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.
“…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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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 undertook a postdoctoral fellowship involving work with medieval alchemical manuscripts at the British Library. In addition to articles on mysticism and alchemy, many of her academic publications over the past decade have been in the area of television studies. She is a co-editor of the academic book Reading Joss Whedon (Syracuse University Press, 2014); her fiction includes The Elijah Tree (Rebel Satori, 2009). She lives in British Columbia.