I'll go with the good first. I do like the magic system. Though it's not 100% explained. You go to a magical secondary school where you learn about magic and then are an apprentice to a magician in your chosen specialty when you actually learn how to do magic. You can be bound to only one medium that humans create, such as paper, metal, glass, etc. People have theorized that as being made from a human, the human body can also be used for magic, but it's mainly looked as a scary story type of thing.
Ceony is chosen to be bound to paper. She had hoped to get metal, but apparently paper magicians are in short supply so she ends up at the doorstep of the magician Thane. She takes to paper quite quickly and begins to enjoy it and getting to know her teacher. Shortly after her arrival, a mysterious woman shows up, magics out Thane's heart, and runs off with it.
Now some of the issues. Ceony is a bit of a mary sue with red hair, natural ability despite not wanting to do paper and developing feelings for her teacher very quickly. A good chunk of the book takes place in Thane's memories and though we get to know him better, the scenes feel cherry picked from his life than an overview. Also as a result we know much more about his story by the end instead of Ceony. Additionally while we learn more about his backstory with the mysterious woman, there was a lot left out.
Another issue I had was that it is supposed to be set the early 1900s in England. Other than some references to places and a lack of modern technology I would have never guessed that.
I did already pick up the next one since it was available on netgalley and I am curious about where the storyline will go, but it won't be a priority.