Witch Art credit to Astromoali
The subject of yesterday’s Wyrd & Wonder prompt, Alchemy, is one of my favorite fantasy topics. I will always read about alchemy. There’s a lot that an author can do with the topic although usually it takes one of two forms:
1) Creating or locating an alchemist’s stone to transmute gold or other precious metal
2) Trying to create or locate an elixir of life
While those are not bad ideas, I find them overdone and frequent quest goals. I am going to highlight some of my favorite alchemy related books, ideas, and alchemists who do different things with the subject.
Alright let’s go!
Ashlords by Scott Reintgen: Alchemy -> Magic Phoenix Horses
Phoenix horses are cool by themselves, right? In this YA book that I affectionately dubbed Hunger Games meets The Scorpio Races, alchemists choose their materials to create magic horses with specific abilities. They are in a potentially deadly phoenix race against other promising young alchemists and each ingredient gives the horses different powers. That one was unique to me. I reviewed it here
Give the Dark My Love: Alchemy -> Necromancy
Alchemy is a higher trade and a young girl wants to go and learn the craft. Alchemists can transmute, brew, craft crucibles of different metal, and then there is a forbidden fourth branch …. necromancy. Alchemy is a wild ride in this as the crucibles can trap souls, transfer pain, create plague, and when the worst happens our main character takes off down the darkest road possible. One of my favorite YA books. Look at her holding a crucible on the cover!
Grand Apothecary Putress: Alchemy -> Undead Plague
Branching off into a different sect of storytelling (but yes there’s a book too), the Royal Apothecary Society was a black line of lore in the Warcraft universe. Creating potions, necromancy, the forsaken plague, general plague, and lord knows what else.
Grand Apothecary Putress eventually staged a coup at Wrathgate after years in service to Sylvanas and the Forsaken, and you’d better believe that I loved seeing his dead head roll at the end.
Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!
A small but iconic figure in the universe for sure and one that I’ll always remember.
The Royal Apothecary Society’s story is best told in Sylvanas, although it’s a small role.
Snape -> Potions
Now that I’m branching off into favorite alchemists, I can’t neglect our favorite potions master aka THBP
What was your favorite Snape moment? There aren’t enough potions masters in fantasy as major characters. It’s not usually an exciting topic for book matter but I always love a brewmaster
A Far Wilder Magic: Alchemy -> Magical Hunt
Here’s one more book that I’ve read fairly recently, where the competitive hunt is on for a magical creature. Hunters enter in teams of two: a sharpshooter and an alchemist. Margaret is a sharpshooter, and Weston is…well … barely an alchemist in training. He had natural talent though, kind of. There wasn’t as much alchemy as I’d have liked in this one but it was a different concept. I reviewed it here
The Lady Alchemist
I’m surprised that it took so long for Rumplestilksin – with – alchemy to become a thing. Here, Samantha Vitale has a young alchemist attempting and unable to transmute straw into gold as a prison sentence. Eventually she has to transmute a body for a magician and things get a little twisted, but I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit
What fantasy books with alchemy do you recommend?? I need more and am always looking for unique takes!