Sweet & Bitter Magic Readalong Day 1

By: Cori Reed Photo By: @demmi_writist

Welcome, welcome to the first OwlCrate readalong on our new community blog! We are so excited to get things started! Today we'll be reading chapters 1-4 of Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley! We can't wait to get started!

The text below contains spoilers for the first four chapters. Beware! Make sure you read before carrying on. At the end I have left some questions for us to ponder before the next section of the book! Remember, you are welcome to go at your own pace if you don't want to finish all four chapters today. Come back when you're done to chat about theories!

Chapter 1:

We start off meeting Tamsin, a witch, in the middle of listening to a mother begging Tamsin to save her baby. Tamsin will help, but only in exchange for the love the mother has for her husband. We learn that five years ago Tamsin was cursed and is no longer able to feel love save for what she takes from others. Yikes!
It is Tamsin’s 17th birthday, which would be an important year if she had not been kicked out of the academy five years prior. In celebration, Tamsin uses just a little bit of the love she had taken from the mother, and experiences the colors of the sunset.

Chapter Two:
We meet Wren, who although not a witch herself, is a source of magic. Other witches should be able to use her magic as their own. She has kept this a secret from her family and her ailing father who has made her promise not to leave him after the death of her mother. If she is found out, she could be punished for not coming forward.
On the way to the market Wren meets a family who is fleeing south as the queen has revealed that there is a plague coming that turns people into something like walking ghosts. Soulless. At market, she accidentally runs into Tamsin, who pays her far too much for two eggs.


Chapter Three:

A diary, which Tamsin hid away five years ago, magically appears in her hands. She flings it back from whence it came! Despite it raining outside, somehow her precious herb garden is on fire. When Tamsin runs outside to put it out it turns out that the RAIN is what is causing the fire. Dark magic at work.
Tamsin reveals that she was banished from the Coven years ago because she used dark magic in desperation while trying to save her twin sister. Luckily, at just 12 years old, her magic wasn’t strong enough to breach the walls. Her punishment, rather than death, was to never be able to love again so that that love wouldn’t again cloud her judgement. This new plague is much stronger and darker than whatever Tamsin managed. The diary again appears open on Tamsin's table and she reluctantly reads her sister's words.

Chapter Four:

At the market Wren realizes she is able to tell which magic is the plague, and who its next victim will be. Upon rushing home she sees the magic enter her home, and although at first it seems her father is fine, he has forgotten her and calls her by her mother’s name. Desperate, Wren uses the silver coin to try to buy a potion cure from a tinker, but he tells her it’s a fake coin made by a witch. Wren decides Tamsin must pay for the deception!


And there we have the first four chapters, friends! Off to a rocking start may I say!


1. Why do you think Tamsin's sister's diary is all of a sudden asserting itself on her? Do you think it has something to do with the plague? Do you think Marlena is somehow involved?

2. What do you think Wren is going to do to get Tamsin to pay up for the fake coins?

3. Do you have a theory about exactly what the plague is doing to people? Do you think there's a cure?

4. Last question today! What are you thoughts on the first 57 pages of the book? Have any immediate questions?