The Confectioner’s Guild (The Confectioner Chronicles Book 1) by Claire Luana
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | Fantasy | ePUB | 2.5 MB
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 the true killer 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 carriage came to a stop in front of the steps of the Guildhall and the coachman opened the door. Callidus swept out before her and quickly resumed his position as her captor, grasping her arm as soon as she cleared the steps. It was clear he didn’t intend to let her escape. Wren’s stomach flipped. What was there to escape from?
Wren struggled up the towering steps of the Guildhall, scraping her shins as Callidus pulled her up. Five steps for the five levels of the Guild: apprentice, journeyman, artisan, master, and grandmaster. Some designer had been so intent on his symbolism that he had thrown practicality straight out the window.
As servants in the Guild’s brown and gold livery opened the wide wooden doors before them, Wren found herself pulled through the antechamber of the Guildhall for the second time in her life. And for the second time, she found herself wishing she had something better to wear.
Her first glimpse of the Guildhall had been four years ago. That time, it had been Master Oldrick’s fat fingers gripping the flesh of her arm. She’d been a grimy orphan, fresh off the streets of Maradis.
It had started innocently enough. She had been rifling through the trash in the alley behind his shop and had found a worn piping bag, mostly empty save for a dollop of shimmering green frosting. Any other street kid would have squirted the whole bag of sugar into their mouth, but the frosting had called to her. She knew such an act would be a waste, a sacrilege. Crouched under the eaves of the building to keep warm, she had grasped the smooth parchment paper of the bag and decorated the hard shell of the snowbank with a pattern of ivy leaves. The leaves had sparkled against the snow in the low light of the alley, mesmerizing her, pulling her into a daydream where she was surrounded by lush green foliage rather than frozen garbage.
Master Oldrick had woken her with a kick in the dim gray morning, but as she’d scrambled away down the alley, he’d called to her. “Stop!”
She’d kept running.
“I’ll feed you!” he’d called.
She had frozen, looking over one shoulder, her gnawing stomach compelling her to turn around. He had fed her half a loaf of warm bread smeared with butter and jam, along with a glass of sweet milk. Once she had eaten, he’d made her scrub her hands in scalding water until they’d turned pink and had given her an audition. Wren had swirled ganache, puffed powdered sugar, drizzled white chocolate and piped more frosting. When she had tried to sneak a taste of the ganache, Master Oldrick had whacked her hand so hard with a wooden spoon that she’d felt the vibrations in her teeth.
“Never. Ever. Eat. The. Confections,” he’d said.
But despite her faux pas, she had passed his test. Because that afternoon, he had marched her, dressed in a tattered woolen smock, into the marble cavern of the Confectioner’s Guildhall. And she had become his apprentice.