The Alchemist’s Box (Merchant Blades Book 1)


FANTASY/ADVENTURE:  After losing heavily at a card game, Captain Regina Fitzwaters is summoned to the office of Mr. Gold, owner of the establishment. He offers her a way out:  she is to work with Kapitan Maximillian Jaeger, from the Eressian Army. This is a problem for Regina — she is from the Merrovigian Army, bitter enemies of the Eressians until recently when  the war ended. The two of them are given twenty days in which to voyage to Pella and purchase a certain golden box from the alchemist. If they are unable to achieve the goal, they will be punished by death. After Regina and Jaeger assemble a team and begin their journey, they are threatened by highwaymen and human-sized wolves.. Let the adventure begin!


Delightful characters abound in this enchanting novel! Eleven is so named because she is the eleventh child in her family and her parents ran out of names, she explains, as she adds that she also has siblings named Nine and Ten. The world building here is incredible, ranging from the natural forest which they are traveling through, to the Duke’s sumptuous ballroom, to the nightmare-inducing Catacombs. Regina and Jaeger both go through a drastic metamorphosis during the story. At first, they hate one another simply because they are on opposite sides of the war. Then they come to respect one another, and the relationship continues to mature. This is an excellent novel to begin a series and the next book, “Lose a Princess, Lose Your Head” is already available. Bravo!


Belinda Wilson