A Recipe For Magic by Kat Howard & Fran Wilde (Illustrated by Wendy Xu)
Publisher: B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy (B&N SFF Originals)
Release Date: November 9, 2017
Summary: At the Night & Day Bakery, spells are baked right into the sweets, cakes, and pies–sugar magic for joy, grains of patience, dark as chocolate.
Lux’s mother taught her three recipes, with three spells baked inside. Ever since, she’s haunted strange cities’ sweet shops and cafés, seeking the familiar smells. When she found them, she’d lied so hard her teeth ached in the telling: “Yes, I have experience, yes I understand this is a certain kind of bakery, let me tell you my favorite original recipe.”
When Esmé agrees to give her a job at the Night & Day Bakery, Lux thinks she’s found home again. But regret clings to her like the smell of smoke, and nothing ruins a bake like the smell of regret.
My Thoughts: A Recipe For Magic is a delightful short story that’s set in a world where magic and spells are part of the every day and find their way into delicious treats through bakeries! This is a charming and immersive story that reveals the magic in the everyday!
Lux works at the Night & Day Bakery attempting to keep her apprenticeship with Esmé, the bakery owner, and she just can’t seem to get her baking quite right. She uses her magic to try and find easy ways out and knows it shows in her baking.
There’s a level of skill that comes with perfecting the most simple + complex treats from breads to cookies, even mile high cakes.
Lux has lost a number of jobs from past bakeries and Night & Day, she feels, is just another lost opportunity. However, Esmé gives her another chance and reminds her that where magic and baking are concerned, there must be a balance.
Over the course of the story we learn more about Lux and her family, mainly her mother and how baking has always been a constant in her life. She keeps it with her no matter where she goes, as well as some troubling memories of her past.
The writing really brings the story to life. As mentioned above, with such few pages I really became immersed in this magical world with bakeries, cakes, and the warm sugary-sweet atmosphere!
The magic of this world as shown through the bakeries is conjured from memory and emotion and overall the magical elements were developed in such a unique and intriguing way. The magic does get expanded on as the story progresses and just brings so much to the already fantastical atmosphere!
I loved learning more about Lux and her past, though we don’t get too much background on Esmé, both of them really come to life and are just such unique characters!
With the emphasis on emotions throughout the story and how they are deeply connected with one’s magic, I found that Esmé’s reminders of balance and finding the equilibrium in life was so beautifully weaved into the story & message anyone can relate to!
This short story was just so fascinating, magical, and delightful, I wish there were more short stories set in this world! The whimsy and wonder of A Recipe For Magic kept me smiling throughout~
A Recipe For Magic delivers such a unique story with delightful characters and world-building in such few pages! The tale really comes to life through the vivid and charming writing-style! You’ll want more from this charming and spell-binding world long after the final page!
I originally heard about this short story from Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog + fell in love with the beautifully illustrated cover (by Wendy Xu @AngrygirLcomics) & you can check out the full story Here if your interested! ❤