[e-ARC review] The Lady Alchemist - Samantha Vitale

Author: Samantha Vitale 
Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: May 26th 2020
ISBN: 1951710177 (ISBN13: 9781951710170)
Edition: Paperback 300 pages



In a land torn between magic and alchemy, Sepha is an exceptional alchemist, able to bend the rules in ways no one else can. But when a slip of the tongue lands her in prison with a mountain of straw, even she has to admit that she can’t transmute straw into gold.

With the threat of a death sentence hanging over her, she’s forced to make a deal with a conniving magician. Sepha escapes with her life – but at a cost: she has one year to alchemically create a body for the magician, or else her firstborn child will be his.

As Sepha’s deadline approaches, she uncovers a deadly secret. How can she save her country when the body she owes the magician will be used to destroy it?

- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49188351-the-lady-alchemist

The Lady Alchemist is a retelling of the classic story "Rumpelstiltskin". This is a story about the journey of Sepha in a world of alchemy when someday she faced difficulty, she must transmute a straw into gold. If she can not transmute, death sentence looming over her and her father. But this situation made her to deal with a magician that can help her to change the mountain of straw into gold with an exchange of her firstborn child within a year.

So Sepha lives day by day with the burden of magic from the magician in a country that forbid any magic while she has the chance to be the lady alchemist something that she always hoped for. But she was not alone. She met Ruhen, Destry, and Henric, which are students in an Alchemy institute. Everyday they learn together and practice together while Sepha kept a secret research to create a body for the magician as an alternative of a firstborn child.
This is where it all begins. Insta love is built. Friendships are made. But time is also moving. Many secrets are uncovered in a land that "everyone knows magic and alchemy don't mix".

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World Building

I liked how Samantha build the world in Alchemy. I never read about Alchemy (did I?). I read magic fantasy the most. But Alchemy mix with magic is something new to me. At first I was a bit hard to imagine what an Alchemy was. What made them so different with magic beside using some chemical medium and so on. But then it was kinda cool how a weapon was fast made by using chemical. 
This story was also mostly did in an Alchemist institute. My first thought was went to Hogwarts but not full of magic. I always love a book that took part in a school and library. Especially when magic was around. To me the world of Sepha was a bit dark. Well this was not a horror fantasy but something mysterious was surely happened there.


I will like the plot if I found at least one plot twist. So did I find a plot twist? Yes I found it even so many. There were plot twists that I could not imagine. I did not see them coming really. I tried to guess some story line but I guessed it wrong.
The writer is already stated one of the twist actually. If you see the tag line in the cover, you must surely think that is something. This initial twist led into another twists that were amazing.
Well yeah sometimes the adventure was not adventurous enough. But I still found some plot holes. They were not that disturbing though. But I am really hoping for the next book and got this explained. This plot hole definitiely was not the epilogue of course. Spoiler alert!! If the magician was that good, why did he one day attacked and then suddenly missing and then attacked again? He could pop up right away and he also knew that Sepha was an amateur alchemy didn't he?


I was immediately in love with Sepha and Ruhen. I also liked Destry and Henric. I usually didn't like any insta love thing. But this thing is an exception. Although it was an insta love but actually did not mean that Sepha and Ruhen was in an immediate relationship. In their insta love, there was a slow burn romance thanks to the magic itself and it was very realistic in a relationship between man and woman.
This is a Young Adult story, but I did not dislike the characters. They are very mature as Young Adults but yet realistic in their age because what they wanted was to be free of suffering. Their action was not a typical YA characters to me. Although in some chapters I hate Sepha of being a stubborn woman that led into a dangerous path, which then she admitted that it was because her stubborness.

Writing Style

Samantha had a unique style that I hadn't read before. Her writing was very blunt but true. She used easy sentences, but as a non native English speaker, I also learnt some new sentences and patterns that I hadn't known before. Well in short I just love her blunt smart writing style. That's it. (I am sorry, a bit hard to explain in English)


Don't you see that gorgeous cover. Very dark but shinny and glam. There are black snake and golden key at the cover with gold font title and black cover. I bet that this gold title will be in gold foil material on the dust jacket. Beside of white, I really love black cover with gold or silver shinny. I usually didn't like a book with snake on the cover. But this was an exception. What I need now is the hardcover one of this book to collect and a sequel!!

Book Quote

Then she heard Destry's voice. "You'll be fine."

It was a risk. But it was a risk she neede to take.

After a long time, Ruhen said, "We'll make it right."


Message of the Story

What I learn from the story is that as a human sometimes we want to be free from our suffering. The shortest path is usually by running away and lying. But then it is not the way. Face and take the risk are what surely be done. And do not forget that the people around you are also there to help with a kind heart.

Recommend for

If you love magic and retelling, you should try to read this one. In my opinion, for those of you who like to read Serpent & Dove and Cursebreakers series need to read this one. Hopefully you can like this book as much as I do.

My Rating

[star rating="4" numeric="yes"]

What do you think? Have you read this book? Will you read this if you haven't? Don't forget to give your like and comment down below. Thank you.


Sandrine JB

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