The Alchemist: Dawn of Destiny by L.A. Wasielewski
Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: The Alchemist Trilogy
Genre: fantasy, high fantasy
Pub. Date: October 18, 2018
Ryris Bren is living his dream as a talented alchemist, when he opens a new store in the big city. But after what should’ve been a routine trip for supplies goes awry, he’s forced to face a terror from a forgotten past—a necromancer thought long banished is rising again with a new pawn. With the fate of the Vrelin Empire hanging in the balance, Ryris must face his fears, and choose between everything he wants and being true to himself—which might just include revealing all the secrets his family has worked so hard to keep.
This is a book that fits very well within it’s genre. It’s pretty much exactly what one would expect from high fantasy. There’s a big bad, and an unassuming boy has to stop it. I’m not knocking it, it’s a well established formula, and this book works well within it, I just would’ve liked a little more to make the book stand out from other books within the genre.
The writing itself is gorgeous, and I would say that was the high point of the book for me. It was easy to get lost within the story, with a main character that’s easy to cheer for, and badass warriors that are clad in crystal armor. More than that, the best parts are where the author doesn’t pull any punches and the worst thing you can imagine happening does. With stakes that are well set, and the knowledge that absolutely everything could go wrong, it was hard to put the book down, I had to know what was going to happen.
Where I found myself losing interest, was in the characters, they sort of fell into the type-casts of the genre. I could predict a character before I even had a chance to get to know them. And it got old. I cheered for Ryris throughout most of the book, but honestly there were times where I wanted to scream at him to get his shit together and try harder and stop whining. But perhaps that says more about me than the character. Overall, I found that my favourite characters were side characters.
As for recommending, definitely check this one out if you’re a fan of classic high fantasy. It’s well-written with a high stakes final battle that threatens everything that Ryris holds dear.
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