I’m so excited to be a stop on the Alchemists of Loom blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I loved Elise Kova’s previous Air Awakens series and couldn’t wait to read her new Loom saga. I’ve got my review to share with you, as well as a tour wide giveaway, and a link to the author’s pre-order bonus.
The Alchemists of Loom
(Loom Saga #1)
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Her vengeance. His vision.
Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
I really enjoyed this book. There are dragons, action, a fantastic new world, and some intrigue. It’s a fantastic steampunk fantasy. I found the beginning to be a bit slow, but that’s often the case for me when reading a new world and trying to figure out how it fits together.
I really enjoyed the world building. It’s done in an organic way….instead of having it all laid out and explained, you learn about parts of the world as you encounter them. This can be more challenging for some readers, but I really like this approach. I generally prefer when books like this start with the characters as young children and you get your world building through that and seeing how they grew up. In the case of Loom, we’re thrown into the middle of the story of a “middle aged” (although only 22 years old) character. I appreciate that this is the story that is being told, but I love the world building aspect of fantasy books and I always wish there was more! There’s lots of world building in Loom…it just takes a bit longer to see all the pieces.
The story itself has lots of action, and bloodshed! It’s definitely gritty. This is not the story of an innocent forced to join a resistance or fight for their life. This is the story of someone who has long been on the wrong side of the law and is working to fight against the oppression of their current system.
The characters are humanoid, but not human and I did find myself put off every time they were referred to as people.
Once you get past the first part of the book it really picks up speed and I found myself deeply enthralled (riveted, even…ha ha ha). The five guilds were interesting to learn about as was the dragon culture. Ari, the main character, identifies as bisexual (although it’s hard to say when they aren’t human!) and I was happy to see the representation. She has an assistant, Florence, who is delightful. I found their relationship difficult to understand…it seemed to be somewhere between lovers/sisters/mentoring. Florence has rejected the Guild she was born into and Ari took her under her wing.
One of the messages in the book is the importance of recognizing what people are good at, not just slotting them into something because of how they were born. The hate between the dragons of Nova and the citizens of Loom is likely well justified. But we learn that there’s resistance brewing on both sides and learning to work together and trust each other is the only way there will be change.
And finally – I am thankful I’ll never have to go into the tunnels under Ter 4 *shudder*
Overall this was a 4/5 star read for me. The slowness at the beginning and the confusion over Ari and Flor’s relationship were my biggest issues. I’d definitely recommend it and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in The Dragons of Nova!
Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).
Preorder The Alchemists of Loom by January 9th, 2017, to receive a special envelope of swag unlocked in the Guild Games from the Dragon Queen herself.
The more preorders The Alchemists of Loom gets overall, the more swag your envelope will contain. So be sure to encourage your friends to preorder The Alchemists of Loom as well!
Find out all the details here: http://elisekova.com/pre-order/
- 1 Signed Hardcover of the Alchemists of Loom
- 3 Hardcover Preorders of The Alchemists of Loom (Available through TBD)
- 5 Swag Packs