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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2016 Charlie N. Holmberg (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

I guess it's a testament when you like an author's writing and a narrator's speaking enough to stick with a story that you really lost interest in halfway through. The premise I was intriguing and I love the Paper Magician series, so I thought this take on cooking emotions would be entertaining. A lot of the book was the main character overcoming enslavement and continuously being kept in the dark about her origins. I wish I could give this a better rating, but it just wasn't the story I was looking forward to by the end.

12 people found this helpful

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Dark story

This story was very creative, however, it was also depressing. I almost didn't finish it because it seemed like there was no redeeming quality to it. I think it could have been more magical and less depressing. I would not re on end it.

10 people found this helpful

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eloquently written

This is a story about a woman who does not know her past. It is a fantasy set in a world that we do not know but has medieval overtures to it.

Maire is the heroine who has the gift of baking magic into her cakes and sweets. When maurauders attack the town she lives in she is sold to a man who is not quite right. She struggles to understand and to escape.

Kate Rudd is a wonderful voice artist - and gives life to this story.

what I liked: the writing is compelling and I had to read to the very end.

what I didn't like: there were elements that bothered me (this is my opinion only-very subjective others may not agree)- I didn't like what she ended up being- nor the connection to her "captor". this was a bittersweet story. I can't say more unless I give away key points.

I do recommend - especially for the writing. But im curious as to what others may think.

4 people found this helpful

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Not classic Holmberg

Disappointing is putting it mildly so I’m just going to jump in.
The twisty plot is very often difficult to follow.
The repetition of the same word three times is reminiscent of a school child trying to reach the desired word count in a book report.
The ongoing synonyms for an initial idea are nerve grating. If the reader didn’t get that the action was painful, 15 additional synonyms aren’t going to help.
The Magician Series is good.
Don’t waste your money on this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Exhausting.

Kept waiting for some pay off that never came so I finally gave up and quit listening after five excruciating hours of just waiting for it to end. Not fun or even entertaining like some other books from this author. It’s possibly meant to be empowering, maybe at the end, not sure because I couldn’t make it finally getting to the point where no matter the scope of the resolution it could not make it worth punishing myself any further. Hard pass.

2 people found this helpful

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Captivating

Like a good sweet you can't get enough. I was held spellbound from the first sentence.

1 person found this helpful

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mesmerizing

The story was fantastic but the narrator really sold the story for me. I'll definitely listen to this narrator & stories from this author again.

1 person found this helpful

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incredible

I loved this book, and the narrator is one to follow. This story is a constant mystery and, while it did get tedious at times, the narrator's acting kept me interested. I did love the story once I got to the end, too!

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing!

The ending was unexpected. But I found a deeper meaning planted there, with forgiveness and atonement. Did not care for the tone the narrator did for Mare's voice.

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Great narration

My first CNH novel I haven’t really enjoyed. Idk. The story just didn’t work for me. The narrator did great. Her voices were distinct and main voice soothing. But I just couldn’t get into the story til we’ll over half way. Then once I did, it never fully came together for me. Like it was a little all over the place. Paper magician (my fave by CNH) was just so great and spellbreaker was separate but fit so well with her style. This feels out of left field. And knowing the author is a BYU alum, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a metaphor for what Mormons believe to happens afterlife on earth. Idk. Maybe I’m swinging way out.

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  • kath t.
  • 09-03-17

unlistenable!

the woman performing this sounds like a robot. couldn't listen for longer than 5 minutes, I love this author and I'm really upset that I can't rate this high because I don't even know what the story was!

1 person found this helpful

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  • westbournereader
  • 08-21-21

Not as good as the magician series by some way

Long winded and confusing. Not a patch on the other two series written by the same author which I hugely enjoyed.


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  • Mike Lamont
  • 08-17-18

Very weird book

Didn't really know what I was getting into here. But followed the story to the end. I won't read any more books by this author but it was a adventure into fantasy fiction.

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  • lyn
  • 05-11-17

Brilliant!!!

So very very clever, I was hooked from the start. I cannot really say much more other than - this is one of the most creative storylines I've come across in a very long time

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  • gypsy
  • 01-22-17

unusual and brilliant

Where does Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A fairy tale for grown-ups. Magical tale which was unusual and refreshing. It led me to read some of Charlie's other books but this remains my favourite

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  • maria
  • 07-19-16

A.good listen

Starts a bit slow, but picks up ans stays there. Itis also a bit predictable, but even so it is intresting and a good time.

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  • Naedrax17
  • 02-18-20

Sweet story

Kate Rudd did an amazing job as narrator.

I liked the overall premise of the story, but there were slow parts. It was a beautiful sweet story with sad tragic undertones. It was hard to work out where this was suppose to be set which made it hard to connect and visualise, but did enjoy and watching all the little pieces fall into place and Maire work out who she is.