A young, magic-using baker is falsely accused of murder in Luana’s (The Confectioner’s Exile, 2018, etc.) YA fantasy series entry.
Wren is an incredibly talented confectioner. She’s also capital-G “Gifted,” meaning that she imbues all her tasty treats with a magical component. In the country of Alesia, every Guild uses its own type of magic, although each keeps it a well-guarded secret. Wren, an orphan, was plucked from the streets and eventually whisked away to the Confectioner’s Guildhall to be instructed in its particular enchantments. But before her lessons can start, someone murders the Head of the Confectioner’s Guild, and newcomer Wren becomes the prime suspect. Grandmaster Sable and her artisan, Hale—Wren’s newly found “tribe” within the Guild—assure her that they’ll protect her from harm. Inspector Lucas Imbris also vouches for Wren and swears to find the true killer. However, Wren isn’t sure whom to trust, so she undertakes her own investigation to clear her name and assure herself a permanent place in her new world. Along the way, she must also navigate complicated Guild rivalries and secrets; soon, she finds herself in the middle of political maneuverings involving king and country. She also finds herself falling in love with someone. Author Luana whips up a sweet and savory novel that’s full of delightfully descriptive prose. The Guildhall’s library, for example, cleverly resembles a kitchen that “felt worn and real, like catching a glimpse of the guild waking up in the morning before it had washed and put its face on.” Wren is a sympathetic protagonist who’s vulnerable enough to be relatable but tough enough to be admirable. In this novel, cooking is a form of love, and love is a form of magic all its own, which makes for an excellent fantasy premise. Mix in an excellent murder mystery with well-developed characters, a twisty plot, and unexpected resolution, and it’s a recipe for success.
An enchanting mystery that will engage readers’ senses and capture their imaginations.