Short Fiction Friday: Burnt Sugar

Burnt Sugar by Lish McBride 

Ava, Lock, and Ezra are on assignment—for the magical mafia, of course. Faced with a gingerbread house, they’re pretty sure that what’s inside isn’t nearly as sweet as the outside. It never is.

Looking for my weekly fix of short fiction I came across Burnt Sugar, the first thing that fell to note was the art well this already promise something a women with a flame in her hand and a fox in the cover and later the synopsis stating magical mafia and a gingerbread house. This could go any which way but reminded me most closely to the story of Hansel and Gretel. So I went into this story with a lot possible directions and none were true. Lish Mcbride weaves a very interesting story, some very cool concepts. I am not familiar with her other books but I read that the characters in Burnt Sugar have featured in her latest book, Firebug

Lish McBride opens the story of Burnt Sugar in a sort of less is more kind of way. Directly introducing you to the characters of Ava, Lock and Eza. Soon it comes to show that they are far more than normal humans and what actually meets the human eye. They have an assignment from there employer, the mafia but not just a normal Italian mafia, no a magical mafia run by a vampire known as Venus. But during their assignment they smell something sweet and stumble upon a gingerbread house, from the first moment they do note that there must be something more going on. And once they enter, they know that there hunch was spot on. I know this is rather cryptic but I have to be this way else I will spoil too much, so the rest is for you to figure out. Though this is a short story it is rather eventful and a lot of fun to read. 

I have to say that the world that Lish McBride has created in Burnt Sugar (I haven't read Firebug so cant comment on that one) is really interesting. From some elements like vampires and werewolves and magical mafia it hints towards a urban fantasy inspired story but when you have the mention of the gingerbread house it hints heavily towards fairy tales and it is where these two meet that you have something special and really enchanting.

Another thing that is also very cool is the characters. Ava, Lock and Ezra all have something and can do something special. For Ava you learn that she has specific wards on her coat to keep her ability in check. To stop her from bunring herself to much, yes Ava can call flames at her command making flaring them up in an instant and from what I could gather is that controlling them is still hard. Lock can do something special with plant life and in particular seeds, making them grown in an instant. Ezra is a shapeshifting fox from what I understood. So all in all a very interesting character cast. This combined with the worldbuilding itself makes a very intriguing story that just screams for furhter exploration.


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