A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz


First, the Horribly Truncated Summary: A group of alchemists and vampires hire a pirate blimp to chase down a girl who wears an absinthe fairy for a bracelet.

Blimp pirates! Absinthe fairies stuck inside jewelry! This book, guys! This book!

And then the author puts historical notes at the end! Real research with the British Library! I can’t use enough exclamation points!

But here’s a few extra, just in case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, let me calm down a bit. Sorry about that, readers. I should explain that the quickest way to endear me to your historical fantasy is to put your research into the book. It’s probably the reason I clung to Gabaldon for so long. Say what you want about her, she does her research.

Anyway, the book. Eleanor (Elle) Chance is an airship pilot who is chartered by her friend Patrice to take a box and a man secretly across the English Channel. For payment, she’s given a diamond bracelet that refuses to unclasp from her wrist.

Diamonds are forever, it seems.

As she leaves, Elle is attacked and the box stolen, leaving her with only a man to take to England. Elle, Patrice, and their companion Mr. Marsh are chased out of France (cause it’s France) and they retreat to Elle’s home in Oxford. Upon arrival, they find that Elle’s professor father has been abducted in her absence and they must find both the mystery box and Elle’s father while hoping around Europe in a beta gyrocopter.

Oh, and Mr. Marsh is a warlock.

Originally, I saw this book advertised on Goodreads and decided against reading it, even though the cover was eye-catching. Then, as a member of Netgalley (whose praises I’m not done singing), I was given the chance to review the sequel. I will be reviewing this sequel. This book was just too much fun to do otherwise.

We also have a good dose of romance, which complimented the book fairly well. The only gripes I had were minor. The first being the constant reference to Istanbul as Constantinople. I know the author mentions that the city is called Istanbul and the reason for the conversion, but I thought it should have been referred to as Istanbul more often for the historical period. Also, towards the end, there seems to be an element of over explanation at the detriment of one minor character, but I mostly forgave that. Lastly, there are a couple times when the author indulges with certain topics and gets away from the story, like the AWESOME FABULOUS COFFEE MACHINE on the train.

But coffee is awesome, as I am frequently told. Maybe I’m just too fond of my tea.

If you are into Victorian/Edwardian history, Steampunk, or human sacrifice, this book is for you. Just don’t tell me if you’re into human sacrifice. Some things are better left unsaid.


One thought on “A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

  1. ellewilder says:

    I really want to read this now 🙂

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