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Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet | Something's missing...

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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.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption. 


✱ Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
✱ Publication date: 28 June 2016
✱ Pages: 306 (ebook)
✱ Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

First Impressions

Would you look at that gorgeous cover?! Also I enjoyed Holmberg's Paper Magician trilogy so I had high hopes.

My Review

Imagination abounding

I mean, really. She is such an imaginative author, I'm always surprised by her writing - magic in baking for example is such a cool idea. There are so many interesting elements in this one that I felt had a lot of potential, but at the same time it felt a bit aimless. I really enjoyed the beginning but it sort of lost its way. In the synopsis some themes are mentioned, like 'folly and consequence,' which I think is quite apt, but it does take quite a while to see the wider effects and the real meaning of these themes.

The protagonist, Maire 

Maire has lost her memory so we're in her head, trying to figure out what's happening right alongside her. She faces some pretty difficult situations and usually keeps a cool head which makes her likeable to me, but I also found I couldn't really identify with her despite that. Maybe that's because it's hard to define the personality of someone who doesn't have their memories? The person Maire is and has been since losing her memory might be someone completely different from who she was before, and I think that has to show in her personality too.

Despite how much I adore imaginative stories...

This one fell a bit flat for me. In a way there's a mystery to it which means you keep waiting and waiting to find out what's really going on. It just didn't really work for me, in the end. If you like your books a bit different from everything else, and you like not knowing where the story is headed you might enjoy this. For me the ending just didn't deliver enough, and something about the execution of the story just diminished the magic overall.

Quick Recap and Rating

I wish I could give Magic Bitter a higher rating, but I didn't love it like I wanted to. The good thing is this one's going to be free for kindle unlimited - so if you have that you can give it a go without spending any extra money.
Have you read the Paper Magician? Are you planning on reading Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet? Have you read books where you had high hopes and it felt promising but fell short? Let me know!

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