The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
Published by Keymaster Press on January 10, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
Pages: 380 – hardcover & ebook
Format Read: paperback ARC
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Keymaster Press
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.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.*
Wow. It’s a known fact that Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series is one of my all-time favorite books. So you’d understand why I had doubts about going into a whole new world (without Vhalla & Aldrik!) Fortunately, these doubts were unfounded. This was an extremely captivating book, and it was nothing like Air Awakens! I was blown away by the complexity of the world & characters. The imagination and creativity needed must’ve been off the charts! Round of applause to Elise!
When I first started reading, I may have struggled a bit to get past the first 10-20% of the book. This was probably because it took a while to familiarize myself with the world & its characters. Seriously, when I say the world was complex, I mean it. It’s overwhelming to a reader who usually sticks to YA Fantasy. This is high fantasy. However, when I got past the beginning & really started to connect to the characters, I was hooked. The book is told in the alternating POVs of Arianna, Cvareh, and Florence (and occasionally, Leona).
Don’t expect the characters in this book to be the warm, heroic type, because they certainly aren’t. They all come from different backgrounds and have their own agendas. Everyone is cutthroat as hell. I really grew to love everyone, though. Especially Arianna. The way Arianna’s character is written at the beginning makes it hard for the reader to really connect with or even like her. However, as the story unfolds, we get glimpses into her past which really helps the reader put together a clearer picture of Ari. In a way, she reminded me of Celaena from ToG and Arya Stark from GoT.
My favorite thing about this book is the slow burn relationship of Ari and Cvareh. I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-reluctant-friends-to-lovers(¿) trope. I loved how hot and cold Ari’s attitude was toward Cvareh at times and I absolutely loved how Cvareh wasn’t having any of Ari’s shit. Their relationship dynamic was really intense & complicated. There are obviously still quite a few secrets between them; I’m excited to see where they’re headed in the next book! They’re no Vhalla and Aldrik, but I still absolutely adored them.
Of course, Ari & Cvareh’s isn’t the only amazing relationship. The dynamic between Cvareh, Florence, and Ari was phenomenal; I loved reading their interactions! They all have such different personalities that really shine through on the page. Such well-rounded, dimensional characters!
This book wouldn’t be what it is without the extraordinary plot and worldbuilding. The wonderfully set up atmosphere of the story, combined with the extremely detailed world, made for a kickass story. Elise really outdid herself with the worldbuilding in this one. The writing also contributed to the excellent worldbuilding. It really helped further immerse the reader into the story. It was excellent, as per usual.
In conclusion, if you’re a fantasy or steampunk fan, then The Alchemists of Loom is sure to delight you. This is a world where the magical and the mechanical collide. Although it took me a while to acclimate to it, the world is wonderfully built and the atmosphere is wonderfully set up. The characters are very dimensional, with distinct personalities that really shine through on the page. Also, their relationship dynamics were very intriguing to read about. The Alchemists of Loom has it all — a highly intelligent, unapologetic protagonist, an action-filled plot, an elaborate world, and superb writing. I’m so glad Elise Kova blessed us with this!
Rating: 4 fish!