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Official Review: The Alchemist's Revenge by Peter Cakebread

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.

Official Review: The Alchemist's Revenge by Peter Cakebread

Post Number:#1 by kismoody
» 11 Mar 2014, 14:08

[Following is the official review of "The Alchemist's Revenge" by Peter Cakebread.]

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Peter Cakebread’s Alchemist’s Revenge is an excellent example of historical fiction. Set in an alternate 17th century, a civil war is tearing apart England. Part of the nation is run by parliament; the other part is royalist territory. Both sides are against the people who have magic within them. Some are even willing to use clockwork machines to obtain their ends. Belinda Fraser, recently widowed and a victim of the war against magic, is determined to make it to her family’s home up north. Desperate to find someone who will accompany her across parliamentary territory for money, she heads to a pub that is controlled by the Association, an organized crime group. Catching the wrong people’s attention, she is saved by William, a former soldier turned arms for hire with a mysterious objective in mind. Together, they head across dangerous territory, hostile lands, and all while being chased by the Association assassins. Will they succeed? What are William and Belinda’s ulterior motives? Will the Association catch up with them?

The plot itself was fast-paced, well-developed, and intriguing. The historical background of the 17th century is informative, fascinating, and enjoyable. The inclusion of steampunk and magic added to the story and didn’t upset the balance and expectation the reader has of the time period.

The author’s narrative and writing style is unique. His ability to move from scene to scene effortlessly while still maintaining reader’s attention is by far my favorite part of his story. His use of suspense is intense and well-written.

The character dynamic was fabulous and the banter between characters is easily mixed into the story. Belinda and William were by far the best characters, but even the supportive characters were well-developed and three dimensional on paper. Their personalities were unique and had fun quirks that made them seem more realistic to the reader and easily drew them into the character’s worlds.

As far as typos go, I didn’t notice very many and what few there might have been may have simply been the old way of spelling them. Some of the chapters did seem a little long, but didn’t detract the reader from the story.

Overall I’d give it 4 out of 4 stars. The story was entertaining and fast-paced enough to want to keep reading. Considering I usually have mixed opinions of historical fiction and alternate history historical fiction, this book couldn’t have done better at drawing me in. I would recommend it for people who enjoy historical fiction, alternate history books, fantasy, and steampunk fiction.

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