by Melanie Harding-Shaw
Publication Date: June 7, 2021
Source: Kindle Unlimited
It’s bad enough when your own body tries to attack you, but when dark powers want to as well, running is the only option. Until you can’t.
After another casual fling goes horribly wrong, coeliac witch Trinity moves down the country to start over, yet again, in the bush-clad suburb of Karori. On the surface, it seems like the perfect place: from the local bistro below her flat with its gluten-free baking (and its handsome owner) to the mountain bike trails she can escape to.
But her fresh start takes a dark turn when she discovers something is trapping her familiar, Saifa, in the suburb. He might take the shape of a pūriri moth as a passive-aggressive joke, but whatever power can hold the ancient demon captive is no laughing matter. If Trinity can’t find and break the anchors of his invisible cage, she could lose everything—her power, her freedom, and her only friend in the world.
I somehow ended up on a mailing list for a bunch of “witchy fiction” written by authors from New Zealand, and when I saw this novella was about a witch with celiac disease? I absolutely couldn’t resist. This was a fun and relatively light cozy mystery with tons of Kiwi flavor.
Trinity has a set of immunity disorders: celiac’s, an overabundance of magic that basically would make her a battery to an unscrupulous witch, and one she jokingly says makes anyone she dates eventually act like a jerk to her. After her latest boyfriend trashes her apartment, Trinity’s moves on to the Wellington suburb of Karori. The newest place is an apartment above a bistro. When she tells the owner (and her new landlord) she has celiacs, he offers to bake her some gluten-free goodies, if she’ll taste test them. While Trinity would also like to possibly taste test the hot baking guy, she doesn’t want to up and leave town so soon, especially when she’s barely had time to explore the mountain bike trails here. But that might not even be a choice, as she discovers her demon familiar Saifa is seemingly trapped within the town. Is it a trap for any witch, or specifically for her?
“Aren’t you bored of being a moth yet?”
Aren’t you bored of mothballing your life yet?
Trinity’s a fun character, but my absolute favorite was Saifa. He’s a demon bound by a contract to not harm anyone else, only to take just enough energy from Trinity to leave her at more normal levels. He typically takes the form of various New Zealand native animals, like the pūriri moth on the cover. He’s snarky and passive-agressive, but it’s obvious he cares about Trinity, despite, you know, the whole ability to suck her dry of magic. There’s also the hot baker love interest and lots of yummy (gluten-free!) treats. I thought the magic portion was interesting enough, though it was pretty easy to figure out who the villain was. I honestly was having so much fun reading this that I didn’t much care, though.
Overall, this is a delightfully fun and quick read, and I’m definitely hoping for more of Trinity and Saifa!