The Alchemist’s Illusion

by Gigi Pandian


** Publication date 08 January 2019 **

What a fun and exciting ride through a lesson in history and alchemy. This was my first venture with Gigi Pandian, and it won’t be my last. I want to go back in time and find out how Zoe ended up in Portland, Oregon with Dorian, her gargoyle companion. I had no idea that alchemy was such a fascinating subject, but the magical world that Pandian has created is where I want to visit again and again.

Zoe Faust finds herself in a bit of quandary when she sees a painting in a local gallery that represents her mentor Nicolas Flamel. She knows that Flamel had never allowed himself to be painted, so how on earth is she seeing a painting of him in a gallery? And where exactly is Nicolas? And why is the painting appearing to actually stare at her? This scene sets up the mystery that we are about to embark upon. 

Zoe is such a loveable character. With her white hair and optimistic outlook on life, she is someone that I would befriend in an instant. Her secretive history might be catching up to her however. Not to mention she is hiding a living gargoyle in her attic. How does she keep it all together with this kind of stuff going on in her life? Throw in a mysterious suicide of a local artist and you have a recipe for an enjoyable romp. Speaking of recipes, Pandian includes some of Dorian’s famous recipes at the end of the book. I am looking forward to trying these out. 

I am so happy to know that I can find other books about the long-lived alchemist Zoe to pick up. While there is a bit of mischief and mayhem in this book, it is not dark or gory at all. It is a fun mystery to enjoy.

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