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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    193
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    14

Performance

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MVF
  • Alabama
  • 12-18-16

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

All bitter, no sweet

I enjoyed the Paper Magician series by this author, but this story had too much unhappy for me. I don't mind a mystery or suspense story, but I do need some happy or hope or positive to be mixed in with all the dark to make the book worth the time. With all the cruelty and captivity it was just a dark story of pain and suffering that takes an even darker twist at the end. This is just not a place I want to go when listening. I like the writer, and this book was well written, but there wasn't anything to enjoy in this story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

If you like the dark fairy tales

Maybe not quite as good as her magician series but still highly entertaining. I love the uniqueness of her writing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too many settings and little character attachment.

I only felt attachment to the old couple that took her in. There are so many names and places! I feel like I was reading various travel brochures, back to back, half of the time. The places were well described, but I wish there were only 4 instead of 10 or more. The revelations at the end were odd and didn't feel like any sufficient closure was given.

I liked the Paper Magician series and this wasn't as enjoyable. It is worth the read if you are a big fan of Charlie N. Holmberg... but it wasn't of my tea. To others that may have not been a fan of this book: Do not let this book discourage you from reading other books from Charlie N. Holmberg. 😉 It gets better!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Leah D
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 05-03-18

Weird.

This was a weird story. The concept is what initially drew me to it and it had a lot of potential, but I don't think it lived up to my expectations. The reader is strung along without much context for a majority of the story and I felt it left me not caring much for any of the characters as I was uncertain of their motivations. When I did finally learn the background story of why this magical world exists, it was just too strange for me to get into.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wasn't sure at first, ended up loving it

I got this book off of kindle unlimited and wasnt sure if I was going to like it but ended up loving it. It kept me guessing till the very end and was entertaining throughout.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Amazing Concept But Not My Fav From This Author

On the plus side, I love Charlie Holmberg. She’s a fantastic, underrated author who writes fascinating fantasy novels (often standalone stories which are rare in the fantasy realm) with unique concepts and solid world building. She creates worlds that really do feel different and special, and her stories and characters often have their own unique cultures that dictate who people are, how they feel, and what they do, in the most unexpected ways. I really like that about her writing and stories. It’s always surprising, and her stories never feel like a different version of the same old thing.

On the minus side, the entire cast and crew has a sort of amnesia in this novel. Nobody knows what is going on, including the reader, and at a certain point, it becomes a bit too confusing and overwhelming. I kept waiting for the big pay out, but there’s just so much unknown for so long that instead of being intriguing, it because a bit frustrating. This story needs more explanation and more clues, so that it feels like we’re really getting somewhere, rather than that we are on a long, confusing journey that makes no sense.

I by no means regret reading this (refer back to the plus side), but this one isn’t for everyone. It’s going to take the right kind of reader to love and appreciate this one. If you are uncomfortable when there are a lot of unknown variables, take a pass on this one. However, if you adore baking, food descriptions, or the idea of someone with strong magic that allows her to bake emotions into food, then maybe this is a yes for you. Just don’t expect explanations, as those are few and far between, until the very end, and even then, they’re quite unexpected in the way that makes the conclusion feel a bit like it belongs to an entirely different story.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.