Author: Kathryn Littlewood
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Middle Grade; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Katherine Tegen Books; February 12, 2013
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
This second helping in Kathryn Littlewood's Bliss series combines hilarious magic and daring adventure to make one delectable reading treat...
Rosemary Bliss will do anything to get back her family's magical Cookery Booke. That's why she challenges Aunt Lily to an international baking competition in Paris: If Rose wins, Lily agrees to return the cookery Booke that she stole. If Rose loses...well, the consequences are too ugly to think about. But Lily isn't playing fair--she's using a magical ingredient to cheat. The only way for Rose to compete is for her to find magical ingredients of her own. Together with her long-lost grandpa, his sarcastic talking cat, and a turncoat French mouse, Rose and her brothers race around Paris to find essential--and elusive--magical ingredients that will help her outbake--and outmagic--her conniving aunt. She has to win or the Bliss Cookery Booke will be lost to her family forever...
The sense of family was great. I liked how involved the parents and Rosemary’s siblings were. I also liked how more of the Bliss family was included. It was interesting to see how Rosemary’s “long-lost grandpa” ran his bakery. On the other hand, Lily was a manipulative character. She was also selfish and power-hungry, contradicting her earlier claims. Those were the things I was kind of expecting from her character given her antagonistic role in the story.
The cooking and the magic were fantastic and happened to be what I liked most about A Dash of Magic. I still like the idea of having the ingredients being a source of magic. Part of the process was collecting those special ingredients, and the methods that the characters employed to do just that were pretty creative. It was just a really cool idea.
Like Bliss, I had one main problem with this story. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine, but I hate it when a character has no confidence in their obvious capabilities. They constantly reiterate that they can’t do something while actually doing it. Not just doing the thing they say they can’t, but also excelling at. Really, in this one, Rosemary falls prey to this mindset. The first time she says it, I can honestly understand and relate, because she, at that moment, fully realized the magnitude of the task that she had undertaken. However, after the second time, the third, and the fourth time these doubts were brought up, it got kind of repetitive.
Other than that one issue, A Dash of Magic wasn’t a bad story. Unfortunately, I’ve reached the end of the books I currently have for this series, but I would be open to reading the next installment.