Final Day of Giveaway Week: The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel

Posted by 13th May 2011

We finish up Giveaway Week with two – two! – books, one here on the Steampunk Librarian and one (less steampunk and more Dungeons & Dragons) over on Folderol. Thanks to everyone who has entered the contests so far — and if you haven't entered one yet, please do! You've got until Friday, May 27, so there's still lots of time. Thanks again! I'll be gone all next week but will be back the week of the 23rd.

The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel (Pyr)

 
The year is 1633. The nation is France. The country is full of dragons. This is somewhat normal.
 
This is the world of Pierre Pevel's series of books, which began with The Cardinal's Blades and continues with The Alchemist in the Shadows. The Blades are commanded by Cardinal Richelieu and, among other duties, struggle to contain the growing menace of the Black Claw, a dragon-led faction which wants to control not only Paris, but all of Europe if possible.
 
Pevel's series is, essentially, a swashbuckling dragon-filled tale, like the Dumas's Three Musketeers with the occasional fire-breathing hazard. Paris comes to life, with all its 17th-century sights and smells vividly described. The dragons are only a part of the changed zoology in this universe; people ride wyverns above the buildings, and huge tortoise-like creatures tend to block traffic at the most inopportune times. The dragons can hold human form for a time, which leads to all sorts of intrigue, and one member of the Blades is a half-dragon. Throughout the book, the political maneuverings and doublespeak carry the plot forward, revealing the plans of all sides bit by tantalizing bit.
 
Like many books these days which are published as a series, The Alchemist in the Shadows ends on a precipice, with the reader wondering what happens next. Pevel's books are definitely geared toward fans of the musketeer genre; anyone who enjoys a thoroughly French tale of swordfighting and politics will most likely enjoy the series.
 
We have an advance copy of The Alchemist in the Shadows to give away! To enter the contest, post a comment below and tell us your favorite fantasy book, movie or show. (We're veering away from steampunk a bit with this book into alternate history tales, so we're going to go with more of a fantasy bent here.) All entries will be places in a top hat and the winning entry will be drawn at random, perhaps by a snarky puppet. The deadline for entering the contest is 11:59 pm EST Friday, May 27. Good luck, and thanks again!
 

(More information on The Alchemist in the Shadows is available on Pyr's website.)

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