Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

BLOG“Those with a taste for the olive oil cake crave strength, while those who come back for the berry tarts are, unknowingly, seeking wisdom.”

Marie is a baker who is able to infuse feelings and abilities into the food she makes, and transfer them to those who eat it.  She has no recollection of her past, who she was or where she came from.  Her quiet life is disrupted when marauders invade the town, kidnapping her and selling her to Allemas who forces her to make malevolent treats, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage.  During this time she begins to get visits from a ghostly apparition with a connection to her past, which slowly brings back long lost memories to surface.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is a dark tale.  Much darker than the description or the cute cover led me to believe.  It does have a considerable amount of violence and abuse, so if that is something you have an aversion to in books then this is not for you.  I really like the idea and premise of the story, however I felt very much disconnected from it.  Reading anything with a lot of violence is typically not for me, and the fact that it dominates so much of the narrative left very little for me to connect to.  I would have preferred much more focus on Marie’s abilities and the magical aspects of the story. The descriptive writing style does flow very well and is slow paced.  It is a book with an appealing concept, and may be the perfect read for you depending on your reading preferences.

*ARC provided by NetGalley.  Publication date: June 28, 2016.

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