Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom

When I first looked at the cover and read the blurb for Elise Kova‘s newest fantasy epic, The Alchemists of Loom, I knew I would be reading something different. Through Kova’s Guild Games, I started to learn how vast the world she created was. Then, I finally read it and experienced the whole thing. And now, all I can say is this: I’ve never read anything like The Alchemists of Loom. Never, and I read an average of 200 books a year. From it’s very first page, Kova draws you into a world of danger, tyranny, and adventure, and keeps the twists coming until its breathtaking finale. Majorly recommended to all fantasy and steampunk readers looking for an adventure with exciting new characters in a setting and world you’ll never forget.

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.

***

There’s nothing I don’t love about this book. It’s just so different! The world is unique, detailed, and absolutely epic from its history to its Guilds and their vast differences to the way it’s all connected and ruled by ruthless Dragons. Every race is creative and brand new (seriously, aside from dragons, I can’t even begin to fathom what the other races were inspired by, it’s that inventive), the weapons aren’t typical (Ari’s winch box is one of the best weapons I’ve ever read about), and the descriptions of the world are one of a kind.

Then there are the characters, who are vivid and instantly loveable (save for one, but I’ll get to that soon). Ari is a mysterious, tough, neigh unstoppable woman who has no problem taking down any problem in her way. Cvareh isn’t a typical hero but someone I would absolutely trust with my life. Florence is adorable and feisty and owns my heart. Leona is the one I can’t call loveable, because she’s too intense and scary!

The action is rapid and heart-pounding, and the story itself is thrilling, full of twists and surprises and literally leaves you begging for more. I can’t have been more thrilled about this book and am so happy I gave it a chance. It’s really unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and I encourage every single person who likes fantasy, steampunk, adventure (or someone who plays a lot of D&D) to get out there and buy a copy of this truly one of a kind book. You will not be disappointed!

Amy

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