When a land concealed by blood magic can choose its own ruler, sometimes it selects a well-bred guy—and sometimes it anoints an unassuming working-class girl able to walk the line of diplomacy and defense while whipping up one mean layer cake.
Keri is a baker in Glassforge, a lovely town in the fecund land of Nimmira. Measuring, mixing, and making ends meet are her quotidian ingredients, until the magic of Nimmira decides that Keri, illegitimate child of the deceased lord, is next in line to rule. Nimmira is protected by a mist that keeps the land concealed from two bordering domains, but with Keri’s father’s death, the mist begins to fail, and for the first time, representatives from the neighboring lands cross the magic border. Under this neophyte Lady, will Nimmira be taken by the Bear soldiers of Tor Carron or absorbed by the malicious sorcery of Eschalion? And why is everyone in a tizzy when the Lady just needs to bake an indulgent cake to de-stress? Neumeier explores the importance of understanding the true talent, weakness, and intent of friend, foe, and self as Keri perseveres as Lady. The only blights in the delicious details of this horn of plenty are the frequency of malleable descriptives (“not exactly mist, and not exactly shadow”) and the failure to populate the book's medieval-esque setting with a notably diverse cast.
Overall, an enchanting fantasy treat. (Fantasy. 12-17)