Series: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
Plot Type: Fantasy
Ratings: Violence—3; Sensuality—2; Humor—2
Even with the handful of clues provided by Fyel and Allemas, I was unable to predict the ending, which is always a very satisfying experience. In fact, there are really two endings—one in Chapter 28 and one in the Epilogue. Both are HEA endings, but in very different ways.
At the end of the book, there is at least one loose end—Cleric Tuck's full story—and because of that, I'm wondering if this is the first book in a new series. Although Tuck never does or says anything overtly harmful to Maire, I didn't like him. To me, he appeared to have a deeply buried mean streak, and his motives always seemed to be questionable—not at all what they appeared to be on the surface.
In an innovative touch, each chapter has a brief heading that relates to one of the three main characters, but you won't be able to figure them out until you finish the book and go back and reread them. Then, it's an "Aha!" moment.
I'm not usually a big fan of medieval fantasy, but this story kept my eyes glued to my e-reader. The characters—both primary and supporting—are fully developed and interesting, the action is compelling, and the suspense begins to build from the very first chapter. In fact, I enjoyed this novel so much that I plan to take advantage of Amazon.com's current three-book deal on Holmberg's PAPER MAGICIAN series—all three e-books for a total of $4.47.
Click HERE to read an excerpt from Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet on the novel's page at Amazon.com. Just click on the cover art on that page.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My review of Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is based on an electronic advance reading copy (ARC) of the book that I received from the publisher through NetGalley. I received no promotional or monetary rewards, and the honest opinions in this review are strictly my own.