Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet Kindle Edition
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.
About the Author
Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog.
- ASIN : B019IL7R20
- Publisher : 47North (June 28, 2016)
- Publication date : June 28, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 2251 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 306 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #13,167 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book starts out with Marie, a lovable character who bakes her innermost wishes into her confections. She is a female who is renting out her own shop and lives with two loving people who took her in. The fact that she is self-sufficient (almost) is pretty cool. Through a series of really f-ed up events she becomes a slave to this horrible, mentally deficient man who seems to know something about Marie's past. He makes her do pointless tasks like moving rocks and baking him cakes to make him smart (which we later find out that he hates?!) THEN we as readers are asked to suspend our belief that this place (in which people are taken slaves and raped ((another woman who was kidnapped))) is actually a fairy tale world. The man who takes Marie gets jobs to make cakes that make you small and big (Alice in Wonderland,) a house made of gingerbread for a witch (Hansel and Gretel,) and a gingerbread boy. But it is never talked about and no other fairy tales are mentioned... During all of this Marie is visited by a glowing white man with wings who knows who Marie is and where she came from, but can't help her because if he tells her anything she'll have no chance of coming back and becoming who she was before... Through a series of visits (in between beatings and her skin changing to red...) Marie learns that her fairy looking man-friend is her equivalent to a husband and he is called a Creator, which are different from Gods. Gods make souls, creators create plants, mountains, worlds for the souls that the Gods create. But he won't tell Marie if she is a creator or not... OKAY. So Marie finds herself back in the care of her sudo-parents and manages to "break" her "master" into just following her around. They make their way back to their home town where Marie eventually becomes what she was. BUTTTTT it gets more f-ed up... her master? Turns out that the whole reason he's crazy is because he doesn't have a pure soul. Marie (who turns out to be a creator...surprise?) made him out of jealousy of the Gods and her want for a child. When the Gods came to punish her Marie and her diseased man-child fell to earth, and when they fell Marie forgot who she was and her Master went looking for her and just happened to find her when she was being held captive by slaves and he then...keeps her as a slave. I just...don't understand what the heck happened in this book. It started out really great...and then the incorporation of the fairy tale stores, and the convoluted alternate worlds that the readers are just supposed to accept with out much detail, it's just a lot, and messy.
Then, things took a U-turn into . . . something else. I'm not sure what else, exactly. I read a great deal of fantasy, so I know there are many ways to interpret that term, and I suppose that technically this is fantasy, since the plot is certainly fantastical. But not in a good way. We get a hint of fairy tale themes, but they seem to serve no purpose in the plot, and go absolutely nowhere. We get lots of unnecessary and gratuitous scenes of violence against the heroine of the story, which again, serve no purpose in the plot. Then (spoiler alerts to follow!), the heroine's skin mysteriously turns bright crimson red, and I went from wondering 'what the hell?' to going 'Oh, hell no!!' It's important for me to be able to identify with a character, and that little detail (which also turns out to have no explanation, and serves no purpose in the plot) lost me.
From then on, my interest in the story was diminished, but curiosity as to where this mishmash of ideas could possibly be going kept me reading, hoping that Ms. Holmberg was somehow going to pull all of this together in some coherent way. Alas again--not so much. The conclusion took a u-turn away from magic and even true fantasy into a pseudo-metaphysical place that made no sense whatsoever. It was like two completely diverse genres of thought merged, hoping to create something profound and thought-provoking, and instead went seriously wrong.
It's just difficult to understand what the author was thinking when she took the premise of the beginning, and the strangeness of the ending, and thought that they could go together to create a coherent narrative. Instead, this is two different stories that should never have been put together. The only thing that really made sense to me was the title--the premise is sweet, but the progression of this tale becomes increasingly bitter as it progresses to it's bizarre ending.
I see a lot of readers saw something more in this one, but sorry, I thought it was pretty dreadful.
Top reviews from other countries
The magic system in this book was interesting with the use of making baked goods to give people different personality traits, however Maire's murky past was more confusing than interesting at times. Maire is a likeable character as she would do anything to help people no matter what the consequence would be for her.
The opening and first half of the book was interesting, however I feel that the second half and ending leaves me wanting. The ending feels rushed and is quite confusing.