Something Close to Magic

A baker’s apprentice reluctantly embarks on an adventure full of magic, new friendships, and a prince in distress in this deliciously romantic young adult fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson and Gail Carson Levine.

It’s not all sugar and spice at Basil’s Bakery, where seventeen-year-old Aurelie is an overworked, underappreciated apprentice. Still, the job offers stability, which no-nonsense Aurelie values highly, so she keeps her head down and doesn’t dare to dream big—until a stranger walks in and hands her a set of Seeking stones. In a country where Seeking was old-fashioned even before magic went out of style, it’s a rare skill, but Aurelie has it.

The stranger, who turns out to be a remarkably bothersome bounty hunter named Iliana, asks for Aurelie’s help rescuing someone from the dangerous Underwood—which sounds suspiciously like an adventure. When the someone turns out to be Prince Hapless, the charming-but-aptly-named prince, Aurelie’s careful life is upended. Suddenly, she finds herself on a quest filled with magic portals, a troll older than many trees (and a few rocks), and dangerous palace intrigue.

Even more dangerous are the feelings she’s starting to have for Hapless. The more time Aurelie spends with him, the less she can stand the thought of going back to her solitary but dependable life at the bakery. Must she choose between losing her apprenticeship—or her heart?


"With a unique world, characters to root for, and a deftly written plot, this book is highly ­recommended."

School Library Journal, STARRED review!

"This appealingly breezy novel will whet readers’ appetites for magic and adventure."


"Classic fairy-tale settings, compelling mysteries and a charismatic cast of characters make Something Close to Magic an entertaining, fast-paced read, and its ending strikes the perfect balance between satisfaction and the promise of more adventures. Readers will be reminded of The Princess Bride; Something Close to Magic may be a fantastical tale, but it’s also one with relationships that hit close to home."


"Something Close to Magic was such a sweet, soft fantasy with a new cast of characters that I adored. I genuinely couldn’t stop smiling and laughing while reading this book, and I need everyone to read it immediately. I can’t recommend Something Close to Magic enough, especially if you like cozy, light-hearted fantasies with a lovable found family and great writing!"

Magical Reads

"The banter and friendship between the characters was so enjoyable to read. I loved watching Auralie come out of her shell and realize she deserved more from her life."

Bookmark Lit

"[A] delightful romp filled with great characters on a quest through a fun setting. It’s clever and light-hearted, a feel-good romantic adventure through and through."

Righter of Words

"[T]his book was such a breath of fresh air."

Story Sanctuary

Awards & Accolades


A Junior Library Guild Selection