The Alchemist's Apprentice and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: ELIGIBLE FOR *FREE* SUPER SAVER SHIPPING. AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DELIVERY TRACKING. Book may have moderate wear to corners and edges. CD may or may not be included. Could be ex-library.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Alchemist's Apprentice Paperback – March 6, 2007


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$4.00 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell.

Product Details

  • Series: Alchemist's Apprentice (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441014798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441014798
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Duncan (Children of Chaos) mingles arch fantasy and a whodunit plot in this alternate vision of old Venice, the launch of a new series featuring alchemist and astrologer Maestro Nostradamus and his nobly born apprentice, Alfeo Zeno, who narrates with panache. Nostradamus foresees the murder of Procurator Bertucci Orseolo, who's poisoned right beneath his nose during a dinner party. When suspicion falls on Nostradamus, Alfeo must solve the mystery—with a bit of help from his adored chameleon-like courtesan, Violetta—to prove his master's innocence. Nostradamus and Alfeo's adventures provide more amusement than chills in this charming farce, which comments lightly on class prejudice, political chicanery and occult tomfoolery. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Duncan's new series opens with a clever mystery set in a fantastic alternate Venice. Legendary clairvoyant, physician, astrologer, and physician Nostradamus is at a gathering of noblemen when one is poisoned. Rumor accuses him because he had predicted that the day would be inauspicious. Instead of fleeing, he charges young apprentice Alfeo Zeno with finding the killer. As much comedy of manners as mystery, and with Alfeo a skillfully drawn, self-centered but clever adolescent in a perfect setting for intrigue, bravado, and a touch of tragedy, this should appeal to fantasy, adventure, and mystery fans alike. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King's Blades. He is both a founding and honorary lifetime member of SF Canada. Dave and his wife Janet, his in-house editor and partner for over fifty years, live in Victoria, British Columbia. They have three children and four grandchildren. Visit his blog and webpage: www.daveduncan.com

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
8
3 star
3
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 19 customer reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Suspense" 11
  • "Writing" 4
  • "Characters" 3
  • "Funny" 2
  • "Emotional" 1
  • All Topics

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karen Miller on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Dave Duncan fan, most particularly of his King's Blades series, and the associated books. I also really enjoyed Children of Chaos and am looking forward to Mother of Lies, the conclusion of that saga. I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Alchemist's Apprentice, and initially I was a bit taken aback because generally speaking I really don't enjoy first person narratives (with the exception of crime/mystery).

But I really enjoyed this one. AA isn't a 'typical' fantasy novel. It's grounded strongly in historical fact, and in some ways is more an historical mystery with a touch of the supernatural than what you might consider a 'traditional' fantasy. There's a death that proves to be a murder, and the apprentice of the doctor and expert in the occult , Nostradamus, nephew of the famous Nostradamus, is put on the job of uncovering the murderer ... with the help of a fiend, and some psychic stuff, and a great deal of running around. In Venice. Complete with gondolas, sword-play, courtesans and politics.

The historical detail is perfectly incorporated. The characters are uniformly excellent. It wouldn't be Duncan without some touches of humour, and the humour this time is delightfully dry and sly.

It's definitely a different kind of story from this masterful writer, but I like different. And I'm so encouraged that after many years and many books, Duncan can still come up with something new, entertaining and beautifully executed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Potter on March 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
While not the typical fantasy I have come to associate with Duncan, I really enjoyed this book.

Narrated from the point of view of Zeno, a young man of noble heritage who is the apprentice to the forecasting Nostradamus, the story follows his investigation of a murder that may, or may not, have happened the way his master sees it. (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

As usual with Duncan, the characters are real, seeming to be people we could meet ourselves. What little magic their is, while real, is so minor that it is the actions of the players that really drive this "historical fantasy". I admitt, I had the case totally wrong as I read, and the revelation of the killer and the motive were so well done that I didn't care about how wrong I had been.

A good murder mystery with great characters. I as sorry to finish it, and I hope we see some more of the poor Alfeo Zeno and his irrasible Maestro Nostradamus from Duncan.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Alchemist's Apprentice (2007) is a historical fantasy. Maestro Filippo Nostradamus, nephew of Michel Nostradamus, is an astrologer, clairvoyant and alchemist as well as the best physician in Venice. His apprentice and protector is Alfeo Zeno, a young and impoverished nobleman. The Maestro is a long-standing friend of the Doge and is also his personal physician.

In this novel, a tarot reading suggests unexpected visitors that night, so Alfeo he arms himself just in case. He sends Luigi -- the night watchman -- to guard the back door and takes the watergate for himself. Then Raffaino Sciara appears with four fanti requesting entrance.

Although Alfeo states that the Maestro is not at home, the Circospetto -- chief secretary of the Council of Ten -- demands entrance in the name of the Republic. Alfeo reluctantly lets them inside, but still avers that his master is not home. Sciara offers Alfeo the choice of taking him to the Maestro or being taken into custody.

After spending the rest of the night in a cell, Alfeo is awakened and taken to see the Doge. There he is informed of the death of Bertucci Orseolo and the circumstances leading to the death. He is startled to learn that his master had been present at the affair and had attended the procurator after his collapse.

Alfeo immediately realizes that his master could be charged with causing the death of the procurator. After returning home, he advises his master to flee Venice, but Nostradamus refuses. Instead, the Maestro sends Alfeo on a series of errands, including interviews with the witnesses to Orseolo's collapse.

In this story, Alfeo is attacked by six bravos, but survives due to Bruno's iron skillet and help from the neighbors. He has prophetic dreams about a demon.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James D. Newland on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim, and quickly became immersed in the fantasy, mystery, and intriguing characters. I highly recommend it to any fan of historical adventure or mysteries, and even to fans of low blood level fantasy. Sorry lovers of spilled guts. I particularly enjoyed the details of Venetian every day life and politics,which, along with the great characters, brought real interest to this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Schumann on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you read this expecting your typical Fantasy title, you will be a bit disappointed The two demons that only briefly appear are only plot elements and strictly Church issue. This book is much more like The Name of The Rose. a nice detective tale in an historical setting. (Here Venice) It is a good read and I enjoyed it but I think it was only labeled Fantasy to keep it in line with the author's other work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Jones on September 20, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Venician, alternative history novel this is well done, well written and I'm sure, a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I've come to know Duncan through his fantasy series (I loved the Blade series), and was expecting some level of cross over or fantasy, especially after reading the blurb and hearing there was witchcraft and arcane arts at play.

I was disappointed though. The arcane components could be ignored entirely, and the book would flow, the story unfold. They really didn't add the fantasy element I was hoping for.

I suppose this is a common trap when authors step outside their known niche, and some fans are always likely to be left behind - as I read the reviews, I see I'm not the only one.

Again, nothing about this book is badly written (on the contrary), the story is, I'm sure, a fine example of a who-dun-it mystery. I even found myself liking Zeno, in the end (although why pick Nostradamus, then make him so unlikable - I'm not so sure). But for me, it was too dramatic a departure from the genre I enjoy, and had come to love Duncan's work in. I'll not be buying the rest of the trilogy - but will explore his other works some more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search