Book recommendation: Kraken Bake, by Karen Dudley

A couple of weeks ago, I went ahead and recommended you read Karen Dudley’s Food for the Gods. It’s the first in her Epikiurean Epics series, which is set in ancient Athens. In that post, I told you that I had found that book because I had first come across its sequel, Kraken Bake.

Well, over the past couple of weeks, I finally had a chance to read Kraken Bake, too.

I know, I know. It really shouldn’t have taken me that long to get through it. And let me say that the time it took me is in no way a negative reflection of the book. I loved Kraken Bake. I just haven’t had as much time to read as I would like lately.

Anyway, enough of my little sidebar. Let’s get down to this recommendation.

After getting through the difficulties he encountered in Food for the Gods, Chef Pelops has returned to trying to rise to the top of Athens’s list of celebrity chefs. But, he runs into a bit of a rough patch after Perseus, hero that he is, defeats Poseidon’s infamous kraken. Now, the only seafood that can be found in the city is Kraken — and everyone is sick of it. But nobody wishes for the seemingly limitless supply of kraken to come to an end more than Pelops, whose history with Poseidon means he can’t cook the meat to save his life.

I  have to tell you, Kraken Bake is just as funny as Food for the Gods. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say it was funnier, though this was largely because of one of the new characters introduced in the novel.

But everyone we met in the first novel certainly lives up to the humorous characters they established themselves to be. Dionysus was a particular favourite of mine. And I have to admit, I kind of wish I had seen a little more of him.

The character development, too, was once again on point in Kraken Bake. Pelops and Hermogenes, in particular, make a lot of progress, and I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between them strengthen.

So, if I didn’t make myself clear enough already, I highly recommend you get your hands on this series. I know I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for any future sequels.

Goodreads summary


It’s a great day for Greece when Perseus defeats the dreaded kraken. But victory begins to lose its lustre when tonnes of tentacles start to swamp the shores and fishing nets of the Aegean. Now after weeks of kraken cakes, kraken kabobs, kraken fritters and kraken stew, everybody is getting decidedly sick of kraken—none more so than Chef Pelops.

In response to the “kraken crisis”, the city of Athens announces the inaugural Bronze Chef competition. Normally, Pelops would jump at the chance to prove himself the best celebrity chef in Greece. The trouble is, the competition’s secret ingredient is sure to be kraken—and, having once offended Poseidon, Pelops can’t cook kraken to save his life.

To make matters worse, the Chef has serious cash flow problems and the woman he secretly loves is about to marry his best friend. Meanwhile, his loathsome rival Mithaecus has vowed to win the contest by fair means or foul.

Now, Pelops must overcome the sea god’s curse to prove once and for all that he is the better chef—a task made all the more difficult by the insufferable antics of a most unexpected relative…

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