A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking is a Yound Adult Coming-of-Age story about Mona. Mona works in her aunt’s bakery, and also is a hedge wizard. Her talent is mostly limited to influencing dough and baked goods, her familiar is a sourdough starter named Bob.

A Wizards Guide To Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher, Amazon

Mona is a 14-year-old girl living in Riverbraid, a random city-state near a river in the floodplain of an otherwise unnamed country that vaguely feels like northern Italy during renaissance times. Working in her aunts bakery, her talent of being able to magically influence dough and baked goods comes in handy in production, and sometimes she lets a few Gingerbread men dance to amuse the customers.

Then one day, a dead body is found in the bakery, and it turns out that an assassin is trying to kill off magic folk in Riverbraid. And that turns out to be the begin of a coup and conspiracy to wrestle control of the city from the aging Duchess. Mona is drawn into this conspiracy and into the beginning of a war, and discovers that the famous war-wizards tasked with defending the city are not actually having more or stronger magic then her - the difference between a hedge magicker and a war wizard is more about how they think about using their talent than the actual talent.

The story is amusingly written and Mona’s world-view, as shared with the reader, is full of baking puns. The story arc is what one would assume from a YA book, and entertaining. All in all well worth my time.

A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher, EUR 4.44