Review: The Baker and the Bard by Fern Haught

The Baker and the Bard by Fern Haught

The Baker and the Bard: A Cozy Fantasy Adventure
Fern Haught
Feiwel & Friends
Published March 5, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Baker and the Bard: A Cozy Fantasy Adventure

Author-artist Fern Haught weaves an enchanting, gentle fantasy tale of friendship, determination, and respecting nature in their debut graphic novel.

Juniper and Hadley have a good thing going in Larkspur, spending their respective days apprenticing at a little bakery and performing at the local inn. But when a stranger places an unusual order at the bakery, the two friends (and Hadley’s pet snake, Fern) set out on a journey to forage the magical mushrooms needed to make the requested galette pastries.

Along the way, Juniper and Hadley stumble across a mystery too compelling to ignore: Something has been coming out of the woods at night and eating the local farmers’ crops, leaving behind a trail of glowing goo. Intent on finally going on an adventure that could fuel their bardic craft, Hadley tows Juniper into the woods to investigate.

What started as a simple errand to pick mushrooms soon turns into a thrilling quest to save some furry new friends―and their caretaker, a soft-spoken little fey named Thistle―who are in danger of losing their home.

The Baker and the Bard on Goodreads

My Review

I feel like I’ve seen this book compared to or recommended for readers of the Tea Dragon series, and I can absolutely see that connection. The characters have a very fantasy-based appearance. One is a fawn, and others have the pointed ears of fae with a wide variety of skin tones.

I loved the main characters, Juniper and Hadley (and Fern, the snake!), and their comfortable relationship. It’s clear that Hadley is the impulsive, wilder one, while Juniper thinks things through more slowly and keeps them from doing anything too dangerous.

While the two face decisions and deadlines, the stakes never get anywhere close to life-threatening, and nothing frightening happens, keeping the story well within the cozy fantasy bounds it promises. I think it would make a great transitional book for readers who are aging out of middle grade books but not quite ready for some of the intense themes or situations more common in young adult fiction. The finished copy also includes a recipe for a mushroom galette. Yum!

Fans of THE MOTH KEEPER by K. O’Neill or THE LEGEND OF BRIGHTBLADE by Ethan Aldridge will enjoy the nature-themed storyline and strong fantasy elements.

The Baker and the Bard on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 10 up.

One character is nonbinary.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
In one image, the two main characters appear to be kissing. They might just be leaning their foreheads against one another.

Spiritual Content
Some characters can use magic.

Violent Content

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: The Baker and the Bard by Fern Haught

  1. Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    I love how upon my return to visiting your blog, the very first post is a graphic novel that seems like it’s made for me!! I can definitely see vibes in this book that match the Tea Dragon series or The Moth Keeper, both of which I love (and which convinced me to buy tons more K. O’Neill books!). And the Amazon blurb also says it’s perfect for fans of Animal Crossing, of which I definitely am one. I’m going to have to track this down! Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, Kasey, and have a wonderful week!

    • Kasey says:

      Yay! I’m glad you found the review helpful. It’s such a sweet book. I ended up ordering a hard copy for my family library. I love this style of illustration. Also, I didn’t know K. O’Neill has more books beyond the Tea Dragon series and The Moth Keeper! I’m going to have to get copies of those… I hope you have a great week, too! Thanks, Max. 🙂

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