Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally A steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy, The Alchemy of Stone represents a new and intriguing direction by the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow.
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I never thought I'd encounter a book like The Alchemy of Stone. It’s something I can’t describe in mere words.
I’m serious. I can’t find words to describe it but here goes my weak and unworthy attempt.
It’s a heart-breaking story, and yet it has many emotional and happy, at times, moments. It shows a character’s determination and strong will when everything falls to pieces. It’s a story of unshared love, pain and misery. It’s a story of hope and a lesson in life. It’s an unusual point of view. It's a different side of fantasy. It’s a wonderful experience that made me have a smile on my lips and a hole in my heart.
Ekaterina Sedia is an artist. Reading her words is like taking a closer look to a highly detailed painting. It was my first book from her works, and I assure you it won’t be the last.
I won’t give any details about the story or the characters because anything I saw could be a spoiler. I’m not so cruel; I won’t take away the pleasure of discovering The Alchemy of Stone’s magical world and characters. I can tell you this. Get the book if you’re in the mood for something different. Don’t go near it if you’re expecting an easy read and a happy ending.
Need more convincing? Here’s one of my favorite quotes. Spoilers ahead so there is still time to walk away. Ready?
Here you go.
Click to view Spoiler [Mattie about gargoyles]
She read the words below the picture and soon she was enthralled in the history of them—of how they sprang from the ground, uncounted eons ago, of how they talked to the stone and grew it—at first, shapeless cliffs shot through with caves and encrusted with swallows' nests; then, as their skill and numbers increased, they shaped the living stone whose destiny they shared—shaped it with their mere will!—into tall structures, decorated with serpentine spirals and breathtakingly sweeping walls, into delicate lattices and sturdy edifices.