Title: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Synopsis: “Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
“When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.
“During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.”
Review: When I started reading Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew of the novel was that the main character could infuse what she bakes with feelings. I sort of thought it was going to be magical realism similar to Sarah Addison Allen, and I thought a novel about a woman who owns a bakery and makes magical baked goods would be awesome (if anyone knows of a book like that please let me know). This is not that novel.
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is a fantasy novel. It’s set in a fantasy world where magic and gods are real. It starts out with Maire in her bakery, but swiftly turns darker. Most of the town is slaughtered by bandits and Maire is sold into slavery. There are some brutal violent bits, I started to get afraid there was going to be rape (I don’t handle those scenes well and I would have quit right there) but there is not.
Even though it is not the story I thought I was going to be reading, Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet has the excellent writing that I have come to expect from Holmberg, strong well developed characters and careful world building. I definitely recommend fans of fantasy read this novel.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley.**
Publisher: 47 North
If you like this book you may want to read:
The Paper Magician (Paper Magician Series #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen