by Samantha Cohoe
In this historical fantasy we meet Thea, an alchemist’s daughter and a protégé alchemist herself, a very talented one at that. She’s growing tired of the way her mother treats her and dreams of a life together with a boy called Will that used to work for her mother. At the same time, Thea and her mother is so close to reaching the ultimate goal, the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s a piece what can cure all illnesses, make anything into gold and it’s incredibly powerful. Thea’s mother wants to create to make a name for herself in a world where women are more or less owned by their husbands. So when Thea’s mother excludes Thea from the final steps of the creation, Thea’s furious and can’t believe her mother used her to get the stone but won’t share the credit for making it.
Thea’s mother grows increasingly hostile and when she decides Thea will be leaving the country with a man she doesn’t even know, Thea can’t keep her mouth shut and the fight that follows changes everything. Thea’s mother becomes mad and tries to kill her when Thea discovers that her mother has in fact succeeded in creating the stone. Forced to flee France for London, Thea ends up with the father that doesn’t know she exists. Here, she’s determined to create the stone for herself so she can use it’s powers to heal her mother’s madness. She can only hope that the warnings of a curse that afflicts those who try is just the ramblings of her mother.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book really took me by surprise. I had a hard time getting into it, and was prepared to give up more than once in the beginning. I struggled with the initial four or five chapters, then something happened and the story really took off. I was hooked. I wanted to know more about what happened and get to know Thea. And I’m glad I followed through because this was a great book.
Thea is a wonderful character, a girl I could sympathize with, someone I wanted to be friends with. She was written very well and it was easy to root for her. She might be a bit naïve at times, but someone it just made her endearing. Overall, I think the author did a great job developing all of the characters in this book, that said, those first few chapters was confusing when it came to characters. I couldn’t really wrap my head around who was who and what they were doing there. By chapter 5, I kind of got it and also, that’s when Thea left her home and met new people anyways.
I can say though that the twists weren’t really twists and I could see the where the story was heading long before it was revealed, and that did take away som of the tension and excitement of reading. Also the book felt a bit safe. What I mean by that is even though there were dangerous situations in the book and our main character found herself in extremely dangerous situations it never really felt as severe as if probably should have. I never feared for Thea or her life because there was something serene about the way it was written, a little poetic perhaps, I’m not sure. But it wasn’t dangerous, it was safe at all times even through torture and death and hell. The book is written in first person, so perhaps it’s just Thea’s personality that does it, if she’s not afraid, what should the reader be. But there are times where she’s too serene for the situation.
The plot flowed nicely even if I at times found that perhaps there was a little too much “nonsense” weaved in that made it unnecessarily slow and tempted me to skim through parts of it, but overall it was really good and I think the author managed to keep the tension and suspense and add new layers to the story as it went on and when it all was slowly unraveled by the end I felt satisfied. I mean, there’s always things to point out and things that could’ve been better, but there’s no such thing as perfect and this is simply a really good book, and a debut at that. So, I’m going to give this five stars because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
If you like fantasy, don’t miss this one.
Pre-order this now on Amazon, you won’t regret it.