Book Quibbles: Sweet and Bitter Magic – Review

“Tamsin wanted to count every single one, commit them all to memory so that even when she closed her eyes, she would see a constellation of Wren.”

Twice this year Twitter informed me of new releases that immediately piqued my interest. The first was The Midnight Library, and the second, obviously, Sweet and Bitter Magic, Adrienne Tooley’s debut novel. You had me at f/f love interests and witches.

That’s really all it takes for me.

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small commission if you purchase through them.*

Synopsis

Tamsin is one of the most powerful witches of her generation, but when she takes a risk to save someone she loves, she’s banished from her home and cursed with the inability to love.

Wren lives a simple life taking care of her ill father while hiding her secret of being magical to the world.

When a plague ravages the queendom, brought on by dark magic, Wren seeks Tamsin’s help in order to save her father in exchange for her love for her father. They don’t get along, Tamsin’s hiding her past, and Wren is stepping out of her small town for the first time…it’s a great time for these two to fall for each other.

Love Is Not Something To Be Taken Lightly

This isn’t related to the review at all but throughout the entire book my brain switched the m and the s in Tamsin’s name so I literally thought her name was Tasmin…

You have a girl who can’t love and a girl who loves everything. It’s the perfect recipe. You know going in it’s going to be a ride as these two fall for each other. Wren tries hard to break down Tamsin’s walls, but there were a few moments I wanted to claw at Wren and say, “She literally said she can’t love. Why are you yelling at her for acting this way?” Although, I’m not 100% sure if being kind counts or if it’s just how Tamsin is after being alone for five years. So, there was a little bit of confusion there.

The world and rules of magic are easy to follow. Tamsin is a witch and Wren is a source, someone made out of magic and Tamsin can use Wren’s magic to power herself more and not wear herself out. If you use magic, it will take from you. It’s a diverse world and I appreciate any form of media where queer couples just exist. It doesn’t need to be explained and we don’t need useless hate. Those two female bakers are married. Cool.

Overall

As much as I like these two together, I’m someone who always wants more of them together. I like to see them bonding and having moments where you understand why one falls for the other. The little moments of Tamsin showing some form of emotion is where you can see why Wren likes her. Wren loves seeing the beauty in things and gives Tamsin that piece of life she’s missed for years.

But I’m always here for more character development. More of those little moments would’ve really fleshed them out.

The plot itself is interesting. I like how dark magic is explained and by using it, it takes from the earth, therefore creating this plague, and they have to discover who the dark witch is. However, the best part of the book is obviously Tamsin and Wren’s relationship growing as they themselves grow. Tamsin has to forgive herself for her past and Wren needs to grow more confident and see the world.

Sweet and Bitter Magic* is a fun read as two girls go on a journey and realize how much they need and want each other, and it’s a recommendation from me.

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