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Secrets of the Alchemist Dar (A Treasure's Trove) Paperback – September 26, 2006


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Paperback, September 26, 2006
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Series: A Treasure's Trove
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Treasure Trove Inc.; First Edition edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976061880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976061885
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,735,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description:
Michael Stadther's Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, the sequel to the New York Times bestselling A Treasure's Trove, is a fantasy story about Dark and Good Fairies, spells and eclipses, and the author's signature characters: Zac, the handsome woodcarver; Ana, his beautiful half-elf/half-human wife; and their trusty doth, Pook. The story is also about the evil Alchemist Dar who wants his Dark Fairies to live forever; to do this he must steal the Good Fairies' Rings of Fairy Life. Using the mysterious Book of Dark Spells, Dar kills the Good Fairies and captures the rings. The mystery begins with clues concealed in the pages of this book that will give anyone anywhere in the world who can read English a chance to solve the clues and obtain one of the one hundred real diamond rings valued together at more than US $2 million. Armchair adventurers will discover the treasure-hunting experience of a lifetime, and families will enjoy hours of reading together.
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Michael Stadther
In 2004 the author and illustrator Michael Stadther made publishing history when his first book, the self-published A Treasure's Trove, appeared on nearly every bestseller list in the United States. Rarely, if ever, had a self-published book received such popular acclaim so quickly. Inspired by this success, Mike has embarked on an even more ambitious and wide-ranging project. On September 26, 2006, his publishing company, in association with Simon & Schuster, released Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, the sequel to A Treasure's Trove. Alchemist Dar will launch the first worldwide treasure hunt for 100 Aaron Basha jeweled rings valued at over $2 million.

Mike has appeared on NBC's Today show three times, and has been featured on programs such as Good Morning America, Fox News & Friends, Inside Edition, and EXTRA. The author and his work were highlighted in a segment on CBS Sunday Morning. Numerous articles have appeared in newspaper and magazines such as USA Today, People magazine, The New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.


Aaron Basha
Aaron Basha is known for his collection of magical treasures and masterful designs originated of 18 karat gold, gemstones, and colored enamel. His name is internationally recognized for the signature jeweled Baby Shoes, Love Bugs, spectacular diamond designs, and a high profile celebrity clientele. Aaron Basha's flagship boutique is located on Madison Avenue in New York City. Renowned retailers worldwide featuring the Aaron Basha line are located throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean Islands. "We are thrilled to be a part of the adventure of Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, says Aaron. "Our designs are known to charm the child at heart; may the rings of eternal life bring fun, play and love!"

For more information please visit Aaron Basha's Web site.



Other Editions


Secrets of the Alchemist Dar [Deluxe Edition]


Secrets of the Alchemist Dar [Audio CD]

More from A Treasure's Trove


101 New! Puzzles, Clues, Maps, Tantalizing Tales, and Stories of Real Treasture


Pook's Tale

What Booger Knows!

About the Author

Michael Stadther has been thinking about treasure hunts since he was a boy, digging holes in his grandmother's yard looking for buried treasure. As a teen he read Masquerade by Kit Williams and dreamed that one day, he too, would write a story and hide a treasure.

After a successful career in banking software, he decided to put his efforts into creating a international treasure hunt that could engage millions of adults and children alike, providing adventure, fun and opportunity for everyone. He wanted the hunt to be accessible and encourage puzzle-solving, reading and exploring. It took him eight years to work out how to do it.

When he's not painting or dabbling in real estate, Mike studies with world-famous chess grand master Gregory Kaidanov. He also practices the 10-string Baroque guitar.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


More About the Author

In 2004 the author and illustrator Michael Stadther made publishing history when his first book, the self-published A Treasure's Trove, appeared on nearly every bestseller list in the United States. Rarely, if ever, had a self-published book received such popular acclaim so quickly. And, in publishing A Treasure's Trove, Mike reintroduced a book genre long ignored by the industry: the event book.

A Treasure's Trove, an enchanting adventure-fantasy, virtually took the country by storm. Demand for the book was overwhelming, and in a matter of three months Mike moved his operations from his home to an office and founded a publishing company, Treasure Trove, Inc.

With this success and a track record, Mike has embarked on an even more ambitious and wide-ranging project. In September 2006, his publishing company, in association with Simon & Schuster, released Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, the sequel to A Treasure's Trove. Secrets of the Alchemist Dar launched the first worldwide treasure hunt, this time for 100 Aaron Basha jeweled rings valued at more than US$2 million.

Mike Stadther's life is a classic rags-to-riches story. By his own description, Mike Stadther was born 'dirt poor' in Mobile, Alabama. He and his mother eventually moved to Louisville, Kentucky where one of his teachers noted the young man's promise and recommended that he go to a residential high school for gifted children. There, he wrote an original mathematics research paper that he presented to NASA. A NASA physicist became Mike's generous benefactor, helping Mike finance his college education at Tulane University, where he earned a B.S. in mathematics in three years. Mike graduated in 1973 as the computer age was dawning, becoming an early software developer.

He and his wife of more than 25 years, Helen, met when they both worked as programmers in New York. Mike went on to work as a consultant while his wife joined a large New York bank and became a vice president in its information technology department.

In 1979 Mike and Helen started a banking software company which they eventually sold to a large domestic software vendor. Shortly thereafter, the couple formed another banking software company which serviced institutions around the world and had offices in New York, London and Mexico. In 1996 they sold that business to a British software company.
A New Career

After the sale of this second company, Mike had the time to focus on a notion he had since the mid-1980s ' creating a national treasure hunt that would captivate Americans, young and old. He spent long hours thinking how he could hide tokens redeemable for real treasure so that they weren't buried or put in dangerous places or private property; nothing could be moved to find the tokens, yet they would be truly hidden. To him, it was a mental challenge, one that took him eight years to solve --and A Treasure's Trove was written. The 12 tokens were found and solutions then published in The Official Solution Guide, distributed by Simon and Schuster.

Secrets of the Alchemist Dar was released in a worldwide simultaneous laydown on September 26, 2006. Additionally, its release was accompanied by five coloring/activity books, a new Puzzle Book Companion, and Secrets of the Alchemist Dar: the Audiobook. Simon & Schuster is the distributor.
The Secrets of the Alchemist Dar launched the first public worldwide treasure hunt. Mike has collaborated with Aaron Basha, the world-famous jeweler, to design this hunt's treasures: 100 jeweled rings collectively valued at more than US$2 million.

How will this hunt work? Here is what Mike offers readers:

'The real mystery in Secrets of the Alchemist Dar begins with clues concealed in the pages of the book that will let anyone, anywhere in the world, who can read English and is a resident of a legally qualified country, get one of the 100 jeweled rings valued together at over $2,000,000.
Happy Hunting!

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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We haven't come close to figuring out one location, but it's fun to try.
Rebecca Kinson
Like the original story, The Alchemist Dar is a classic children's tale of fairies, heroes, and mythical creatures, and an epic battle of good versus evil.
Mike
We put this audio book in during our trip from CA to WA and they were mesmerized.
Karla Armitage

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mike on October 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I received my copy of Secrets of the Alchemist Dar in the mail two days ago, and let me sum up by saying this: Michael Stadther has done it again.

The old characters Zac, Ana, and Pook are back in this sequel to the orginal bestseller "A Treasure's Trove", along with a couple of new characters in the world of the Great Forest, including a loveable newborn Doth (veterans of the series will know that a Doth is a cross between a dog and a moth). I won't give away the name of the new Doth here, you will just have to read it to find out!

Like the original story, The Alchemist Dar is a classic children's tale of fairies, heroes, and mythical creatures, and an epic battle of good versus evil. Any parent with young children should buy this book, and I guarantee they will spend hours reading it with their children again and again. Every illustration in The Alchemist Dar is a small gem, and the story is as good as the original. As a bonus, there is even a sort of "book within a book": namely the book of Light/Dark spells at the end that contains many mysteries waiting to be discovered.

And as if all that isn't enough, The Alchemist Dar has another thing in common with the original: a real-life hunt for real world treasure! And the hunt is even bigger and better than before. In the original, clues led to twelve jewelled creatures; in the Alchemist Dar, clues will lead readers to one hundred exquisite rings designed by a world class jeweller, with one ring appraised at one million US dollars, containing a red diamond, one of the rarest gems on earth. So even if you don't have children, if you like an intellectual challenge, you will enjoy spending hours with this book trying to unlock the secrets of the rings.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Mann on January 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
First, let me start off with the positive. Since I had read, and participated in, Mr. Stadther first hunt, A T T, I was very exicted for this second book to come out. It has proven exceedingly difficult. If for nothing else than to show you how a man could hide an elusive code, burried within this book, I would recommend this book.

Anyone who is considering purchasing this boook on or after 1/27/08, should know the following:
A) This book has been unsolved, in any fashion, by the ten thousand people who have attempted to solve the puzzles for over a year, which is, in my opinion, an impressive feat.
B) The legal status of this "hunt" is unknown at this moment.
-Anyone considering purchasing this book at this moment for prizes,
should know that this hunt may be closed at a moments notice.
-Simon and Schuster, thru counsel, have commenced bankruptcy
proceedings against the author, and may close down the "hunt"
momentairly.
Please seek the websites related to the hunt for further information.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Raymond C. Barabino on March 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Secrets of the Alchemist Dar - A Brief Review

The book can only be found in the children's section of the most well-known book store chains. Why would anyone hope to sell a book there? Well, Secrets is such a book. Secrets is not just a fantasy, it is also a treasure hunt, filled with imagery, and hints that invite even more images. If you have ever enjoyed tales, this book promises and delivers a unique tale, filled with reminders of flash lighted faces stories told at campfires, at home, and with wonder.

The author dedicates his book to anyone who reads it with a child. The illustrations range from the seemingly crude to the sublime, mystery and wonder. Is it a classic tale retold? Maybe, Maybe not. The story begins with a dance, and ends with something else. Oh no, I won't give that secret away (it might be a solve). If you go to the website dedicated to this hunt, you will hear that often enough, and you will meet people as interesting as the characters in this book. But be careful some of them might be alchemists or worse.

Alchemy, the very word invokes images of menace. Laboratories where vile things like pollution of the environment for greed takes place by villains of every sort. And a challenge, the author makes you part of the story, and you accept. Teachers are invited to investigate the educational possibilities presented.

Biology, physics, mathematics, probability, social responsibility, jurisprudence, archeology, geography, astronomy, history, and research - its all there, and more. Exploring the possibilities. Did the author succeed with this? In my view, yes.

Parents would welcome the opportunity to share this adventure with their children. Age appropriate?
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A Kid's Review on April 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
To begin, I have to say, the story itself does not interest me that much, the characters being overly simplistic and largely cliched. The puzzles on the otherhand are wildly devious, with an intricacy, that would put Will Shortz (NY Times Puzzle editor) to shame.

Sadly, I cannot see myself (nor would I ever), reading, or using this book again once the hunt is "completed."

For this reason, parents, despite the 'easy reading' in the story, if your kids want anything out of the book, be prepared to invest long hours working with them.

Still, as a 17 year old 'Trover' (term for fans of Stradthers work.), I tend to work on the puzzles alone, and I may refer to the story with help for some solves that only work 'in context' (Some of the books secrets are found in story), I cannot find any lasting appeal in the story beyond the hunt. So while it is largely worthwhile to pick up for the hunt alone, once, the hunt is over, the only hope of sales, is for those dedicated 'trovers' who do it for the fun, rather than the reward. And while I experience/appreciate this feeling, if you're going to be a 'treasure hunter' why look for treasure long since taken?
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