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A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking…
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A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking (2020. Auflage)

von T. Kingfisher (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
3352460,585 (4.15)68
Titel:A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking
Autoren:T. Kingfisher (Autor)
Info:Argyll Productions (2020), 320 pages
Sammlungen:Kindle, Deine Bibliothek, Noch zu lesen
Tags:to be read, fantasy, YA, kindle


A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking von T Kingfisher

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This book was a lot of fun, an exciting adventure with nuanced things to say about heroism and duty. ( )
  lavaturtle | Oct 9, 2021 |
This is well nigh perfect! Mona is a 14 yr old baker, working at her aunt Tabitha's bakery. Mona's quite a good baker, partly because she's got a magic ability to control bread and other baked goods. This presents itself in a couple of ways, Bob the sourdough starter and the dancing Gingerbread man are just two. The book starts with Mona discovering a dead body (that's not a spoiler, it is literally line 1) and so her problems start - being a suspect of murder, then a prospective victim, then having the weight of the world on her shoulders before finally being forced into the role of hero - it's a lot for a 14 year old to take on board.
I loved so much about this. It's snigger-inducingly funny at times, the asides to the reader being full of teenage sass. Mona herself is a star. narrated in the first person, you get to hear what's going on in her head, and it is exactly as mixed up, self doubting, assertive, scared, dependent, wistful, angry, independent and generally teen-age as I remember being at that age - and why I'd not wish myself back there for anything! The inventiveness of the magic ability being limited to a specific thing or task was just superb. Mona can magic bread, she meets someone who can magic water. Then there is Knackering Molly who's magic is most esoteric, she can cause a dead horse to raise itself and walk to the knackers yard - for six pence. Just how random and inventive is that! And feels far more real than being able to magic everything - we all have certain skills, why should that not also exist in the magical world?
Then there is the supporting cast. Mona has a sidekick in Spindle, who is a street urchin who gets her into and out of all sorts of scrapes. He is classic little brother type and you both want to hug him and cuff him around the ear all at once. The Duchess, who rules - well sort of - and hasn't known what has been going on in her city. There's an array of people here, and while some of them a a bit cookie-cutter, there are enough characters that feel real for this to work.
When it comes the denouement is horribly tense and you feel the weight of expectation on Mona as she feels obliged to do what she can. It is not above piling on the emotional pressure either.
I also like the slightly subversive element of Mona stepping up to the plate while feeling that it really shouldn't have been her that was put in this situation and that someone should have done something long before it fell to her to save the day. the chat with Uncle Albert about being a hero was particularly stark.
Possibly it's reaction against my previous dire read, but this was fan-bloody-tastic and I will be rushing a copy in the hands of every tweenie I know. ( )
1 abstimmen Helenliz | Sep 3, 2021 |
Fourteen-year-old Mona is a magicker, one of a handful of wizards in Riverbraid, but her magic is ordinary magic - "bread magic." Mona puts her skills to use in her Aunt Tabitha's bakery, convincing biscuits to be light and fluffy, and sometimes making gingerbread men dance. It all goes upside-down cake when Mona discovers a dead body in the bakery - another magicker girl, killed by the rumored "Spring Green Man." Mona is hauled to the palace on suspicion of murder, cleared by the Duchess and the "Golden General" (Ethan), and returns home...but the dead girl's younger brother, Spindle, warns Mona that she's still in danger. The two of them go into hiding, then sneak into the palace via the garderobe to warn the Duchess that there is a plot to overthrow her; the Duchess believes them, but unfortunately, the army is five days away, and the fearsome mercenary soldiers, the Carex, are only two days away. Mona is the only other wizard left - except for Knackering Molly, who refuses to fight. Can she use her bread magic to hold off the invaders, all while eluding the dangerous Spring Green Man? With some truly mischievous gingerbread men and some enormous bread golems, she just about manages it.

There is admittedly a fair amount of violence (assassinations, attempted murders, the invasion and defense of a city), but in many ways this reads as a book for all ages - upper middle grade to YA to adult. Mona has a high degree of independence - she lives her her aunt and uncle, but separate from them - and when adults fall down on the job, Mona, together with Spindle, fights for justice. Mona appreciates that Riverbraid has always embraced their wizard folk - unlike elsewhere - and is dismayed to see that change under Inquisitor Oberon. She wants to hold the Duchess to account, but begins to understand that the Duchess isn't an almighty ruler either. These complex themes are baked into a well-paced, high-stakes story with bursts of humor and descriptions of delicious pastries. Read it yesterday.


Being a wizard is almost all like that - you don't know what you can do until you actually go it, and then sometimes you aren't sure what you just did. (15)

Believe it or not, I'd never spent a lot of time really working on my magic. I was always more interested in learning how to bake. Baking is much more rewarding....There aren't any books to teach you how to do magic, or if there are, they aren't available to people like me. (106)

...[when you're a little kid] don't know stuff is impossible. (107)

It seemed like once you agreed that the government could put you on a list because of something you were born with, you were asking for trouble. (128)

"She thinks I'm a hero...but I shouldn't have had to do any of it. There should have been so many grown-ups who should have fixed things before it got down to me and Spindle. It doesn't make you a hero just because everybody else didn't do their job." (Mona to Uncle Albert, 203)

"You expect heroes to survive terrible things. If you give them a medal, then you don't ever have to ask why the terrible thing happened in the first place. Or try to fix it....How else are you gonna have heroes?" (Uncle Albert, 204)

...a big formal wedding is about the same [as a siege]...except that if things go wrong in a siege you'll all die horribly, and in formal weddings, the stakes are much higher. (212)

Do not be bound by what seems foolish or impossible. In magic, creativity is as important as knowledge. (General Ethan to Mona, 228)

I guess all really bad people all think they're using each other and being really clever about it. And they all want to be in charge. You never see them stabbing each other over who gets to be the baker. (281) ( )
  JennyArch | Aug 29, 2021 |

Well thought out if slightly silly fantasy world where those who have magic can only manifest it in a particular way, and our protagonist manifests hers through magical baking, through which she is called on to save her home city, all the other magicians being conveniently unavailable (or traitors). As usual with this author, a cracking pace that keeps you engaged. ( )
  nwhyte | Aug 27, 2021 |
What a fun read. 14 year old Mona is a wizard. Granted her only power is with baking, but still, she makes a mean gingerbread man.
When an evil wizard starts having all other wizards in the city knocked off, Mona finds herself defending her city. With bread. ( )
  majkia | Jul 1, 2021 |
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