Troubador Alchemy

Released: 28/02/2017

ISBN: 9781785899225

eISBN: 9781785898204

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Fourteen year-old Alex Weston has marooned himself and his sassy hamster, Skoodle, onto the magical island of Eridor while seeking his vanished parents. Yet Alex has no magic; he must rely on bravery, quick thinking and a few ounces of rodent as he fights to survive. Alex, Skoodle and Tariq, a bear, attempt to rescue a wizard boy, Luke, who is trapped on a remote mountainside by merciless, disgusting goblins. Risking his life, Tariq is transformed into a marble statue and held ransom by a vicious gargoyle; the price for his life is for a friend to turn traitor. Their wizard friend, Zorrin, has his mind corroded by an enchanted sapphire as he attempts to return it to a mountain with a living brain; once loyal, he is now a powerful mortal enemy. Determined to save Tariq, Alex seeks help from sleeping stone lions, discovering that solving an ancient armadillo alchemist’s puzzle might give them a chance of saving Eridor from destruction by Zorrin. Yet Zorrin outwits them. Betrayed, he’s furious beyond reason; mighty beyond measure. With no spells, no weapons, Alex must somehow save his dying friends in the few minutes remaining before Zorrin murders them all. Alchemy is a fast-paced fantasy novel, threaded with humour, which will appeal to children aged 9-11.

“The Serpent of Eridor” by Alison Gardiner is a really attractive and absorbing book, considering that I’m an English student and it was difficult for me to find a book that could provide me the right vocabulary and at the same time that it would allow me to have fun reading it with and entertaining plot.

There are many things I would like to highlight from this book, because I personally find it fascinating. In my opinion the most interesting fact is the use of adjectives and adverbs, the extensive and innovative vocabulary that is handled in the plot, is easy to understand it with my level but at the same time is really diverse so he taught me new concepts and words that I didn’t know until now.

From the plot I really love that everything happens very quickly so it’s not possible to get bored, also the characters have such an special characteristics so cleverly defined that you feel that you truly know them, each of them, and you feel that you can really imagine them physically, because of their personalities and their most genuine details and of course the scenarios within the book are finely designed in such a way that you relate the situations as if you were watching a fantastic movie.

In my language, I don´t used to read these kinds of stories where magic have been involved with fantasy scenarios, but this book in particular really caught my attention in a spectacular way, with an action-packed full of impressive characters and with original situations. I feel that I learned a lot having read it and something I consider even more important, is that I want continue reading more books like this one in order to improve my English level every day.

"Alex's parents are missing, so the only answer is for Alex, with his pet hamster, - yes a hamster but a hamster with talents - to set out to find them. They are helped on their way by friendly (well, mostly) characters in a page-turning adventure. Dialogue and action crackle along on the quest to Eridor, and the result is ‘ice’: read the book to find what that signifies."
Chris Awdry, author of Thomas the Tank Engine series
"This is a great book, I would say it is written for ages 9 to 14, although I am 44 and absolutely loving it! Not quite finished it yet (so can't ruin the ending for you) but it is so well written I can't put it down! My son who is 14 and not a reader, is also really enjoying it!

There is just enough description so that you can see everything vividly in your mind without going overboard on describing every last detail... The communication between the animals and Alex is really cleverly done and very funny at times...

I would recommend this book to anyone and I think this is an author to look out for... Is she the next J K Rowling or C S Lewis?? Quite possibly!!" Ms Ellison.

"This review is by Thomas, 10 years old. I would recommend this book to anyone my age. It was tremendously exciting and I read it from start to finish in less than 4 days. The main character, Alex is a teenage boy who likes going on adventures with his hamster, Skoodle. I am really looking forward to reading more books from this author." Thomas.

"A first class story for children; would throughly recommended it. Fast paced and well written with sufficient tension to stop you wanting to put it down. The stage appears to be set for a sequel, which would be good news.

This is an author to watch." Mike Holker-Barnes.

"Great read. Lots of imagination and a fun story with a furry friend. Intrigue for all" Felicity Irwin.

Books Monthly

Kids will love Alchemy thanks to its fun surprises and intriguing twists and turns. For fans of her Serpent of Eridor, they will find this book equally charming!! This is one of those stories that stays with you, popping into your mind when you least expect it. Gardiner takes you on an unforgettable adventure whose journey concludes in you wishing there was more to come.

Gardiner knows how to write fantastic books that appeal to the right age group desperately in need of some time away from reality.

She has great characters, knows how to write realistic dialogue and smoothe story lines that make sense from page one to the end. It's just a great story that parents can give to their kids and not worry about what they're reading.

by Tara Sheehan

Skoodle is amazing. The story was well written and fun, with just the right amount of tension. I know some people who will love this book!

by Lily Greer

Alison Gardiner

Full time juggler: doctor, kids, author. I love to laugh, so it comes through in my writing. Mainly I write MG fantasy and fiction. It's all fun.

Bliss - in jeans with a book
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