I was so intrigued when I heard about a book that was a mix of high fantasy and steampunk. I love fantasy and I have been curious about steampunk for a while but I have never quite got round to reading a steampunk novel. Because of it’s mix of genre’s The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova seemed to be the perfect book to introduce me, gently, to a genre I really wanted to jump in to. I was not disappointed! I definitely made the right choice to read The Alchemists of Loom, in fact after reading it I went out and bought all of the other books by Elise Kova that I could find!
Title: The Alchemists of Loom (Book 1 of The Loom Saga)
Author: Elise Kova
Blurb: Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
Categories: Fantasy, Steampunk, Sci-Fi, Magic, Dragons
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Review: Ok as you might already have guessed, I adore this book, (well I adore the whole series but more of that later!) After reading this one book, Elise Kova became an auto-buy author for me, meaning that whenever she has a new book out, I have to get it!
The writing style is incredible, as is the worldbuilding. Kova creates two opposing cultures which are so totally ‘other’ from out own, but without making one inherently lesser than the other. Both worlds are vivid, magical creations. The depth of worlds and cultures is awe inspiring and I found myself wishing I could visit both Loom and Nova. The map of Loom is so interesting (I always love when a book includes a map) and in the two later books of the series the map of Nova is just as interesting.
I love the three central characters, though if I was forced to pick one favourite it would have to be Cvareh. He is just wonderful to read, and I love the chapters from his point of view. He sees things in such a singular way. The change in point of view really helps to bring the worlds alive, as the ingrained opinions of the characters really help to colour your view of both the other characters and the other world.
One thing which stood out for me, in The Alchemists of Loom was that Kova writes two strong female characters so well. Arianna and Florence are both a difference points in their lives, Arianna as the master/mentor and Florence as the apprentice. what is so refreshing about their relationship is that they strengthen reach other. Neither is willing to sacrafice their friendship even when they are idealistically at odds which each other. After reading so many books where main characters throw their friends under a bus at the first opportunity, or where the main character detests everyone else of their (usually female) gender, this really was a breath of fresh air.
I do want to give away too many spoilers so I will keep this brief, but if you want magic mixed with mechanical, friendship, organ harvesting and two incredible cultures at odds with each other then The Alchemists of Loom is a must read! It has everything I wish for in a book. The world-building is flawless,the characters are incredibly well developed, as are the relationships between them, the story is fast paced and the dialogue at times heartfelt and at times totally sassy! The magical system which Kova has created for these two completely different worlds is both unique and intriguing.
And as a side note – because I can’t leave this without mentioning it…. how amazingly, incredible is the cover! I mean if I saw *The Alchemists of Loom in my local book shop I would have to buy it based on the cover alone (and the two later books in The Loom Saga are just as incredible!)
I will be reviewing the later books in the Loom Saga – *The Dragons of Nova, and *The Rebels of Gold as soon as I can, so keep an eye out for those if you like the sound of this one!
Do you like Fantasy and Steampunk? What book are you reading right now?
This post contains affiliate links. Words in italics and blue are quotes from The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
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