Oric and the Alchemist's Key

The Oric Trilogy Volume 1

Young Adult - Adventure
264 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lesley Wilson was born in North Yorkshire, UK and educated in Lincolnshire, Mill Hill School, Middlesbrough, and Pickering's Commercial College, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. She completed a course in Journalism with the London School of Writing, and has been an active member of a writers' group in Australia.
In 1957, she met a young man on holiday in Italy. A whirlwind courtship followed before he joined the British Army. Fifteen months and hundreds of letters later, Lesley, aged seventeen, boarded a troop ship bound for Singapore, where she married the love of her life. She worked as a fashion model in Singapore for two years before returning to the UK. A three year posting to Germany with her husband followed.
Returned to the UK after her husband left the army, Lesley worked as Girl Friday for a well-known racing driver/motor dealer.
In 1982 she migrated to Australia with her husband and small son. She ran a craft shop for several years in which she manufactured all the items for sale.
Today she is retired and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. She is also a member of an active quilting group who involve themselves in charitable endeavours from time to time. She reads and reviews books for other authors but writing is her major passion. When she isn't glued to the computer keyboard she loves to travel, entertain friends, and work in her large garden in North Queensland.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Oric and the Alchemist's Key by Lesley Wilson is the first book in The Oric Trilogy. No one knows loss better than young Oric who lost his parents as an infant and was taken in by Master Deveril. One morning, he returns from forging to find his home destroyed. A band of raiders attacked the manor and the nearby village, leaving everyone dead. Oric's mentor, Master Deveril, was left for dead, living long enough to give Oric a dire warning and a mysterious key. Little did Oric know just how valuable the key would be. Esica Figg will stop at nothing to retrieve it and obtain the wealth that Master Deveril hinted at, even if it means destroying what gets in his path. Oric is saved by the mysterious stranger Ichtheus who takes him on a journey back to his home. Oric befriends new people and must fight the jealousy and torment of Master Guwain, the heir of Bayersby Manor. As Figg draws closer to obtaining the key, Oric gets closer to understanding the message his mentor wished him to possess.

Lesley Wilson breathes life into this unique setting with a variety of characters, a detailed world, and an intriguing mystery. The setting is an important element in the plot with alchemy, greed, and power creating dangers and obstacles. The plot is fast-paced, diving straight into the plot and never slowing down as Oric's journey is only just beginning. Lesley Wilson weaves other characters into the story with each taking a different role in Oric's journey and with each having a different station in society. Oric is an apothecary apprentice so you see his role healing and caring for those with sickness, which puts him in the pathway of Dian whose family has fallen ill. Dian is a character of strength and shares several commonalities with Oric as she's sick herself but still cares for everyone else. Guwain is at the opposite end of society as the heir to Bayersby Manor and balances out Dian as she's one who gives of herself. She has a compassionate attitude and he has a bad attitude towards everyone. Oric and the Alchemist's Key is a brilliant start to a series with endearing characters you'll quickly like, a plot with a rich mystery, plenty of danger, and an intriguing world.

Romuald Dzemo

Oric and the Alchemist's Key is the opening book in The Oric Trilogy by Lesley Wilson and a spectacular read for fans of adventure. When a band of marauders ransacks Oric’s home, his fatally wounded friend, Deveril, the Alchemist, hands him a key and promises that it can unlock great wealth. He cautions that it can be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. But there are enemies who will do anything to get the key. Oric makes new friends, an apothecary and a kitchen maid, and together with a wolfhound, Parzifal, and a donkey, Braccus, they set out on an adventure of a lifetime in a world where nothing is what it seems. Thrust into new and challenging situations, where the least mistake can be disastrous, can he find within himself what it takes to make choices that matter?

Oric and the Alchemist's Key is hilarious, exquisitely written, and delightful. Lesley Wilson displays a great gift of imagination, creating characters that are believable — even the animals in the story communicate with the characters in a way that readers will enjoy — and a world that is enchanting to navigate. The writing is atmospheric and the seamless blend of action with the setting creates visuals that keep readers focused. Oric and the Alchemist's Key is a magical tale with extraordinary characters, an enchanting setting, and a gripping plot. The author knows what it takes to make readers care about a character and uses that gift well. Oric and the Alchemist's Key is transporting and entertaining, the kind of book you want to daydream over to escape the doldrums of everyday life. I recommend it to fans of adventure and fantasy without any hesitation.

Gisela Dixon

Oric and the Alchemist's Key (The Oric Trilogy) by Lesley Wilson is part one of a fantasy series about a boy named Oric and the quest for the Alchemist’s Key. The story is full of action and adventure and starts fittingly with a battle and a chase. Oric comes home to find his home in danger from Esica the moneylender, among others, who is looking to get his hands on the Alchemist’s Key, which is supposed to lead to great wealth. The alchemist, who is lying wounded, entrusts this responsibility to Oric who is immediately on the run from his enemies. Along the way, he joins up with some unlikely companions including an apothecary and a donkey, who accompany him on his adventures as he searches for a way to defeat his enemy and find out the secret of the Alchemist’s Key.

I enjoyed reading Oric and the Alchemist's Key and the cast of characters is what makes this a fun and exciting read. Oric is someone who is likeable and courageous and I found myself rooting for him. But my favorite bits were probably the ones to do with the unexpected animals that keep them company and add a humorous tone to the novel. The writing in the story is fast paced and there is always some new event or twist around the corner which kept me engaged. Overall, for fans of the fantasy genre, there is something to look forward to in parts two and three of this series.