Review: The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova | #Steampunk
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
Series: Loom Saga #1
Published by: Keymaster Press on January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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.
The Alchemists of Loom is the first in the Loom Saga series from author Elise Kova. Set in a steampunk world where Dragons rule the skies of Nova as well as the land of Loom. For fans of fantasy and steampunk, dragons, wars, rebellion, and stories told from multiple perspectives, I would highly recommend picking this one up.
The story is mostly told through the points of view of our three main characters, Ariana, Florence, and Cvareh, although we do occasionally get a chapter from a couple of minor characters as well. Ariana is a Chimera, a Fenthri who has combined Dragon blood and organs with her own, in order to use magic as Dragons do and heighten her own senses. Cvareh is a dragon from Nova, the land above the clouds, and Florence is Ariana’s pupil. The three characters are very different, yet they all serve one purpose. They are journeying to the Alchemist’s Guild in order to deliver some plans that will help overthrow the Dragon king who has taken over Loom.
Ariana runs across Cvareh early on in the book and is prepared to take his heart and eat it, like you do when you hate Dragons. He convinces her to let him live instead, and will give her a boon if she will help get him to the Alchemist’s Guild. The agreement is made, and adventure ensues as the trio begins their journey.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I had a hard time getting into it in the beginning, but once I did get into it, it proved to be really fast paced and exciting. I really enjoyed the characters, Ariana especially. She has a past, although we’re not entirely sure what it is, and it has definitely left her more hardened. And she does not trust Dragons at all, Cvareh included.
Cvareh was interesting. It would seem that the Fenthri on Loom are not the only ones who are being oppressed by the Dragon King. Determined to overthrow the king, Cvareh has stolen some schematics from the Dragon King and brought them down to Loom in order to see the device realized so that it may help the rebellion. As much as I liked him, he struck me as a little naive at times.
The one I didn’t expect to like as much as I did was Florence. With Ariana being a Chimera, and Cvareh being a Dragon, I kind of expected Florence to fade into the background, but she really held her own as a character and as a part of the group, especially towards the end. She has been studying under Ariana, but she isn’t afraid to tell Ari when she thinks she’s wrong. Her backbone really develops in the last few chapters and it was really exciting to watch her grow as a character.
The biggest issue I had with this book, and the reason it took me so long to get into it, was a lack of world building. I don’t want a big information dump at the beginning of the novel, but it would have been nice if certain things had been explained as we went along. There is an appendix in the back that has a few pronunciations that was helpful, but there was still a lot that I don’t feel like I got about the universe that Elise Kova has set up.
I am giving The Alchemists of Loom 4 out of 5 controllers. I seriously enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to, and if there had been a bit more world building, it would have gotten a 5, hands down.