Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
The city of New Alexandria is filled with powerful magicians-in-training and mechanical follies, the world’s largest library, and marvels beyond compare. The allure of this modern metropolis draws young people from all over the world, but Idrian has come instead for the opportunity to learn the new art of alchemy.
He’s been taken as an apprentice by Maketh, a scholar experimenting with new ways to combine technology and the ancient mystic arts. Together they’ve animated a living ice sculpture. Idrian cannot wait to unveil the sculpture alongside the other wonders at the annual Spring Festival.
After witnessing his master in a passionate embrace with another student, Idrian’s mind drifts to things beyond alchemy. And when a warm touch accidentally awakens the consciousness within the living sculpture, Idrian learns firsthand about physicality and the magic of passion.
“Idrian stepped into the room he had visited so many, many times since beginning his apprenticeship. His eyes went immediately to the creature Master Maketh was animating for the annual Spring Festival. It lay naked, in the middle of the room, covered only by a thin sheet that did nothing to hide its form. Not only was it a thing of great beauty, it was a poetic creation too. It would “live,” moving and breathing, for only a few days before melting to nothing on the last day of the festival.”
Alchemy Ever After is a lovely short story, not exactly fantasy, at least not just fantasy, with some elements of steampunk, I honestly can’t quite place it. Still, the setting was interesting even if I’d have liked to know a little more about the world they are living in. The plot was well developed, I liked how the story evolved and most of all how the characters interacted with each other. For being so short, just a little more of fifty pages, I felt it a complete book. Having read Somebody Nice and Sweet Giordan, Please Remember by Raine, I already knew she could write sweet but solid stories.
It was an interesting and most of all different read, definitely not my usual. I admit I struggled a little at the start, I couldn’t understand where it was going. But when I discovered in Idrian not just an innocent young man, but a strong character, firm in his feelings and choice of working, I was captured. I liked him a little more every page I read. And the ending was simply perfect. Just what I was hoping to get.
Cover art by Catt Ford. Well done, I like the colors a lot. Really eye catching.
Published January 28th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English