Title: Alchemy Ever After
Author: Raine & Siôn O’Tierney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 56 Pages
At a Glance: Short story with a sweet, innocent apprentice, a grumpy alchemist, and a sculpture come to life.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: The city of New Alexandria is filled with powerful magicians-in-training and mechanical follies, the world’s largest library, and marvels beyond compare. The allure of this modern metropolis draws young people from all over the world, but Idrian has come instead for the opportunity to learn the new art of alchemy.
He’s been taken as an apprentice by Maketh, a scholar experimenting with new ways to combine technology and the ancient mystic arts. Together they’ve animated a living ice sculpture. Idrian cannot wait to unveil the sculpture alongside the other wonders at the annual Spring Festival.
After witnessing his master in a passionate embrace with another student, Idrian’s mind drifts to things beyond alchemy. And when a warm touch accidentally awakens the consciousness within the living sculpture, Idrian learns firsthand about physicality and the magic of passion.
Review: New Alexandria makes me weep for the loss of the Library at Alexandria, even if this story isn’t actually about the library in New Alexandria. Even so, this is a pleasant short story with a lovely, sweet apprentice, and a sculpture come to life.
There is a bit of dubious consent in the beginning of the story. I should probably just categorize it as non-con, but things work out in the end? I will say that the first scene between Idrian and Rowe threw me off. It is sudden, though, and told from Idrian’s point of view, who has no real idea of what’s happening to him. It’s mercifully short.
Idrian’s innocence was charming at times, though I felt he was much younger than his actual age. He has a passion for alchemy and will do whatever it takes to learn and progress the art, even if it means forsaking the Academy where he would have to choose between magics and engineering.
Rowe is dashing, almost pirate like, and a bit conceited. Not sure how I really felt about him, especially at first, though in the end I did warm up to him a bit.
Maketh is like the absent-minded professor, and needs to be reminded to do everything from Idrian or his younger lover, Raj. Raj is also conceited, but I liked his straightforward attitude and self-assurance.
If the authors were to write a sequel with these characters, I might be interested in reading it, just to see how Idrian develops. For the story focusing on him, there wasn’t much in the way of development. Rowe certainly changed the most of the two.
You can buy Alchemy Ever After here: