The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1)
by Elise Kova
Publication date: January 10th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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
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.
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. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).
Quick Reasons: interesting, though slightly confusing, world-building; I had trouble picturing the characters; some of the rules of the world were unclear; fun, entertaining, super snarky characters; not quite like anything I’ve read before
Huge thanks to Elise Kova, Keymaster Press, Netgalley, and Xpresso Book Tours for granting me early access to a digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Okay, penguins–let’s talk. This book? Super entertaining! It’s clear that Elise Kova spent a lot of hours crafting and imagining the worlds of Loom and Nova. Every page is full of action, snark, and discord. For a whole poised on the brink of war, this helped set the tone and put me in the middle of the action.
However, some of the world-building was confusing. We know the dragons reign over the skies and set the laws of the ground, but we aren’t told exactly what the laws entail. We know the people of Loom (the Fen, the Chimera) are required to take skill tests and are tattooed with their guild, or–if they fail–are killed off… But we aren’t told exactly how the Dragons above oversee this. I have a LOT of questions, actually, revolving around the laws of the world and how they’re governed or enforced. Dragons don’t leave the sky often, so how do they keep the people of Loom in check? Are there people hired to enforce said laws for the Dragons? I mean, they’re little details, sure…but they left a lot of room for confusion.
The people/Dragons were also confusing, and hard for me to “imagine” in full detail. While we got bits and pieces along the way–each Dragon’s blood smells differently, and their skin color varies depending on their house; Dragons bleed gold; the people of Loom are grey, unless they’re Chimera, and then they’re varying colors….. But we aren’t ever given ENOUGH description to form a full, completed picture. I don’t know, for instance, exactly what the Wraith looks like–we know she wears white, she has a blue dragon ear, she has purple eyes… But hair color? Height? Facial structure? Nothing. I don’t know. I also can’t tell you if the Dragons have scales or wings, or how tall they are, or if they have tails. I just… I couldn’t SEE the characters.
The snark and dialogue are on point, though. I absolutely ADORE how much attitude we get from the White Wraith. Her interactions with and reactions to Cvareh are both tense and super amusing, especially as Cvareh begins to experiment and play with his own sass. I also love that we can see their relationship shift and change as time passes. Cvareh’s reactions to Loom, and the people living there, were also super entertaining. While it’s clear at the start he’s prejudiced against the Fen, you can see this change the longer he stays with them and interacts with them.
This was a SUPER fun, snarky read–though a bit confusing on some of the finer details. I loved the dialogue, but wish I’d been better able to “see” the characters. Here’s hoping the next book will help clear things up for me–I cannot WAIT to lay hands on it next year! I recommend this read to lovers of fantasy, dragons, and steampunk. The White Wraith crawled under my skin and stuck there; maybe you should join the rebellion, too!