Alchemy of Desire [NOOK Book]

Overview


After winning the Civil War against the Confederate Wielders, the Union Machinists have outlawed magic to usher in a new age of steam-powered technology. Diah, an alchemist and the only non-wielder in his family, owes his brother for saving his life in the war; so when Cager is blackmailed into procuring the magical hide of the White Buffalo, Diah accompanies him to the Dakota territory.

Their guide is Oni, a half-Lakota woman with plenty of secrets to hide. She's a magic ...

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Alchemy of Desire

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Overview


After winning the Civil War against the Confederate Wielders, the Union Machinists have outlawed magic to usher in a new age of steam-powered technology. Diah, an alchemist and the only non-wielder in his family, owes his brother for saving his life in the war; so when Cager is blackmailed into procuring the magical hide of the White Buffalo, Diah accompanies him to the Dakota territory.

Their guide is Oni, a half-Lakota woman with plenty of secrets to hide. She's a magic wielder with an illegal wand concealed in her knife—and she's a coyote shifter. To her people, killing the White Buffalo is not only sacrilege, it's dangerous. Oni has no intention of helping them actually achieve their mission—until she falls in love with Diah…

83,340 words


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426896736
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Sales rank: 510,603
  • File size: 351 KB

Read an Excerpt


New Orleans
Late August, 1872

"Uh-oh," the cab driver muttered. "You'd better stay inside for a moment, mister, until Monsieur Lamont's boys are finished."

Diah Reynolds shuffled his packages of alchemical supplies and peeked out the window. This visit just got far more interesting. Outside his brother's Garden District home, two men wrestled with a third, taking care to avoid the dim gaslights and keep their identities bathed in shadows. "Should we break it up?"

The driver shook his head. "You can if you want. Me, I prefer to keep my toes from being turned into gator bait."

Before Diah jumped out to assist, the scuffle moved toward a waiting steam carriage, and the light flashed on the face of the man dragged they dragged inside. Diah's gut clenched. It was Cager. As soon as the door closed, red smoke belched from the boiler, and the horseless carriage sped off toward the French Quarter.

Jean-Baptiste Lamont, the self-proclaimed King of New Orleans, ran the city like a tyrant. If anyone crossed him, they were usually found floating facedown in a bayou the next morning. What worried him more was how Cager knew Lamont.

"Follow them."

"Are you crazy, mister? Ol' Sal here can't keep up with one of them steam carriages."

"Do your best. That's my brother they're taking."

The horse's hooves clopped down the smoke-filled streets, their pace matching Diah's own galloping pulse. He reached into his pocket and wrapped his hand around the vial of black fire inside. If worst came to worst, he could use that to free his brother.

As they came closer to the river, a dense fog rolled in and mixed with the soot and steam to cover the French Quarter in a thick blanket. When the Machinists won the war, they'd promised to usher in a new age of steam-powered technology. They kept their promise, but at a cost. The air now seemed choked from the hundreds of coal fires that fueled the cities. Only the very rich could afford the clean-burning murcarbonite, a rare ore discovered during the war that held more than twenty times the heat energy of coal.

Diah covered his mouth with a handkerchief to keep from coughing on the foul air as he leaned out the window to follow the taxi with his brother inside. The pedestrians in the narrow streets behind St. Louis Cathedral flattened themselves against the buildings covered with iron lace to keep from getting run over by Lamont's carriage. At last it came to a stop, and the three men exited it.

The driver pulled on the reins of his horse. "That's Monsieur Lamont's club, mister. The good news is that your brother walked into it instead of being carried."

"If there's anything good to be said about this situation." Diah climbed out of the cab and fished a few dollars from his pocket. "Drop the packages off with the servants at my brother's house."

The driver's grin widened when he counted the bills and calculated the generous tip Diah had given him. "Yes, sir. Good luck in there. You got more nerve than half this city."

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    A Fun Read

    I enjoyed this book. In her opening chapters, Ms. McHugh does an excellent job with establishing the steampunk aspect of her novel, including the magical elements. I thought the setting was wonderful, and the conflict between the brothers (one a Union Machinist, one a Confederate Magic Wielder, both Southerners) was multi-layered and complex. The conflict was not just about choosing sides in the war but ran deeper than that for both brothers. And watching Oni and DIah fight their attraction for made for a good time!

    There were a few typographical errors early in the book, which threw me off a little bit, but I'm one of those that will catch everything (unless it's my own, and then all bets are off). But this is a minor quibble overall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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