A Conspiracy of Alchemists (Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1)

A Conspiracy of Alchemists (Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1)

by Liesel Schwarz
3.6 13

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A Conspiracy of Alchemists (Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1) by Liesel Schwarz

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.
When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

Praise for A Conspiracy of Alchemists
“Oh my Steampunk God! . . . If you like steampunk you definitely have to give this jewel a try. It would be a sin not to, really.”—Butterfly-o-Meter Books
“A wonderful sense of fun on every page . . . Visit [your] nearest bibliographic emporium and seek this rather magnificent tome out.”—The Eloquent Page
“I truly enjoyed this novel and strongly suggest it to Steampunk fans. I’m convinced A Conspiracy of Alchemists will rock your world!”—Tynga’s Reviews
“Pure fun to read.”—Karissa’s Reading Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345548269
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Series: Chronicles of Light and Shadow Series , #1
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 1,200,833
Product dimensions: 4.44(w) x 6.76(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Liesel Schwarz, a lifelong fan of nineteenth-century Gothic literature, is a hopeless romantic who loves Victorians, steampunk, fairies, fantasy monsters, the fin de siècle, and knowing the correct way to drink absinthe. She also likes medieval things, pirates, zombies, space operas, and all subjects in between.

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A Conspiracy of Alchemists 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great addition to the world of steampunk- and not YA!  A good mystery, great characters, and writing that will grow with the author.  Every time I thought the mystery was wrapping up, another layer was added.  I highly recommend to those who already love steampunk, as well as those who have yet to explore the world.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
A Promising New Steampunk Series Goodreads Blurb: <blockquote><strong>LEAVE IT TO CHANCE.</strong> Eleanor &ldquo;Elle&rdquo; Chance, that is&mdash;a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure and the heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold. It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow&mdash;the traditional realm of the supernatural. Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back. Blood-sucking immortal Nightwalkers and their spellcasting Alchemist allies have a plan to cover the whole world in shadow. All they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret. But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for. This enterprising young woman, the daughter of a scientific genius, has reserves of bravery and determination that even she scarcely suspects. Now she is about to meet her match in more ways than one: a handsome yet infuriating Warlock named Hugh Marsh, whose agenda is as suspect as his charms are annoyingly irresistible.</blockquote> An exciting and creative series debut, this book deftly combines history with science fiction, fantasy, in the wonderful and magical world of steampunk fiction. From the very beginning this series revolves around a very strong-willed young lady, one who can serve tea in the drawing room to members of high society, then turn around and pilot her own dirigible. Elle takes after her father with a mind for mathematics and engineering, yet remains as feminine as the next debutant - when it suits her that is. Lord Greychester, also known as Hugh Marsh, is a striking leading male character. He is a lovely blend of domineering, devious, gallant, chivalrous, and utterly bemused by the young Ms. Elle Chance. As a Warlock Mr. Marsh has a duty, but he finds it more and more difficult to fulfill his obligations. The longer he goes without fully explaining himself to Elle, the stronger she is in her resistance of his 'requests.' The other characters are just as developed as necessary to get by. They aren't particularly well-rounded, with a few exceptions of course. Normally that would bother me, but in this case it works. Most of the other characters fall into the roll of antagonist of varying degrees, and as villains they play their roles very well, if not a bit by rote. Most are caricatures of the evil villains of the 1920's and 30's, with the billowing black cape and mustache waxed into points, yet they fit the story flawlessly. They all have the traditional motivations, greed and power, and they are more than willing to kill to gain what they want, which of course is a real problem for Elle, seeing as she is what they want. Or more precisely, what is inside her is what they want. This story starts neatly and quickly picks up speed, until it is as fast as a runaway freight train. Yet for all the speed the plot is still well rounded and peppered with great details and tantalizing glimpses of what might be. The arc of the story is smooth, with steady pacing that ebbs and flows with a very natural feeling. Each scene is smoothly constructed, and even with an explosive ending the book still leaves a few threads dangling to better set up the next book in the series. Though not the most original steampunk book I've read, this one more than satisfies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LittleReadRidingHood More than 1 year ago
Alchemists is a good mix of paranormal, sci fi, steam punk, and a touch of fantasy (with the epic journey). The writing is a little cheeky and formal all at the same time, which kept taking me out of the story. That kind of story-telling works for some people, but it just didn't &quot;do it&quot; for me. The combination of steam punk and paranormal was a lot fun. The magics that helped run the machinery could have been explained a bit better, but overall by the end of the story I had a good grasp on the world and the things that ran it. The romance, while cute, seemed forced at times. Marsh and Elle are fabulous characters on their own, with their own strengths and challenges, but I was never really rooting for them as a couple. I am having a hard time putting this review down - the book was ok, I enjoyed it fine, I had some issues, but overall finished the story and it was that - just ok. Nothing major was wrong, and nothing made me all giddy.
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
Charming, Funny and Entertaining Elle is a strong main character. Very independent, pretty and smart. This is the first Adult steampunk novel that I have completely lost myself in. The others I had read didn't quite fit the expectations that I had for the genre. But sure am glad I decided to pick this one up because it has given me hope to try more! I usually read young adult novels and even though this one is not one, I would still recommend it for all readers. We start off in Paris, and Patrice is asking Elle to take a package and take a transport in her dirigible as a favor. While discussing the terms in his office, she is also given payment in the form of a diamond bracelet in which an absinthe fairy flies into before she can leave, temporarily locking the bracelet onto her arm. Then all hell breaks loose, she must escape danger, looses the package and gets shot at as she takes off. Only to find out that when she arrives home that her scientist father has been abducted and the group from Paris is still after her. This leads us on a fun adventure over and through Europe as she must stay ahead of Air Pirates and Alchemists. We meet vampires. oracles, warlocks along the way (to name a few). With her companion, a Warlock named Marsh. She also discovers that he knew her mother and that there is a connection to their worlds that goes beyond her missing father. The story is interspersed with narration by the absinthe fairy and fun gadgets that light up Elle's eyes during the trip. Her excitement and determination really drive the story and I found it a very fun read. I recommend this one!
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Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars ~Reviewed by FRANCESCA &amp; posted at Under the Covers Book Blog &ldquo;This series is definitely one to look out for. I&rsquo;m very curious as to where the story can go from here. It has so much potential and I&rsquo;ll be reading the next book for sure.&rdquo; ~Under the Covers The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. I saw a huge posted at the Del Rey booth at Comic Con last year and immediately wanted to buy it, only to find out it wasn&rsquo;t coming out until this year. Could it be one of those cases where the cover misled me? Just a little. Even though the cover is very much representative of the story. And the story was very interesting. It just fell a little flat in some parts. I&rsquo;m a little confused as to how to classify the book to begin with. It is definitely historical but it&rsquo;s not historical romance. There&rsquo;s paranormal elements (the alchemists, absint fairies, warlocks and such) but it&rsquo;s not a paranormal romance. Even though there is a romance. And although some might consider this a bit steampunk, I think I&rsquo;ll go with an urban fantasy. It best describes the series, just know that the other elements are mixed in as well. That being said, we have a strong heroine. Elle is a pilot. A female pilot at the turn of the 20th century. She doesn&rsquo;t normally walk around with gowns and pretty dresses. She&rsquo;s unconventional, opinionated, loyal and passionate. She loves her family and her job. My kind of heroine. She&rsquo;s stubborn but also realist. She didn&rsquo;t necessarily go with the flow and questioned things along the way, just like you would expect her to do. She is asked to transport a box from London to France, without knowing what it contains. She soon finds herself taking a couple of extra passengers on that trip. One of those a sexy and rich guy who turns out to be a warlock. Now she has the Alchemist enemies after her. Marsh was alluring enough to peak my interest and I can see there&rsquo;s potential for me to really like him in the next book. He immediately recognizes something in her that is not fully plain human but has to bide his time to get her to come to terms with that and find out what it is. The sexual tension wasn&rsquo;t as thick as it could&rsquo;ve been but it was nice to be able to see into both Marsh and Elle&rsquo;s heads to find out how they were feeling. Otherwise, I would&rsquo;ve never known there was an attraction! As Marsh and Elle go through France and Venice to find her father, who was kidnapped before she got back home, they get in all kinds of trouble and meet interesting characters. The plot has twists that I definitely didn&rsquo;t expect, which was also nice to see. I did not expect Elle to turn out to be what she did. Setting this story in the era she did was a perfect choice. I felt the actual time period and places where as much a character in the story as the actual characters. It added an extra appeal that worked for me. However, I do feel that this book suffered from first book syndrome. Not in a way of info dump like many do, just that the story could&rsquo;ve been a lot more pulse-pounding than it was. But not only is this the first book in this series, but the author&rsquo;s debut. This series is definitely one to look out for. I&rsquo;m very curious as to where the story can go from here. It has so much potential and I&rsquo;ll be reading the next book for sure. *ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley
lucieparis2011 More than 1 year ago
An exotic journey alongside endearing characters. In view of the cover, I imagined a heroine with a temper due to the pistol by her side. A mystery adventure like &quot;The Mummy&quot; by Stephen Sommers with a touch of elegance and refinement. All these clues with nothing but a simple picture cover... Lucky me, my imagination is fertile! After reading the synopsis, I thought that I had good nose or a great intuition. So, I embarked on a delightful adventure full of rhythm. From the first pages, I was not disappointed. There are intriguing characters, suspense and magic. Elle Chance is a woman full of spirit, surprises, with a sharp tongue, for an English lady from the early 20th century. If the story is nothing like the adventures of Rick O'Connell and Evy Carnahan and their quest in Egypt, how the two heroes spend their time getting on each others nerves before yielding to passion is exactly the atmosphere that exists between Elle and Mr. Marsh. Sparks are flying! But her association with Mr. Marsh is a dangerous one ...  Rhythmed, the text takes you from London to Constantinople / Istanbul via Venice by plane, helicopter and the Orient Express. A pleasant trip! For cons, the lack of choice for Elle Chance on being an Oracle and choosing her path, her destiny annoyed me. The good or bad guys want to use her power by locking her in a golden cage for the good of a greater cause... Are you serious ? I even stopped my reading for a while because of this idea. Who can say what is good for him except himself? Fortunately, I've pursued the adventures of Elle and Marsh and I was glad to have persevered. An exotic journey alongside endearing characters. Lucie newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Elle Chance, a woman airship captain, takes on odd cargo and passengers on a flight from Paris to England. Her choice to accept this charter sets off a chain of events that she could never imagine. In a world where machines and science have taken over were magic reined, Elle finds herself the key to opening the world back up to power. As a scientist daughter, she is extremely reluctant to this new path. Mr. Marsh is one of Elle&rsquo;s passengers on that fate filled night. He is a Viscount and a warlock, so he is very familiar with power and magic. Leading Elle along the path she doesn&rsquo;t want to travel attraction begins to grow. Pursued for her magical naivet&eacute; and power Elle is in a for fight for her life. With her help form Mr. Marsh she must keep the Alchemists from ripping a whole in the world&rsquo;s fabric. Treachery and betrayal is at every turn and Elle must decide in whom she can trust. A Conspiracy of Alchemist was an interesting story with a very intriguing start to a new series. The story was slow building and filled with lots of dialogue. This was a fascinating cross of fantasy and steampunk, twisting magic and machine. I enjoyed this story and will be reading the continuation of The Chronicle of Light and Shadow. This ARC copy of A Conspiracy of Alchemists was given to me by Random House Publishing Group in exchange for a honest review. Publish Date March 5, 2013.