A Conspiracy of Alchemists

A Conspiracy of Alchemists

Book - 2013 | First edition
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"A Conspiracy of Alchemists is the first book of the Chronicles of Light and Shadow series, starring the spunky dirigible pilot Elle Chance and the handsome warlock Marsh. Set during the Belle Epoque, Conspiracy is a thrilling and inventive historical fantasy, where the myths and legends of Old Europe live side by side with the wondrous creations of modern scientists and aviators. It's also set in a world haunted by vampires, fairies, and other supernatural creatures. And it mixes a thrill-a-minute page-turning plot with a genuinely moving love story. In Conspiracy, Elle and Marsh face off against a shadowy band of alchemists intent on sundering the veil between the world of the supernatural and our own--and learn that Elle has a mysterious part to play in this magical conspiracy"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345545077
Branch Call Number: F SCHWA-L
Characteristics: 338 pages : 25 cm


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Jun 03, 2015

Fairly entertaining read. While the pairing is predictable, there's a twist that did take me by surprise in the form of one of the characters. While there are some steampunk influences, I would hesitate to category this as truly steampunk.

Cdnbookworm May 12, 2014

This is the first steampunk novel I think I've read, but it is historical fiction and has a paranormal romance in it as well. The year is 1903, and air traffic consists mostly of helium dirigibles. Elle Chance is likely the only female pilot of one, and she takes what charter work she can to get enough money to keep her ship, Water Lily, in good condition. So when Patrice, someone she has done work for before, asks her to come to Paris to transport something back to England, she agrees readily.
But when the item he entrusts to her is stolen and she is nearly kidnapped, and she discovers the real nature of what she is transporting, she realizes the danger she is now in. Back in England, more things have gone wrong and her father is now endangered as well. The influential Viscount Greychester has taken a strong interest in her safety, but what is his real purpose?
For the world that Elle lives in is divided into Light and Shadow. On the Shadow side are the Nightwalkers (vampires) with their partners the Alchemists trying to increase the influence of Shadow. On the Light side are other creatures including Warlocks like Marsh trying to keep the world in balance.
One of the controlling factors is an influential female known as The Oracle, and Elle's mother played this role until her death when Elle was a child. There are many on both sides who believe Elle is destined to take her mother's place, but what levels will they stoop to to make her fulfill such a role?
This is a book with a lot going on. One is the struggle between Light and Shadow, which is not a pure fight between good evil, but more complex. Another is the ambitious and adventurous Elle, with her strong family feelings and naivety in love. And then there is Marsh, who is the youngest on the Council of Warlocks, but also imbued with a strong sense of right and wrong, and an increasingly strong regard for Elle.
A good story, that is obviously the first in a series. Interesting characters with some complexity. Very enjoyable read


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