The Confectioner’s Guild: Magic, Murder, and Desserts!

Cakes and magic!! Do I need to say more? Ok, I probably do. The Confectioner’s Guild is just the first in a new series by Claire Luana featuring Wren Confectioner. Who has a better name than that? No. One. There is magic and desserts and conspiracy and murder and friendship and romance. It’s so good and I already can’t wait for the next book in the series. Let’s get to the review.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.

The Confectioner’s Guild is a delicious YA fantasy mystery. If you like spunky chefs and twisty mysteries with a drizzle of romance, then you’ll love Claire Luana’s scrumptious tale that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Wren Confectioner starts off the book as an orphan working in a bake shop owned by Master Oldrick. It’s not the best arrangement but it’s better than a lot of places she’s lived and it’s definitely better than the streets. And Wren is a really good baker! Everything she makes is Ah-Maze-Ing! But that life is soon taken away from her when she is dragged from the bake shop and to The Confectioner’s Guildhall.

The Guildhall is where the top confectioner’s, grandmasters, and the Guildmaster work and live. And the Guildmaster wants Wren to come live there and learn to master her powers. It turns out Wren has magic and she puts it into every baked good and dessert she makes. Everyone does who is a part of the Confectioner’s Guild.

But Wren’s new chance soon turns into her worst nightmare. After the Guildmaster eats one of her cupcakes, he almost immediately dies and Callidus, one of the grandmasters, blames Wren for the murder. DUN DUN DUNNNN!!

While Callidus and the steward of the king are ready to arrest Wren on the spot, the inspector put in charge of the investigation, Lucas, has other plans. He makes them uncuff her and allows her to stay inside the guild while he investigates.

During her stay, Wren meets a lot of interesting people and even makes a few friends. The first person she meets is Olivia. Olivia lives with her grandaunt Greer and granduncle (the Guildmaster) and is being trained by Greer to take over as the Guildmistress. Olivia turns out to be Wren’s most trusted friend and the one that ultimately saves her when she seems to be in an impossible situation (NO SPOILERS!!).

The next people she meets are Hale and Grandmaster Sable. Hale is the hottest dude in the guild and he knows it. He sleeps with just about every girl he meets. He’s an assistant to Sable and helps Wren with her first lessons in magic. He is an incorrigible flirt but happens to have a soft spot for Sable. While Wren first falls under his spell, she soon comes to see him as more of a brother than a love interest.

Speaking of Sable, she is Wren’s master AKA the one who’s responsible for teaching her about her powers and all the things she can do with baked goods and desserts. She is a bit of a taskmaster but is always there when Wren really needs her. And boy does Wren need her! When Wren seems to have the most powerful people against her, Sable is there to help her stay safe.

As the story goes on, we follow Wren as she runs from her past and from the people trying to arrest her for the murder of the Guildmaster. This book is filled with magic, conspiracies, suspicious people in power, and plenty of amazing sweets. What more could you ask for?!

The Confectioner’s Guild is a fun, action-packed fantasy with a bit of romance for good measure and it was an absolute delight to read. I decided to try reading more fantasy this year and I’m so glad I did because otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this treasure. I went to culinary school for baking, so I love the idea of being able to put magic into the things I make. It’s a nice thought, at least. I am giving The Confectioner’s Guild 4 out of 5 stars. I am very excited for the sequel, The Confectioner’s Coup, to come out in November.

The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana comes out October 23, 2018.

Thank you to NetGalley and Live Edge Publishing for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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