Haunted by the visions he inherited from his Jardi mother and isolated on his brooding grandfather's estate, Xavier thinks he'll go mad. When he finally escapes this dreary existence to attend university, he's bullied by his classmates because he's Jardi, one of the shunned Wagon People.
But when one of his teachers, a master alchemist, takes him on as an apprentice, he begins to feel things are looking up. That is, until a mysterious seer appears to deliver the dark prophesy that a powerful sorcerer wants to enslave him because of his gift. Conflicted about his Jardi gift, the vision to see inside things and transform them, Xavier must embrace his heritage if he hopes to survive.
His only allies in the battle against the sorcerer are a sentient falcon, who is both guardian and nag, and an enigmatic young knight with a lot of attitude and a dangerous secret.
When the trio arrives at the sorcerer's castle, Xavier is bewitched by the beauty and power the sorcerer wields in his magical garden. Lost in illusion, will he choose the seductive, starlight voices that beckon him to darkness or the love of his friends?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An adventure that shouldn't be missed, this story by L. E. Frost is a 5-star addition to any YA library. From beginning to end it's well worth your time. Looking forward to more from this talented author.
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite Xavier, the protagonist of Rose of the Alchemist by L. E. Frost, thinks his move to university will solve his problems. After all, it could not be worse than living with his grandfather who hated him because he was half Jardi. His grandfather thought his daughter was tainted by the marriage to Xavier’s father, yet after their deaths, he takes in the boy. At his new school, however, his Jardi heritage also causes Xavier plenty of grief. He immediately is bullied, but also makes a couple of friends. He is delighted when he learns that he is to be an alchemist’s student (but in secret). One day, Xavier has a vision in which a mystical being tells him that a powerful sorcerer is after him and that only by combining his power with another person will he have a chance to survive that confrontation. Xavier meets Meri who has his own secret but needs help to save his sister from the sorcerer. Together with a “talking” falcon, they go on an adventure they might not return from. I found Rose of the Alchemist by L. E. Frost to be quite a nice read. I liked Meri most as I liked the background story. I liked that none of the heroes were stereotypes as such and that Xavier himself also could not resist falling under a spell. I also felt for the falcon who had to make a difficult decision towards the end of the story, and I’d like to know what happens to him after he left! The atmosphere in the sorcerer’s castle was brilliantly done; even just reading about it felt like the place was wrong and however the author did this, it really helped with being immersed in the story. All in all, Rose of the Alchemist by L. E. Frost is a solid and entertaining story for fans of the fantasy genre.
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite In Rose of the Alchemist by L.E. Frost, Xavier hasn't been given a chance to really experience life as his grandfather has kept him inside his whole life because of Xavier being half Jardi. He finally gets his chance at freedom when he passes his exams to enter university. Leaving his dreary life behind, his new life offers him the opportunity to apprentice for one of his teachers, a chance to understand his Jardi gift, and he even catches the eye of the beautiful Edwina. Then a seer stops him and warns him of a dangerous sorcerer coming after him, and a mysterious knight harboring a secret begs for his help to rescue his sister from the same sorcerer. Xavier must learn to trust his new ally, Meri, and understand his destiny if they stand a chance of staging a rescue and stopping the sorcerer's cruelty. L.E. Frost breaks the story into three parts, beginning with Xavier's life with his grandfather, time at school, and his journey to stop a dangerous sorcerer. Each part contributes to this unfolding origin story with elements of a heroic adventure and coming of age journey. Frost uses university as a way to allow Xavier to experience his first taste of freedom and provide him with an honest chance to accept who he is. Frost is specific about the type of characters used at certain points in Xavier's journey, entering his life when he needs them. Through this dynamic, Frost uses each character to drive the other to think about the world and their own future differently. The sorcerer is the biggest threat Xavier faces, which drives his arc and helps to push him to uncover his destiny. Frost excels at character arcs, weaving Xavier's and Meri's journeys together and using each to make the other question their destiny, to be true to themselves. Rose of the Alchemist is a stunning read full of adventure; a coming of age story about freedom and finding your way with love, friendship, and magic.