Book review · novel

Book review: Baker Thief

Baker Thief (Baker Thief #1), by Claudie Arseneault

BAKER THIEF COVERDescription: (from the author’s website)

Adèle has only one goal: catch the purple-haired thief who broke into her home and stole her exocore, thus proving herself to her new police team. Little does she know, her thief is also the local baker.

Claire owns the Croissant-toi, but while her days are filled with pastries and customers, her nights are dedicated to stealing exocores. These new red gems are heralded as the energy of the future, but she knows the truth: they are made of witches’ souls.

When her twin—a powerful witch and prime exocore material—disappears, Claire redoubles in her efforts to investigate. She keeps running into Adèle, however, and whether or not she can save her sister might depend on their conflicted, unstable, but deepening relationship.

“BAKER THIEF is the first in a fantasy series which centers non-romantic relationships and stars a bigender aromantic protagonist. Those who love enemies-to-“lovers” and superheroes will love this story!”

Expected publication: June, 26th 2018
A review copy (e-galley) of this book was provided by the author. Some things might change in the final copy.

Don’t you love it when you’re reading a book and it is exactly what the cover and the description promised? I do!

Baker Thief is about Claire/Claude, a bigender aromantic baker (at day) thief (at night) with powers (changing hair colour on a whim and insuffling strenght to your muscles really helps the whole thieving thing) and Adèle, a biromantic demisexual police detective, intent on her new start on a new city and precinct.

The book is #ownvoices representation and it shows. The way the characters explains their feelings and the particularities of their sexual and romantic orientation is done with a lot of care and never fell in the lesson 101 that is ofen found in aro and ace books these days. This book also helped me understand on a deeper level how aromanticism ‘worked’, what it involved for this character here and I realised I used to have misunderstood it. I love that it shows that aromantic people can indeed form strong bonds and this book can be described as an aromantic romance on some level.

This is also mostly a fantasy book, where some persons have magical abilities and are called witches. They used to be persecuted for it and now live either in the shadows or hiding it. The book brushes on the way magic and science can intertwine, with the main problem here being a new enigmatic source of power replacing electricity.

Both characters find themselves on different sides of the law, starting at ennemies but we quickly realise they in fact share the same goal. Enemies-to-lover isn’t a trope I usually like (though I’d never seen it with a queerplatonic relationship before!) but Claudie Arseneault knows how to use it well and I really loved the way the characters relationship evolved throughout the novel.

I would have loved to see more of the new police precinct Adèle joins. A lovely workplace with people respecting one another and working efficiently as a team really appealed to me. Though I guess we’ll see more of that on a sequel since this is set to be a series!

I loved that this book had close siblings supporting one another, that there was action and high stakes but I never felt really stressed about an awful outcome either.

The story is set on a Quebec-inspired fantasy world, where english is peppered by french words and expressions (though not called english and french.) As a french reader who read, speak, write and think in both these languages, finding a book that used both as well was really refreshing.

Trigger warnings: Fire, human experimentation, human trafficking, witch hunts, food
Taken from the author’s website.

Here is a twitter thread (click for more of it!) of some character aesthetic and presentation made by the author!

5 thoughts on “Book review: Baker Thief

  1. I’m looking forward to diving into this one! I love how diverse and atypical Arsenault’s books always are! And they’re always a breath of fresh air among the typical mainstream fantasy worlds and plots. Though the title initially had me confused (« Is she a thief who steals…bakers?? »). 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes her books are really nice!! It’s like, even if one of her future book doesn’t have a blurb that is of interest to me I’ll still want to read it haha
      (Hahah! Before the description was available I was also very intrigued by what the title meant haha!)

      Liked by 1 person

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