Review of INDIE Ebook A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher #BrainfluffINDIEbookreview #AWizardsGuidetoDefensiveBakingbookreview


I treated myself to this one with some of my birthday money, after it was recommended to me by one of my book blogging buddies – and I’m so sorry that I cannot recall who! If you do remember my gushing over it, feel free to come and nudge me in the ribs and I’ll namecheck you…

BLURB: Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance. But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries…

REVIEW: This one is a solid delight. I absolutely loved it. Mona is such a superb protagonist – having been orphaned and then looked after by her aunt and uncle, her life is jogging along quite nicely. But then the appearance of a dead body in the bakery upsets everything. And from then on, Mona’s life becomes a lot more complicated.

The setting is a medieval city state where most of the subjects are just about coping, though there is widespread poverty. I believed in the world, the politics and the way prejudice against folks with magical ability had been subtly stirred up – it was nicely done. But what makes this book really stand out is the magic. Or rather – Mona’s magic… It’s a joy. Both funny and completely believable, the way Mona’s desperate efforts to save the day made this a gripping read so that I stayed up far too late to discover what happened. And I’ve been mourning the loss of this world ever since I stopped reading it. I even dreamt about it…

I also liked the depth of the supporting characters – as well as Mona’s anger at the adults’ inability to sort things out, so that it’s down to her. Such a natural reaction, but one I don’t see all that often in these sorts of adventures. I very much hope that Kingfisher finds that her lovely heroine won’t leave her alone – and that she, too, misses Mona. Because I’d love to read more about this gutsy, quirky teen.

25 responses »

    • It’s wonderful, isn’t it? And I got into a bit of trouble this afternoon when Himself came home and read my blog – and reminded me that HE was the one who found this book and recommended it to me:)).

    • It is great fun – as well as being genuinely gripping. I read waaay into the night because I couldn’t put it down – and though I didn’t mention it in the review – this book made my list of Outstanding Reads of 2020…

  1. This sounds fun. I don’t know why, but whenever I see the cover, I always think it’s a cookbook and ignore it, lol smh. I’d like to check it out. I didn’t like the Twisted Ones, but I really want to try more by this author.

    • They weren’t! I’m hoping I’ve fixed it, but I will be keeping an eye out to ensure your comments don’t end up in my Spam folder – grrr! Don’t know what glitch decided THAT was a good idea!!

    • I believe she writes under a pen name for her darker stuff, which I’m probably going to avoid for the duration. But there is a respectable backlist of other enjoyable-looking reads. I also loved Swordheart.

  2. OH MY GOSH THAT COVER. A Slayin’ Gingerbread Man with wizardry and wonder involved? SOLD!

    (So long as it doesn’t go into that Gingerdead Man territory. Yes, that’s an actual movie starring Gary Busey and I pray you never experience it, lol.)

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