Published: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
Pages: 380 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 3.5/5.0
Her vengeance. His vision.
Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
The Alchemists of Loom is the first novel in author Elise Kova’s new adult fantasy series The Loom Saga. Loom is a planet inhabited by grey skinned individuals (human-like for all intents and purposes) that divide themselves by their guilds. Alchemists, Revolvers, Rivets, Harvesters, and Ravens are the five guilds of Loom and each has an area of specialty. Before the Dragon oppressors came down from their planet, those on Loom could choose whatever guild they desired and learn for pleasure, the guilds cooperated, and Loom was advancing. The Dragons shook the entire world up, chaining people to their guilds and stunting advancement in order to impose their own will. This is where our story begins…
Ari, or Arianna, is the White Wraith, an elusive figure that will take on any job that damages the Dragon interests on Loom, whether this be theft, espionage, or the Harvesting of coveted Dragon organs. Ari was a Guild member before the Dragons came to Loom and she holds a grudge which drives to this criminal second life. Her apprentice, Florence, is a Raven who escaped her guild and now illegally studies under Revolvers to learn the art of crafting firearms and explosives, both of which are very useful to Arianna. The duo’s quiet (ha) life is forever disrupted when Ari refrains from killing a dying Dragon and is offered a Boon, which is basically a magically-binding offer, in exchange for escorting said Dragon to the Alchemist’s guild. I found the characters to be interesting, but it took me some time to truly warm up to them, whereas with Air Awakens I was immediately hooked.
What really got me was the plot… I don’t know why, but the plot just seemed to drag along and it didn’t really get interesting until about halfway through. I think this book shows great potential for the remainder of the series because it’s got some really unique ideas and it promises to be jam packed with action. I’m really looking forward to the second installment after the conclusion to The Alchemists of Loom proved to be much more exciting than I initially expected it to be. The world of Loom is full of potential, so let’s see if it lives up to it!
Overall, despite the fact that it was brimming over with action from the first pages, The Alchemists of Loom was a slow burn on the enjoyment/investment front for me. My interest was piqued enough by the end that I will definitely be continuing on with the series at least through the second book. Several other reviewers whose judgment I trust have given high praise, so I’m confident that most readers will enjoy this new steampunk fantasy.