Review: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Title: Sweet and Bitter Magic
Author: Adrienne Tooley
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Owlcrate
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this debut fantasy, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..

Review:

Tamsin is a powerful witch, but after casting some dark magic, she’s kicked out of the Coven and cursed to never love again. The only way for her to have any feelings of love is to take them from people who need her magic. Wren is a source of magic. People who are sources are required to go to the Coven to be trained, but Wren didn’t want to leave her father alone. Now, her father is sick with a memory-stealing plague, so she approaches Tamsin to help heal him. Wren asks Tamsin to help her find the witch that started the plague to find a cure, and in return she will give Tamsin the love she feels for her father. The two girls must journey into the Coven to find the source of the dark magic. 

This was a cute sapphic witch story. I love it when the duality of good versus evil are explored in a story. Tamsin seemed like a dark witch who stole people’s love just to be mean, but she had a traumatic history that made her behave that way. Wren had conflicting feelings about trusting a witch, but she loved her father so much that she was willing to give up that love to cure him. Love was very valuable in this story. 

There were some surprising twists in this story that I didn’t see coming. I liked how everything wrapped up at the end. It was a complete ending but there’s also the possibility to return to this world and the characters. 

Sweet and Bitter Magic is a great sapphic witchy story.

What to read next:

Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Have you read Sweet and Bitter Magic? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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