Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

Review

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Genre: Fantasy (YA, maybe)
Pages: 306
Series: No

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3.25 Stars

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Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is a standalone, fantasy novel that follows Maire, a baker who can infuse her creations with different emotions. She makes cakes filled with hope, love, peace and more. She has no memory of her life beyond the last four years and wishes to know her heritage but, despite that, she is quite happy.

That changes when her town is invaded and she is sold into slavery to cruel man who forces her to bake things for him. Add in a ghostly figure named Fyel who wants her to trust him, and her life officially becomes strange.

And it is very strange. But I liked reading about it.

The book starts off very warm and comforting and even when not-so-warm-and-comforting things happen, the writing manages to keep it out of too much darkness. It has a sort of whimsical quality to it that I really liked.

The story of the book is interesting and mysterious and sucks you in easily and Maire was a good protagonist. I even liked the ending.

But the pacing of the book is off. For the most part, it’s slow and even drags at times. But when it came to the conclusion, it just whooshed to the end. I would have liked more of a resolution.

Another problem was that so many things were left unexplained. We still don’t know the deal with the marauders, how the gods work, or even what the norms of the time period and the world are. And that’s not even considering a very big plot point.

You see, a huge issue during the book was that Maire didn’t remember her life and the one who did couldn’t tell her because there was a risk that she would deny it, which would supposedly ruin everything. That was the reason the book went on so long. And then the author didn’t even bother to give us a reason as to why her denying things would cause the problems that it would. There was nothing!

I would have given this book a much higher rating but that was one thing I couldn’t ignore.

Overall, this was a well-written, interesting read but had problems with pacing, and plot holes. I still think this is worth a read, especially if you like fantasy of a whimsical sort.

I recieved a copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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