Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Anne Lyle's The Alchemist of Souls ~ Reviewed

By Anne Lyle
Angry Robot Books

When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers wake, brining Native American goods--and a skrayling ambassador--to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I's capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is appointed to the ambassador's bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally--and Mal his soul.

This is my very first alternate historical piece of fiction...and probably not my last. What does that mean exactly? According to Wikipedia: Alternate history or alternative history[1] is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. 

In this case, that means the addition of a different species called skraylings. They are kind of a super power with unique abilities that humans don't have. There were some interesting twists in the plot, a smattering of supernatural activity, and lots and lots of intrigue. Plus, I loved the scenes in the Tower, and who doesn't love a good romp through Elizabeth I's capital city?

Be aware that this is an ABA offering, so yes, there is the requisite sex scene (and in this case, same gender, which took me by surprise and dare I say creeped me out?). So if you're easily offended, you might want to skip this book. The writing, however, was well done. 

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

No comments: