Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova Review

This is a spoiler free review.

The Alchemists of Loom
Written by Elise Kova
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Pages: 395
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


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.


I loved this book a lot. It was very unique and even though it did have a couple of elements that I could see had obviously come from other sources, most of the premise was entirely her own. If I could give this book more than five stars, then I would have. This book is a new favorite of mine.


I really like the cover. It shows what Ari looks like which is very interesting and was actually helpful because I couldn't figure out how I should picture her when I was reading it. I like how the cover has steampunk elements because it has elements of steampunk within the novel.


The world-building was fantastically done. I loved how it was so easy to understand to visualize. The different species were hard to grasp at first but I got the hang of it finally. Plus, the end of the book explains a lot of it [the houses, guilds and pronunciation] which helped a lot.

In this novel, there are two worlds which are separated by clouds, Nova and Loom.
Loom: The main setting in the book, that is the home to Fenthri and Chimeras and their five guilds.
Nova: Home to the Dragons which is inhabited by the three Dragon races.

The three races:
Fenthri: Grey, black and white. They are the weakest of the three races. They have tattoos that are on their faces which depict which guild they belong to.
Dragon: A vast array of colors, primal, they can regrow most things from their bodies. They have magical abilities. They have enslaved Loom and they see Fenthri as servants.
Chimera: These are Fenthri with Dragon blood and/or organs. They are made by Alchemists and strong but not as strong as Dragons are.

The three Dragon Houses:
Rok: They are the strongest house and the Dragon King is apart of this House.
Tam: This is the second strongest house and is aligned with House Rok
Xin: They are the weakest house.

The five Guilds of Loom:
Alchemists: They are developed Chimeras and they aren't under the Dragon King's thumb [they are the only guild not under the Dragon King's thumb]
Rivets: They specialize in refining processes in steel mines and applications for gold.
Revolvers: They explore all the uses for guns and explosions.
Harvesters: They supply all the bare materials to all the other guilds.
Ravens: They move people and goods all around Loom

The five guilds are all linked together in order to help each other and the people from each guild have a face tattoo in order to recongnize which guild they belong to. They can't choose which house they are in and they are pre-placed and forced to take two tests. If they can't pass the tests, they could be sentenced to death.

Then there are the characters.


I really liked Ari's character as she showed strength and independence. She showed how she was in charge and wouldn't be intimidated by anyone else. In fact, she did most of the intimidating. She was fierce and a strong female character. She is also a bisexual character and while we never see her with a girl, the representation is great. In Fantasy novels, bisexual characters are rare and I am glad that they are becoming more mainstream.


Flor was my favorite character. I was unsure of her age for a long time within the book but then found out that she was sixteen years old which was pretty young. She was very mature for her age but the life-spans in this book are different than in our world. She showed everyone how she could master anything she tried and she was also pretty bada*s. Florence is the apprentice of Arianna but she is more like a sister to Arianna. Their dynamic was sweet and there was a brief period of time that I shipped them but then I accepted them as friends/siblings.


Cvareh was the dragon in this novel and Ari outwardly states that she has a hatred for dragons. He was supposed to be the enemy but I found him to be quite sweet [most of the time]. Cvareh desperately needs to protect his family so he offers Ari a deal that in exchange for sparing his life, he'll help her take out the Dragon King. I liked Cvareh a lot [though not as much as Florence] and I liked his strength that was balanced by his protectiveness towards his friends and family as well as his sweet behaviors.

Friendship is a big thing in this novel. Florence and Arianna are the main friendship that is almost center stage in this novel. Florence is the apprentice to Arianna and their relationship is much like a sisterly relationship. Yes, they get into arguments about what is the best thing to do, but they also love and protect each other. Their friendship is one of my favorites in YA novels.


I loved the plot. The story starts out with our protagonist, Arianna on a heist. On this heist, she meets Cvareh, a dragon. Arianna hates dragons and she is ready to kill him but he offers her a boon to take him to the Alchemist's Guild and says he also wants to kill the Dragon King. Arianna can't refuse this offer so she agrees. The plot has many twists and turns and is pretty fast-paced so you shouldn't be bored.


As I said before, I went a good proportion of this book thinking Florence and Arianna were going to be a couple. Then when I realized that they weren't, I was slightly disappointed.

I still think that Cvareh and Arianna would make a good couple and you can clearly see her thawing in her hatred towards him. I really hope that it is a good hate-to-love relationship.


Elise Kova is a brilliant writer. She strings together some beautiful sentences and after I finished the book, I wanted so much more. You can see her obvious talent in this book and I am excited to keep reading more of her books.

“She waited for him to say something more. The silence held ciphers of truths that lingered between them, written in a script that neither knew yet how to decipher. This would not be the moment they were given sound.”


As I have said before, I loved it so much! Elise Kova deserves immense praise for this talented and original book. This book is really worth your time and I highly recommend it!

Quotes from the Book:

“Progress was never meant to be stinted, and even failures weren’t to be destroyed.” 

“Tattoos should be choices, not brands.” 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

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