Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.
Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.
The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.
If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.
Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?
Review: 4 Stars
I picked up this book because I requested the sequel on Netgalley without knowing that it was the second in the series. I also had recently seen this on someone’s blog as a hidden gem and it really is. I’m so glad that I requested the sequel and discovered this series, because it was everything that I wanted.
I found the world building super unique. I found the logistics of Anise’s magic very cool. As a baking witch she bakes enchantments into baked goods, like making a cookie with a happiness enchantment. There were some live spells, but for the most part it involved enchantments. The way magic worked was so much fun to read about.
I did originally think that The Spellwork Syndicate referred to something similar to a magic mafia. The Syndicate was nothing like that, which I did find a little disappointing, but even though it didn’t include a magic mafia, it was still an incredible read.
The plot was pretty amazing, but I did have one issue with it. There were times in the book where Anise nearly died, and this happened three times. I felt like it kind of diminished the climax of the novel from being a large event since there were so many dramatic large events. It was still big, but it didn’t have as large of an impact as it should have.
I found that I absolutely loved this novel. I love the characters, magic and the writing. I want to follow the rest of this series and Lola Dodge. I’m so glad that I didn’t know Sugar Spells was a sequel, because I wouldn’t have requested it and discovered this series. I am so glad that this book wound up on my radar because it was amazing, even though it did inspire me to eat lots of baked goods.