Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections, by Tina Connolly

Tor Books, ISBN 9781250296993, July 2018

Saffron is a food taster to  Duke Michal, regent for the infant prince, popularly known as the Traitor King. This is not a position she ever sought or expected; she is married to a baker, Danny, who is now the pastry chef to the Duke--also an unsought position. While building his successful bakery business, Danny had experimented with "special" pastries, using an herb his grandmother had introduced him to. These pastries bring back memories, in full force, and different formulations bring back different kinds of memories.

The Duke heard of them, and came, and sampled.

Within days, Danny and Saffron are installed in the palace, separated from each other, one as the pastry chef for special banquets, and the other as the food taster to remove any temptation to poison the Duke.

But the Duke is a brutal tyrant, and everyone, for their own survival, wants him dead. Unable to to communicate, and with Saffron the first to eat anything that Danny might make to bring the Duke down, what can they do?

It's an interesting and engaging story. Recommended.

I received this story as part of the 2019 Hugo Voters Packet.

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