Monday, April 22, 2013

A Conspiracy of Alchemists: By Liesel Schwarz



In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.

When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.


While at times a bit more Victorian than I like, A Conspiracy of Alchemists was one of the best steampunk books I’ve read. (in keeping with being open and honest I haven’t read a lot of steampunk, possibly a dozen or so)

But what I liked most about A Conspiracy of Alchemists was Schwarz’s world building. Schwarz does a terrific job of bringing readers into the world of magic and Victorian science seamlessly intermingling descriptions of contraptions and spark reactors without taking away from the pacing of the story or the development of the characters.

The bits of mystery and intrigue gained from the in-between chapters, narrator from the onlooker (don’t want to give anything away) are fantastic and kept me captivated as with the addition of each of these it was a quick peek into the future of the story arc and the mysteries that await readers and character alike. Further it was from these glimpses that readers will be introduced into the broader world that Schwarz has created giving insight into the realms of magic that Elle will experience.

That said, while I really liked Elle's spunk and determination to take care of herself, there were moments when her independence and refusal for help were just plain idiotic. Also, her pivot from outright rejection of her heritage to acceptance seemed too abrupt, too conveniently played. That said, there may be ramifications for this that I haven’t seen yet as there are currently two more books scheduled in the series.

All in all I liked Schwarz’s debut novel. I thought it had a lot of potential and I’m curious to see where she and Elle go next in the series.


Publisher: Del Rey

Published: March 5, 2013

Price: $25.00

Link to Buy:

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