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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

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • 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

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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!

  • Overall

captivating

I loved it! Great story line, keeps you guessing. keeps you wanting more. :) great read

  • Overall

Slightly jarring narrator

This story was complex and entertaining, what I have come to expect from Holmberg. The narrator bounced between a simplistic phonetic reading and a conversational, breathy narration. By the end of the story I had become more accustomed to the style and it wasn't so jarring. But it never sounded quite natural. Her voice acting was fair, especially the female voices. Some of the male voices stretched her tones beyond comfort.

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Narrator Ruined the Story

What would have made Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet better?

A different narrator or a different narration style. The reader was slow and hard to listen to, making the story impossible to listen to.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?

Someone with a faster reading tempo.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration over the narration style.

Any additional comments?

Read the book instead of listen to it.

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  • Story

What an odd and beautiful story!

This is one of the most beautiful and unique stories I've ever experienced! It was heartbreaking and breathtaking and wondrous. The narration was spot on, she really got the characters in such a perfect way for the story. The end brought tears to my eyes, heart wrenching and joyful! Wow!

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A rich, beautiful story about love and redemption

I've read (and enjoyed) all of Charlie Holmberg's currently published books, but Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet surpasses the rest. Though fairy tale allusions add to story, it is by no means just another retelling.

I spent the entire book in that pleasant state between uncertainty and anticipation. The author gives enough information to let the reader guess key points, yet not so much that the story (and its resolution) is predictable. It's a tough line to walk, but Charlie does this admirably.

The themes of love and redemption and the consequences of our actions add beautiful complexity. And the ending... it's one of those where you HOPE for a specific thing to happen, are fairly certain it won't happen, and then delight when it DOES happen. Wonderfully, wonderfully satisfying.

Unrelated to Charlie's writing skill: Kate Rudd was amazing. I'm hard to please regarding narrators; a good half I tolerate just to hear the book. But Kate's rich voice and reading style made a fantastic book even better.

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excellent read!

I usually don't like these types of stories bit this was well written and narrated

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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!

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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.