The Alchemist's Code (Venice Trilogy Series #2)

The Alchemist's Code (Venice Trilogy Series #2)

4.0 5
by Dave Duncan
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The legendary Maestro Nostradamus may be able to glimpse the ever- changing future, but even he cannot see the danger that is about to envelop him and his daring apprentice Alfeo when Nostradamus is hired to find a foreign spy by Venice's ruling Council of Ten. The only clues they can offer him are the spy's intercepted messages, encoded in a seemingly unbreakable

Overview

The legendary Maestro Nostradamus may be able to glimpse the ever- changing future, but even he cannot see the danger that is about to envelop him and his daring apprentice Alfeo when Nostradamus is hired to find a foreign spy by Venice's ruling Council of Ten. The only clues they can offer him are the spy's intercepted messages, encoded in a seemingly unbreakable cipher.

But Nostradamus soon detects evil influences working against him, and realizes the spy can only be caught by occult means. He turns to his able apprentice, the young swordsman Alfeo Zeno, whose unique talents may prove essential to unraveling the truth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Slightly overbalanced by dense, lush descriptions, Duncan's elaborate sequel to 2007's The Alchemist's Apprenticefinds footing in intricate plots and conspiracies. Able swordsman Alfeo Zeno, a brash young noble serving as Nostradamus's apprentice, provides a firsthand account of murder and romance in an alternate 16th-century Venice. This time the mystery centers around coded messages from an enemy agent, with Nostradamus and Zeno aiming first to crack the code and then to find the spy through a combination of magic and Holmesian investigation and deduction. Zeno's chatty narration breathes life into the city as he describes its political and social structure. The level of detail occasionally stifles the flow of Duncan's prose, an effect offset by the energy of the twisting plot. The only snag is the somewhat superfluous element of the fantastic, which adds little to this tale of interpersonal intrigue. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The prophet and clairvoyant Nostradamus occasionally accepts commissions to use his psychic talents to find runaway daughters and other tragedies of the nobles. When Venice's Council of Ten hires him to find a spy, however, he must call upon the skills of Alfeo Zeno, his noble-born apprentice and master swordsman, little knowing that he is sending Zeno to almost certain death. This sequel to The Alchemist's Apprentice continues Duncan's fantasy "biography" of the legendary prophet, focusing as well on his young apprentice, who represents the liveliness and richness of the Italian Renaissance. This should appeal to fans of historical fantasy and belongs in most libraries.
—Jackie Cassada

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441016907
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
02/24/2009
Series:
Venice Trilogy Series, #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds are more satisfying than the real one, he has published more than thirty novels.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Alchemist's Code (Venice Trilogy Series #2) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Maestro Nostradamus is many things he is physician to the Venetian doge, a clairvoyant, an astrologist, and a spell weaver. His reputation is so great that he and his apprentice Alfeo Zeno live in grandeur on the top floor of the Mansion of Alvise Barbolano. --- Zuanbattista Sanudo and his wife Eva Morosini come to Nostradamus to ask him to use his clairvoyance skills to locate their missing daughter Graziaa. The Maestro has a vision in his crystal ball he tells Alfeo to go to a certain place at a certain time in order to find Grazia. He not only finds her, he sees her new husband Danese Dolfin, a gigolo who has done many unsavory things. The Council of Ten including the Doge summons Nostradamus to their meeting place. They direct him to uncover the identity of a spy who is selling secrets to a foreign government. The operative Algol has written letters that were intercepted but are in a code that no one has broken. The Maestro tries to decipher the code, but he realizes he is under magical attack which leads Alfeo to the home of Sanudo he finds the abode under the spell of a curse. Alfeo tries to lift the curse using magic only to catch the eye of the Chief Inquisitioner whose aide accuses the maestro¿s apprentice of murder and practicing the black arts. --- When one thinks of Dave Duncan, normally fans would think of an entertaining superior fantasist. However, his Alchemist saga (see THE ALCHEMIST¿S APPRENTICE) shares the same quality of excellence, but is different with a fantasy flavoring to a historical saga. Readers join the Maestro and his apprentice in trying to figure out who the spy is, why someone the hero knew was murdered, and what object caused the curse. Told by Alfeo, the audience sees through his awed eyes how his master is a Machiavellian wizard who pulls people into his way of thinking. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago