Title: The Alchemists of Loom
Author: Elise Kova
Publication Date: Jan 10, 2017
I received an ARC from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Her vengeance. His vision.
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.
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Alchemy, magic and steampunk elements collide to form an astonishingly well-written and engrossing first book in a new series by one of my all time favourite authors. This world of Loom is amazing. The author’s attention to detail and the way in which she slowly builds this world is commendable. What is also interesting is that the pacing never suffered because of this.
The characters really shine and the magical system is unique and really mind-blowing. I’m a sucker for cool magical systems and this one had me at hello. I could go on and on to describe it but it is best experienced and would totally spoil your reading experience. There are four guilds ; the Ravens, the Revolvers (my guild :)), the Alchemists and the Ravens and each of these have their specialities in terms of magic and they way they use it. We follow four characters, Arianna (Ari), Florence, Cvareh and Leona. Cvareh is a dragon with really cool abilities and Ari is among other things a dragon killer while Florence is her apprentice. Arianne is a chimera, augmented with dragon parts which come in handy when going up against dragons.The dragons look nothing like their namesake and their ‘wings’ are essentially gliders which require magic from the dragon rider to use or steer. Arianne and other inhabitants of Loom are convinced that all dragons are evil. But are they?
In the Loom world, consisted of Nova, home of dragons (think ‘sky’) and Loom (‘earth’). The people who live on Loom are called the Fenthri. They were once free but their discovery of the dragons led to them being subdued, to the Guilds being overthrown and re-organised according to the Dragon king’s whim. Another cool element which literally adds color to the novel, is that the people have different skin color such as grey, blue, green etc. How cool is that? Ari’s skin is gray while Cvareh’s is blue.
The dynamics of the relationship between Ari and Cvareh is amusing at times and interesting to watch as it unfolds. There is also an underlying sexual tension which makes it all the more interesting. This word is as multi-faceted is its characters. Just when you think you understand how all the pieces fit together, and where they are, you are surprised. This could have turned out to be confusing if not for the creative genius of the author who weaves it all together skilfully.
With its amazing world-building, well drawn, interesting, multi-dimensional and relatable characters, this world of Loom is vibrant and captivating and I can’t wait to read more about it. I can honestly say I loved everything about this book. I like the themes of friendship and loyalty and the idea that one should judge another on their acts as an individual and not on the acts of thegroup or race of people they belong to. These characters have already stolen my heart and I’m curious to see how they grow in the sequels to come.
About The Author
Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).
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