Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova {Review}

The Alchemists of Loom
by Elise Kova
♦publisher: Keymaster Press
release day: January 10th, 2017
♦hardcover, 380 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Loom Saga, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
(an edited version of this review posted at
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.

Review: For awhile now, I've heard about this outstanding self-published author, Elise Kova and her fantasy series, Air Awakens.  It's gained such a cult fandom and left me curious about her work, not to mention being drawn to the gorgeous illustrated covers. I never got around to picking it up. With this new series, however, with it's promise of dragons, alchemists, steampunk creations, and adventure, there was no way I could resist. I tell you now---I was not disappointed and am now even more raring to get started on her previous series.

The world of Loom is so meticulously built. With dragons in the sky (though these are nothing like the dragons you've seen before), chimera and humans on the ground, and an arsenal of magically-fueled steampunk weaponry, this world manage to be dark, gritty, and sparkling, all at once. Kova has an incredibly creative writing style that lets the details of Loom blossom slowly around the story's main players, unfolding gracefully alongside the many plot lines and through the alternating voices of Ari, Florence, Cvareh, and Leona. There is no shortage of action, political intrigue, heartbreak, and swoonworthy romance that drives this story along.

The characters take turns capturing the reader, each with so many complexities and passions. There were some that I loved and then some that I definitely loved to hate.  I loved Florence almost more than any of the others The way she looks up to Ari in an almost reverent way because she was the one to save her and teach her, but especially how we get to see her gain confidence and grow in to her own strengths. Ari was a complete bad-ass, but we slowly get to see where her fierceness stems from and a few softer and unsure sides of her as well. The relationship that grows between Ari and Cvareh is slow-burning and fragile, a trust that strengthens and then snaps nearly every other page, but definitely left me anticipating it's outcome in future books.

Fantasy fans will not want to miss this one, and, best of all, we won't be tortured with a long wait for book two. The Dragons of Nova hits shelves in April 2017!! I know even this short wait will feel too long for me!


Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master's in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.


Purchase the book:   Indiebound   •   BookDepository   •   Amazon


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