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An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: The Risen Kingdoms Series, Book 1
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Average Rating
Series:
Risen kingdoms volume 1.
Published:
Tor Publishing Group 2017
Status:
Checked Out
Description

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is Curtis Craddock's delightful and engrossing fantasy debut featuring a genius heroine and her guardian, a royal musketeer, which Brandon Sanderson calls, "A great read!"
Born with a physical disability, no magical talent, and a precocious intellect, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs has lived her life being underestimated by her family and her kingdom. The only person who appreciates her true self is Jean-Claude, the fatherly musketeer who had guarded her since birth.
All shall change, however, when an unlikely marriage proposal is offered, to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.
But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude plunge into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, Isabelle must unravel the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.
"A setting fabulous and strange, heroes to cheer for, villains to detest, a twisty, tricky plot — I love this novel!" —Lawrence Watt Evans
"A thrilling adventure full of palace intrigue, mysterious ancient mechanisms, and aerial sailing ships!" —David D. Levine
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read, Open EPUB eBook
Street Date:
08/29/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780765389619
ASIN:
B01NB146GU
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Curtis Craddock. (2017). An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: The Risen Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tor Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Curtis Craddock. 2017. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: The Risen Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tor Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Curtis Craddock, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: The Risen Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tor Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Curtis Craddock. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: The Risen Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tor Publishing Group, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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fullDescription

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is Curtis Craddock's delightful and engrossing fantasy debut featuring a genius heroine and her guardian, a royal musketeer, which Brandon Sanderson calls, "A great read!"
Born with a physical disability, no magical talent, and a precocious intellect, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs has lived her life being underestimated by her family and her kingdom. The only person who appreciates her true self is Jean-Claude, the fatherly musketeer who had guarded her since birth.
All shall change, however, when an unlikely marriage proposal is offered, to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.
But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude plunge into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, Isabelle must unravel the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.
"A setting fabulous and strange, heroes to cheer for, villains to detest, a twisty, tricky plot — I love this novel!" —Lawrence Watt Evans
"A thrilling adventure full of palace intrigue, mysterious ancient mechanisms, and aerial sailing ships!" —David D. Levine
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Brandon Sanderson
      • content:

        "A gripping tale of a woman who refuses to be defined by her physical and magical limitations, thwarting both assassins and all who see her as a pawn. A great read!"

      • premium: False
      • source: Charles Stross
      • content: "Curtis Craddock's debut is a grand tale of intrigue, adventure, and gaslight fantasy in the tradition of Alexander Dumas."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lawrence Watt Evans
      • content: "A setting fabulous and strange, heroes to cheer for, villains to detest, a twisty, tricky plot -- I love this novel!"
      • premium: False
      • source: David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars
      • content: "In a world shattered by sorcery, a princess without magic battles for peace, aided only by her wits and a drunken sot of a musketeer. A thrilling adventure full of palace intrigue, mysterious ancient mechanisms, and aerial sailing ships!"
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, starred review
      • content: "Debut author Craddock's vivid, fluid prose makes for the best kind of world building....His writing remains buoyant, sweeping the reader along with the ease of an airship. Isabelle's dedication to peace and Jean-Claude's dedication to Isabelle comprise the novel's emotional core, even as they flip-flop allies and adapt to a barrage of shocking twists."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 10, 2017
        Craddock’s not-quite-steampunk debut features skyships and clockwork cyborgs, but it occupies a fantasy world rather than an alternate timeline, making it all the more baffling that he chooses to reproduce our world’s most disempowering roles for female characters. One dies in childbirth; one is born with physical and magical “deformities,” so church, state, and family cast her out; and one has her soul sucked out to punish someone else. Meanwhile, male characters swashbuckle blithely across the skies and plot political mayhem. Jean-Claude, intrepid musketeer, is embroiled in much of this as sworn protector of sad, disabled Princess Isabelle, whose oppression is elaborated but static for 100 pages. Craddock can write, and his worldbuilding shines; he’s so effective at reconstituting historical misogyny that by the time the narrative tide shifts—slowly, and not far—most female readers will likely have fled. A political betrothal to the Principe Julio frees Isabelle from home and makes her narratively interesting enough for other characters to court, compromise, and threaten. But though she escapes many constraints, she never escapes the story’s male-centeredness. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2017
        This debut fantasy is set in the Risen Kingdoms, where countries float in the air and people take airships from place to place, princes battle for a throne, and dashing musketeers defend feisty princesses.In other hands, this would be a swashbuckling gaslamp romp, but author Craddock chooses to go darker. His princess, Isabelle des Zephyrs, cousin of His Imperial Majesty Leon XIV of L'Empire Celeste, is feared for her deformed hand and abused by her father and brother for failing to possess their family's saint-given magic, the ability to drain the life from others with the bloodshadow. Her only refuges are her trusty protector, the musketeer Jean-Claude, and her secret work as a scientist and mathematician, pursuits forbidden to women on pain of death. Saintly lines are supposed to remain pure, so Princess Isabelle can't understand why the younger prince of Aragoth, who bears his own royal family's gift of traveling through mirrors, would wish to marry her; nevertheless, she welcomes the opportunity for a new life. Her journey to her betrothed's side is certainly fraught with political intrigue (and assassination attempts), but as she seeks a place for herself in Aragoth, Isabelle quickly realizes that there's more than politics behind the union. One might question how a fantasy world so different from our own would develop ersatz French and Spanish kingdoms, but it's no more implausible than the British medieval landscapes populating other epics. The skulduggery is pleasurably complex, the emotional stakes feel convincing, and the reasonably happy ending feels earned. And while Jean-Claude's doggedness in protecting Isabelle is admirable, Isabelle is decidedly and enjoyably not a damsel in need of rescue. A very promising start, both for a series and a new author.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2017
        Princess Isabelle's kingdom spurns her for having a wormfinger in place of an arm andeven worsefor lacking her family's cruel power to maim or inhabit people with their bloodshadows. Despite Isabelle's deformities, a neighboring empire asks her to marry its prince. However, between its Glasswalkers' mirror-traveling abilities and the complex court politics, Isabelle becomes the target of an assassination attempt. Determined to unveil her role in this royal mess, Isabelle relies on her brillianceshe publishes mathematical proofs under a male pseudonymas well as on her unofficial guardian, Jean-Claudea musketeer who masks his cleverness by parading as the town drunk. Debut author Craddock's vivid, fluid prose makes for the best kind of world building. Despite the rich details of both the floating French- and Spanish-esque countries, his writing remains buoyant, sweeping the reader along with the ease of an airship. Isabelle's dedication to peace and Jean-Claude's dedication to Isabelle comprise the novel's emotional core, even as they flip-flop allies and adapt to a barrage of shocking twists. Both Victorian and fantasy fans will eagerly immerse themselves in this first chapter of a striking new steampunk series, which offers the adventure of Verne and Dumas coupled with magic.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is Curtis Craddock's delightful and engrossing fantasy debut featuring a genius heroine and her guardian, a royal musketeer, which Brandon Sanderson calls, "A great read!"
Born with a physical disability, no magical talent, and a precocious intellect, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs has lived her life being underestimated by her family and her kingdom. The only person who appreciates her true self is Jean-Claude, the fatherly musketeer who had guarded her since birth.
All shall change, however, when an unlikely marriage proposal is offered, to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.
But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude plunge into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, Isabelle must unravel the lies...

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