Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet By: Charlie N. Holmberg
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.
I’m not a fan of first person present as a writing style and it takes me a while to get into when I actually do read it. I liked Holmberg’s series The Paper Magician, there were things I didn’t like but overall it was an interesting world so after reading the blurb for Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet I thought why not. The idea was very interesting at the very least.
Maire was not a very compelling lead and since the story was in her voice that’s not a good thing. She has amnesia and can’t remember anything before the last four years. All she knows is baking and that when people eat what she bakes she can make them feel certain ways.
Stuff happens, she still knows nothing, but she starts learning little clues. There isn’t much world building and Maire is about as interesting as a damp rag. The most compelling part of the story is when you find out why she lost her memory and that is at the end and I wouldn’t say worth it.