News and discussion about The Alchemists’ Council series (ECW Press).
As a new Initiate with the Alchemists’ Council, Jaden is trained to maintain the elemental balance of the world, while fending off interference by the malevolent Rebel Branch. Bees are disappearing from the pages of the ancient manuscripts in Council dimension and from the outside world, threatening its very existence. Jaden navigates alchemy’s complexities, but the more she learns, the more she begins to question Council practices. Erasure ― a procedure designed not only to remove individuals from Council dimension but also from the memories of other alchemists ― troubles Jaden, and she uses her ingenuity to remember one of the erased people. In doing so, she realizes the Rebel Branch might not be the enemy she was taught to fight against. Jaden is caught between her responsibility to the Council and her growing allegiance to the rebels, as the Council finds itself at the brink of war. She is faced with an ethical dilemma involving the free will of all humanity and must decide whether or not she can save the worlds.
Rebel scribe Genevre, exploring secreted libraries with Dragonsblood pulsing through her young veins, accidentally discovers a 5th-Council manuscript with a long-forgotten alchemical formula whose implications could permanently transform both the Alchemists’ Council and the Rebel Branch. A revolution looms as High Azoth Dracaen strengthens the power of the Rebel Branch, Cedar and Saule take treacherous steps against fellow alchemists, and the unprecedented mutual conjunction of Ilex and Melia changes the fate of all dimensions. With insurgents gathering, Ilex and Melia’s attempt to open a forbidden breach through time could bring salvation — or total destruction — to the elemental balance of the world.
“…evocatively crafted fantasy…. Masson (The Elijah Tree) has a lyrical writing style that echoes some of the English romantics’ focus on beauty and nature. She excels at propelling the story forward with complex characters…. [A] smart, well-constructed story.” ― Publishers Weekly
“An intelligently written, character-driven fantasy novel…The Alchemists’ Council by Cynthea Masson definitely merits a gold seal of approval.” ― BryceRaffle.com
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About the Author
Cynthea Masson is a professor in the English department at Vancouver Island University. After completing a Ph.D. in English with a focus on medieval mysticism, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship, which included work with alchemical manuscripts at the British Library. Her award-winning academic work includes the co-edited book Reading Joss Whedon. The first novel in the Alchemists’ Council series was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and won the Gold Medal for Fantasy in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia.