When Grand Master Thorbrand mysteriously falls ill, alchemist novices Matthew and Simon accompany Master Hobble to Prague to seek help from the Obsidian Toad, another branch of alchemists. While searching for a life-saving elixir in the Alchymic underground city, the Acropolis, they stumble on what looks a very sinister plot against the Crucibile of the Crimson Lion. When Matthew and Simon are sent back to England to watch over the desperately ill Grand Master, can Matthew adhere to Master Hobble’s strict instructions to observe only and take no action, when he discovers something extremely sinister and dangerous afoot?
I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Quicksilver and Brimstone, which introduces us the Matthew, Simon, Veronica, and the Crucible of the Crimson Lion, an ancient alchemist order. The second book is even better. Delightfully written, skilfully described, immersive world, brilliant characters (including the unfriendly twins the boys meet in Prague), terrifying monsters, incredible magic, riveting story, exciting investigation…this book has everything I want in a fantasy, including a pet gargoyle! The imaginative detail expertly brings the world to life – I really really really want to want to go shopping in the Acropolis. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy.
This is a standalone story so you don’t have to read the first book in the series, but I recommend you do anyway.
For ages 12+
An enthusiastic TEN out of TEN Diamonds!!