Hello humans! Have any of you ever read The Paper Magician and the rest of the books in that series? If not I recommend them, as they have a really comforting feel to them. If you have read them and you are looking for something similar then may I heartily recommend The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana, being published by Live Edge Publishing on October 23rd. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced review copy of this book and I must say it was just exceptional.
A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.
Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.
Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.
If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.
The Confectioner’s Guild is a delicious YA fantasy mystery. If you like spunky chefs and twisty mysteries with a drizzle of romance, then you’ll love Claire Luana’s scrumptious tale that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This book has so many of the things that I love to read, it’s got romance, it’s got murder, it’s got mystery, it’s got handsome inspectors and it has cake. I read this book in the car on the way to a work event and had to keep stopping to update the other people in the car with what was happening because I was having so much fun reading it! I haven’t read anything that was just silly and fun for quite some time and this was exceedingly refreshing.
Of course, it’s not all fun and silliness, there is murder involved. I am a long-time lover of the classic murder mystery TV show and this did feel a bit like that, with various clues being revealed in the nick of time and suchlike. I actually didn’t manage to guess the murderer before they were revealed, which was quite unusual and incredibly satisfying.
The worldbuilding in this book isn’t excruciatingly detailed (you know the kind of books I mean, where you have to read four pages twice to understand how the magic works) but it is interesting. It’s what I would call ‘need to know’ worldbuilding, where the reader discovers how the politics, magic and even the geography of the world work as and when they need to, as opposed to in one big info-dump in the early pages. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that works, but in this story, the worldbuilding was handled just right. I thought that the idea of the various guilds and their allegiance (or lack thereof) to the king was really fascinating. I’d quite like a list of guilds or something – that would be interesting to know.
The romance is also quite an important part of this story. From the off, it’s quite clear that there will be a romance within this story and I was worried it would be something instantaneous, but actually, it builds really nicely within the framework of the story. Yes, it is cheesy at times, but that’s kind of what makes this book a pleasure to read.
The one thing that did bother me a tiny bit is that some of the descriptions take the food metaphor a little too far? Also, there is a whole bit with enchanted cheese that was quite important but I kept giggling at things such as (I’m paraphrasing) ‘I was still alert, the cheese had not worn off yet’ which somewhat ruined the ambience.
Despite that, I hugely enjoyed reading this book, I think it makes the perfect little comfort read and if you like this kind of story this is certainly a book you will enjoy. But don’t read it if you are hungry and don’t have any snacks because your stomach will rumble and it will be embarrassing in a car full of your colleagues.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? What kind of books do you read as ‘comfort reads’? Let me know in the comments below!