My son and I picked up The Alchemyst; The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel (2007) from a book store-he was in middle school at the time and still enjoyed reading the same thing as me- we devoured it pretty quickly. Eventually we also read The Magician and then The Sorceress. My son finished it oh, like a year ago and it has been resting peacefully on my tbr bookshelf just waiting for me. It was a great book to kick off October as it would be so much fun to be Perenelle Flamel for Halloween.
Nicholas and Perenelle have been married for centuries, which reminds me always of one of my favorite reads, Jitterbug Perfume, which also features a couple who beat the whole aging trick. I need to reread Jitterbug for another challenge and I think it will fit perfectly on the heels of this one. I thought when I was reading this one that it was the end of the series-fantasy books often come as a trilogy but as I researched Michael Scott for another post I discovered he has another one out with perhaps two more in the works. Wow!
Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.
But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent-the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent's power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.
If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic-Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.
Here is a snyopsis of The Alchemyst to catch you up:
The Alchemyst is a contemporary fantasy which opens in modern day San Francisco when brother and sister, Josh and Sophie discover that the owner of the bookstore where Josh works is the immortal French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel. Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, are the guardians of the Book of Abraham which they have protected for centuries. This is a collection of the most powerful spells in the world. When Dr John Dee discovers the Flamels' whereabouts, he attacks and snatches the book. Josh and Sophie intervene to help Flamel, but now they too are being hunted by Dee and creatures that predate humanity.
All of the main characters in The Alchemyst series are based on figures from history or mythology.
It is the last sentence that makes this series come alive for me. Discovering and researching the real characters mixed into the fantasy tale make it very intriguing. The Sorceress especially brought to life some characters (name-dropping...Shakespeare, for example) which add to the overall excitement. If I found myself between the pages of this book I would love to meet Shakespeare-maybe not many of the other characters, but Shakespeare, yes! It would be a blast to be Sophie or Josh and discover all these amazing new talents although they do come with a very heavy price. This book like Harry Potter and Charlie Bone will make kids wish for a magic wand that really works-in this series Josh gets to use a famous ancient sword that he commands. This is a very well-written series and I hope to read The Necromancer in a more timely fashion!! Oh, the fun of living in a fantasy world! Michael Scott is somewhat of an expert on Celtic folklore and I would love to read more of his large body of work. Counts for Reading from my own Shelves Challenge hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. I plan on placing this book gently back on my son's bookshelf-which are fairly empty compared to mine.
(4/5 peaceful stars)
Caroline from A Portrait of a Woman review
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