A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking
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That the hope Mona manages to provide involves some very bad gingerbread men, a few very large bread golems and a whole lot of carnivorous sourdough starter is what makes the story so much fun. I’m quite happy the story is finished and offered a satisfying ending but I would definitely not be opposed to the further adventures of Mona or her friends. I stuck both hands into the soup tureen and tried to convince him that what the world needed was a whole lot more Bob. She was the one who found the body of the girl in her aunt’s bakery, but because Mina is a wizard (does being able to magic bread even count ?
That should give you an idea of the quality of Author Ursula Vernon's (pseudonymously known as Kingfisher) prose overall.A dead body is an awful thing to find on the floor of a bakery, especially when you’re a fourteen-year-old baker’s assistant with just a minor talent in magic, enough to make gingerbread men dance and biscuit dough turn fluffy on command. The ending felt a little abrupt, but was meaningful and in keeping with the messages and themes throughout. This is a another great adventure/detective/save the city story with Ursula Vernon's original brand of humour and imagination.
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking is, like Minor Mage and Summer in Orcus, somewhat darker than may be the norm for middle grade fantasies. I liked the Duchess, and the fact that this anti-establishment book clearly demonstrates how absolute power isn’t absolute and is also fallible. Pure unadulterated fun seemingly aimed at middle school aged children who like some darkness in their reading or adults who still enjoy some magic in their lives.
I should have known from the beginning, when Mina stumbles right into a dead body in the middle of her bakery and freaks out—and also because right after that she’s talking about zombie frogs, which really aren’t as bad as zombie crayfish because those are really awful. It should never have come down to a kid like her having to be the one to make people aware of the dangers against the magicas or be forced to save the day. This triggers off an entire round of events, that move from just being inconvenienced at finding a corpse in her workplace, to those affecting the entire kingdom.