The Alchemist's Pursuit

The Alchemist's Pursuit

Book - 2009
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Nostradamus and his apprentice Alfeo Zeno track down a murderer who is targeting the courtesans of Venice.
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, c2009.
ISBN: 9780441016785
0441016782
Branch Call Number: DUNCA
Characteristics: 310 p.

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a
andreareads
Jan 23, 2011

Back in my room to collect my sword and cloak, I decided I had just enough time to try a fast tarot reading. Of course urgency and apprehension make the worst possible state of mind to obtain a clear augury, so I should not have been surprised that the results seemed very mixed at first glance. Some cards made sense, others did not. I tucked them away in my memory and the deck under my pillow, then . . . it was time to go.

a
andreareads
Jan 23, 2011

A faint wedge of light showed under the door. As Venice sinks slowly into the mud of the lagoon, its doors and windows - even its walls - forswear right angles in favor of ideas of their own.

a
andreareads
Jan 23, 2011

Wealthy Venetian men provide little education for their daughters and keep their wives housebound - some don't get out more than two or three times a year. They have no friends, no recreations. Then the men wonder why their womenfolk are so dull! They patronize courtesans at least as much for entertainment as for sex, probably more.

a
andreareads
Jan 23, 2011

I walked into the great hall and wished I had time to admire the enormous spendor of marble, glass, and gilt - about a week would do.

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a
andreareads
Jan 23, 2011

There's a mix of murder, mystery and magic as Alfeo Zeno, apprentice to the legendary Nostradamus, tries to find a serial killer before the killer finds another victim in 16th century Venice. As with the rest of the series, this makes for an enjoyable read, rich in period detail, that also raises questions about the nature of justice and corruption, the contrast between rich and poor and the opportunities available for men versus women. One criticism is that I sometimes found the working of magic confusing in this alternate reality. There's a mix of real world belief systems, from Catholicism, to astrology and tarot, to statements such as, "Everyone knows that cats have nine lives," but what was and wasn't possible in the world of the books wasn't always clear, which interfered with the unravelling of the mystery. Overall a good read for those who like their history and mystery with a little twist.

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a
andreareads
Jan 30, 2011

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