Aethereal

The Alchemy Conspiracy Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
351 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

“Wyst against Etruria. Science against magic.” Lady Emrys Bruma arrives at the Wystese Court for a royal wedding that will join two former warring lands. In truth, she has another reason; to find a certain legendary stone, a personal mission entrusted by the reclusive Lord Bruma. She has to cautiously mingle with the royals and their counterparts in search of clues. The Crown Prince Ryland Winistre of Wyst is charming and easily likable while his fiancée, Milady Tania Keating, is quite the opposite. The arrival of Ryland’s bothersome childhood friend, Ajay Fedwor, Lord Viscount of Fedwor, slightly complicates Emrys’s situation. However, unknown to Emrys, a bigger plot has already begun-one that carries a vengeance from the past. Aethereal by Kerry Reed is the first book in The Alchemy Conspiracy series.

With Aethereal’s fascinating world-building and the observant Emrys as the engaging narrator, the story is an absolute page-turner. The political tension between Wyst and Etruria, including their opposite beliefs in magic and science, gives the plot credible depth. The prose is excellent and the character development is deftly done. Emrys is easy to root for and her constant reminder to herself of her mission shows her admirable grit. Yet, she's also somewhat vulnerable and unsure when she reluctantly begins to form friendships with people she shouldn’t be close to. I enjoyed the way the truth and secrets gradually came to light and how Emrys confronted the perpetrators. There are action scenes involving swords and sorcery that will satisfy fantasy fans. Simply put, this is a commendable Book 1 of Kerry Reed’s The Alchemy Conspiracy and I look forward to reading the next installment.

K.C. Finn

Aethereal is a work of fantasy fiction penned for young adults by author Kerry Reed and forms the first book of The Alchemy Conspiracy series. In this novel of warring lands, there is a split in belief between the power of science and the power of magic. Superstition reigns supreme, even over princes and their betrothed, so when Lady Emrys Bruma arrives at the wedding of two warring nations, intrigue follows her everywhere. As she investigates the circumstances behind an old family disgrace, Lady Emrys has mysteries of her own to reveal in a world of spies, assassins, secrets, lies and plenty of magic.

Author Kerry Reed has started her superb fantasy series with a real bang in introducing Lady Emrys Bruma and her many concealed talents. Readers are sure to relate to this intriguing hero as she goes about her mission, and slowly the cast of the royal court and beyond begin to flesh out into other friends and foes who will surely grow more as the series continues. The worldbuilding was solid, with plenty of places, people, old grudges and newfound loyalties to play with and explore. On top of this, Reed builds an excellent plot structure that helps readers to simply fly through the novel’s many twists and turns. With such excellent pacing, it’s hard not to have the second novel ready to dive into! Overall, Aethereal is a highly recommended fantasy novel with much to give and is an exciting start to a very promising new series.

Liz Konkel

Aethereal by Kerry Reed is the first book in The Alchemy Conspiracy series. Emrys was once an orphan that fled from the Wards until she was discovered by Lord Bruma. He took her in as his daughter and soon she became Lady Emrys Bruma. An impending wedding that will unite two lands gives Emrys the opportunity to use her new title on a mission to retrieve a mystical stone and to uncover the truth behind a disgrace in their family’s past. She quickly forms a friendship with Prince Ryland and finds herself drawn to his best friend who doesn’t seem to trust her. As she works to keep her image of a noble’s dutiful daughter, she uncovers information about the Bruma family history. As she comes closer to a startling secret, she finds herself torn between her new friendships and her loyalty to Lord Bruma.

The story opens with a stunning moment of Emrys having her name written in the Great Book which sets up her journey as she discovers who she is, not an orphan defined by the Wards or a lord's daughter defined by status. Kerry Reed delivers a stunning story that is addictive and draws you into Emrys’s story, keeping you captivated until the twist ending that will have you on the edge of your seat and ready for the next book. The friendship she has with Prince Ryland is a sweet aspect of the story as their connection is sincere and trusting, which allows for her to let someone get to know the real her. Her relationship with the prince’s best friend is a little more complicated as it soon becomes clear that she’s not the only one keeping secrets and the two discover a shocking connection between them. Reed tells a riveting story with a lot of heart and a journey of self-discovery about finding one’s place which hits upon the theme of the person you are behind the mask you wear. Aethereal is a can’t-miss a story that has friendship, secrets, conspiracy, romance, and masks set within royal high society and told from the perspective of an orphan masquerading as a lord’s daughter.