Paper Mage Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Paper Mage

Roc, March 2003, 6.50, 352 pp.
ISBN 0451459172

During the Tang Dynasty in the city of Bao Fang, a young girl loses her father and brothers in an accident at sea forcing the female survivors (she, her sisters and her mother), to live with their Aunt Wang Tie Tie. In an age when women are subordinate to men, Wang Tie Tie is an independent person who runs her own household and businesses. She sends her niece Xiao Yen to school to learn to be a PAPER MAGE, one who folds paper into shapes and bring them to life.
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Xiao Yen promises her aunt that she will do daring deeds to attract the attention of the god Zhang so he will give her a peach to give to her an aunt so she too will become immortal. On her very first job, guiding two men to a predetermined destination, she slays a dragon, frees a goddess from a tyrant's spell, and kills an evil dictator. Slaying someone forces Xiao Yen to decide whether she wants to be a traditional Middle Kingdom woman or an independent person.

It is very obvious that the author researched Ancient Chinese culture and history during the time of Charlemagne in Europe so that readers obtain a very visual picture of the country. The heroine is an interesting mix of independence and dependency on her family. When she grows into being a mage, she does so knowing what many of the ramifications will be. Leah R. Cutter has written a cutting edge historical fantasy balanced between plenty of action, strong visualization of Ancient China, and deep introspective pondering on the part of a delightful protagonist.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Paper Mage

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   a powerful magician Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Family relations    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   mage/magician Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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