Book Cover
Title The Executioness
Author Tobias S. Buckell
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Book Cover
Title The Alchemist
Author Paolo Bacigalupi
Cover Art J.K. Drummond
Publisher Subterranean Press - 2011
First Printing Subterranean Press - 2011
Category Fantasy
Warnings None
Main Characters Jeoz, Jiala, Pila, Scacz
Main Elements Wizards, alchemists

Click to read the summaryThe Alchemist

I picked this book up at the library on a whim, mainly because it was short, but I found myself really enjoying it. Wonderful worldbuilding, though it took me some time to pick up on the middle-eastern vibe but I enjoyed it all the more after that. At the time I didn't realize it was the second novella in a duology but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read the first. In fact now I want to hunt down the first, but for some reason my library doesn't have The Executioness.

It's a tale of the consequences of using magic, every time a spell is cast a little bit of deadly bramble sprouts. This leads to the executions of anyone caught using magic...except of course if your the most important wizard around, and you're even in the process of building a magical bridge. *That* magic is apparantly ok, and if everyone *else* stopped then the bramble problem wouldn't be that bad. But everyone has a good reason, save a child's life here, stop a house collapse there. But every little bit adds up.

And what if you created a device that could destroy the bramble once and for all? Something even fire couldn't do. But what if that device could also detect magic users? What would you use it for?

Some of the characters are a little two dimensional but this is a novella so not much time for character building, and perhaps the moral is a little heavy handed. But on the whole I liked it and will want to read more of Bacigalupi's work.

Posted: January 2017


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