A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

Chronicles of Light and Shadow, Book 1

Synopsis: 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.

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—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.

Review: I was curious by this novel, alchemists, magic, a tough heroine and Paris! Well, okay, I have just seen that with the cover. And even if we only spend a short time in the beautiful city, it is always a pleasure to read more about it. I also like the novels from the 1900s, all this mixed with steampunk and magical creatures, it is always fascinating.
However, I had some problems at the beginning of the novel … In fact, it took me a few chapters before really getting into the story. I found this a bit too soft or not enough action to really interest me. But once left France, and when we discover the Elle’s life in England, I was immediately intrigued by all the events. Everything happens, in fact, very quickly from that point and we’re curious about the following chapter. She is a young woman ahead of her time, she is beautiful, courageous, independent, and has no intention to let a man tell her what she has to do. So when Hugh Marsh takes her under his protection after an attack, this is very far from the taste of our heroine and she makes him understand that at every moment. But after battling with him, she realized that for her missing father, he is her last hope. They will then travel together in many places, letting us know the reason behind the Marsh’s interest for this young woman. He knows many secrets about her that will be revealed in due time throughout the novel. But there is also something more than that and she is far from accepting the destiny they all chose for her. A destiny far from what she had imagined and which interests many people. We will understand that for some persons, appearances are very deceiving, and it is difficult to know where our trust should remain.
We’re quickly intrigued by Elle and about her power. However, we must move forward in the story to understand what is happening. I was quite surprised when I learned the truth, but the author brings us the revelations at the perfect time. Marsh is also a very mysterious man, and it is difficult to identify him and understand his feelings for our heroine. And despite his arrogance and his nature, he gradually takes place in our heart as well as hers. Despite all his faults, he is trying to improve and do what he can.

The Lieseil Shwarz world is very interesting. I enjoyed seeing all the inventions scattered throughout the novel, as well as all the creatures that appear there. At the end of the novel, I wondered how the author will be able to continue the story, but I am curious to find out what the author has for us.


9 thoughts on “A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

  1. The lack of action is what makes me hesitate on this one, well that and the fact that steampunk has been a hit or miss for me in the past. I’m not easily captivated by them so they need a lot of world building, great characters and action to get me to finish it. Good thing that it picks up though after a bit at least I’ll know what to expect. Great review, chickie!

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