “razorstorm” coming your way, it seems logical that you’d want to get yourself and people out of there.  I’m also wondering if this is a Reaper like situation.
  6. Alive by Scott Sigler: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit does this story drag you into a world of fear of confusion.  The main character starts off locked in a coffin, and she has to fight her way out.  She finds herself in a room with 11 other caskets and a plaque by hers with “M. Savage” on it, which is all she knows of her name.  I want to know what’s going on.
  7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab: Kept (RWTR) – If this hadn’t been so expensive, I would’ve bought it immediately.  The Archived in question are the dead, and the story starts out with two deaths and a whole bunch of secrets.
  8. The Crow Box by Nikki Rae: Kept/Purchased – I wasn’t as excited about this one as the above, but it was interesting and not that expensive.  The main character Corbin (which sounds a bit like corvus, the Latin word for crow) is plagued by a voice she doesn’t know is real or fake.  She worries about her mental health in seeing her mother’s struggles, and there’s a little poem in the beginning that suggests this is a kind of ghost story.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 6, 2017
Date Purchased: June 6, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.35
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Reader: 5/31/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/24/17          The State of the Reader: 6/7/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmburg: Kept/Purchased – Interesting enough to warrant a read.  The main character wants to work with steel, but her teacher informs her they don’t have enough paper magicians, so that’s where she’s going to apprentice.  It’s making me think of this anime that I’ve never seen, but I know is about a character who can manipulate   paper.  Read or Die, I think that’s the name of it?  Since the book was cheap on Kindle, I also purchased it.  I can never tell whether or not the price is static or on sale.
  2. Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw: Passed – This is going to sound awful, and lord knows I understand how frustrating market saturation is, but I just don’t feel like reading a story where the main character is a young man with a fated destiny.  If the writing had pulled me in, I’d probably consider it, but it wasn’t really my style.
  3. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones: Kept – I liked the language/writing style, so me keeping this seems counter to what I said above, because this one seems like a “young man with a fated destiny” story, too, but the focus seems to be more on his more talented, witchy sister.
  4. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Kept – I’ve been only reading a page of two of my samples (unless they’re like Radiance and I can’t put it down) before I make my decision if I’m going to keep it, and this one about a talented young singer trying to live in the cold of her opera diva mother’s shadow seems worthy of my time.
  5. The Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway: Kept – Again I only read a few pages of this, but I’ve read the author before under her other name Jan Siegel.  She wrote Prospero’s Children with that moniker, and I loved that series, so I’m sure I’ll find this novel more than adequate. Interesting…so I went to add the link for this, and I have the book on my TBR list twice: once under Jan Siegel and once under Amanda Hemingway.  Let me check Amazon to see what name she’s using…it’s under Hemingway so that’s what I’m going to keep.
  6. The Book of Earth by Marjorie B, Kellogg: Kept – The sleeping dragons keeping the balance instantly reminded me of Mother 3, though in that there was just one, but seven pins (or swords?) that you had to draw in order to awaken it.  I like the unconventional young noble lady, too, even though that’s a tried trope as well.
  7. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black: Kept (RWTR) – This book is everything I could ask for.  Fairy enchantment in a world where iPods exist.  I love the blending of either genres or when genres take place in non-traditional time periods (most people think of sword and sorcery or high fantasy that generally occurs in some medieval era), and the fact that there’s a mother so bad ass she not only figured out her baby was a changeling, but refused to give the fae child back when the fairy woman returned her own.
  8. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow: Kept by Jessica Day George: Kept (RWTR) – I’d already had this on my really-want-to-read list.  I love stories about the dark, cold north (I mean my favorite story’s beginning and conclusion occurs in the north, and depending on how ASOIAF concludes, I may be double talking), and I love fairy tales.  This story does both.
  9. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst: Kept (RWTR) – I was surprised, but not upset to find this book takes place in more modern times where research teams are sent to the Arctic and snow mobiles exist.  Stories like this usually have the quality of disbelief for its characters in seeing magic happen before their eyes, so they share something with those who are reading the tale.  If this book and the prior had been less expensive, I would’ve bought them immediately.
  10. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: Kept (RWTR) – This was one of those samples that only had a few pages, but I am beyond curious to know what’s going on with it.  It starts off with a prologue, which is always a risky move in any story, but it explains how 200 years ago, the builders of the eponymous city left instructions for the people, and they were supposed to be passed down through successive generations, held by the cities mayors, but one of the mayors was corrupted, took home the box the instructions were housed in, and tried to break it open with a hammer.  The sample stopped there, but I want to know why these builders said the people would have to say hidden for at least 200 years.  What the hell happened to the surface above?
  11. The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon: Kept – Even though I’m worried this book might be a touch on the religious side (as in favoring one over the other), I’m still interested in what the daughter does with her mother’s gift.
  12. Adventure Begins by Colin Dann: Kept – So I actually downloaded a different book from the one I had on my TBR list.  I had The Animals of Farthing Wood there or something like that, but I think this one is the first in the series?  I’m not really sure, but since this is what I downloaded, and since it seems to be the first in a series, this is the one I’m going to keep.  Going by my rules of one author per book on my TBR list, I removed Animals for this.  The premise is interesting and definitely something I would’ve read in my younger days.  There’s a feud between the foxes and the otters, because the otters have encroached on the foxes’ hunting territory due to a shortage of fish in the stream.  This issue is further compounded by the fact that otters are rare in this part of England (?), so wherever they live has been declared a sanctuary by humans who won’t chop down and develop the wood due to their presence.  The otters know this and take advantage of it, so I’m curious how the foxes are going to resolve this dilemma.

Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Paper Magician
Series Title: The Paper Magician Trilogy
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Purchased: May 25, 2017

Paper Magician, The

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.50
Retailer: Amazon

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