The first in a phenomenal new fantasy trilogy, where the power of words can change the fate of all dimensions
As a new Initiate with the Alchemists’ Council, Jaden is trained to maintain the elemental balance of the world, while fending off interference by the malevolent Rebel Branch. Bees are disappearing from the pages of the ancient manuscripts in Council dimension and from the outside world, threatening its very existence. Jaden navigates alchemy’s complexities, but the more she learns, the more she begins to question Council practices. Erasure — a procedure designed not only to remove individuals from Council dimension but also from the memories of other alchemists — troubles Jaden, and she uses her ingenuity to remember one of the erased people. In doing so, she realizes the Rebel Branch might not be the enemy she was taught to fight against.
Jaden is caught between her responsibility to the Council and her growing allegiance to the rebels, as the Council finds itself at the brink of war. She is faced with an ethical dilemma involving the free will of all humanity and must decide whether or not she can save the worlds.
Cynthea Masson is a professor in the English department at Vancouver Island University. After completing a Ph.D. in English with a focus on medieval mysticism, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship, which included work with alchemical manuscripts at the British Library. Her award-winning academic work includes the co-edited book Reading Joss Whedon. The first novel in the Alchemists’ Council series was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and won the Gold Medal for Fantasy in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She lives in BC.
“Masson has a lyrical writing style that echoes some of the English romantics’ focus on beauty and nature. She excels at propelling the story forward with complex characters.” — Publishers Weekly
"Masson’s prose is dense with details and striking imagery, and her characters are compelling." — Jana Nyman, Fantasy Literature Blog
“The Alchemists' Council excels with a beautifully crafted and alluring world.” — Broken Pencil
“Masson uses her academic expertise in medieval manuscripts to create a convincing fantastical world in which the disappearance of bees from alchemical texts threatens ecological sustainability.” — The Bull Calf
“An intelligently written, character-driven fantasy novel . . . The Alchemists’ Council by Cynthea Masson definitely merits a gold seal of approval.” — BryceRaffle.com
“I knew that when I reached the end of the book I would be sad . . . sad that I would have to wait for the next installment! . . . Thank you Cynthea Masson for blowing my mind!” — Lost in the Rain blog
”Cynthea Masson has crafted a sophisticated fantasy realm that intersects our own. Her multi-dimensional characters and skillfully woven plot will keep readers guessing about allegiance and motivation, even among the story's protagonists.” — Scene Magazine
“The Alchemists’ Council is a highly original novel with an intriguing premise. The book is engaging, and the political machinations between members of the Alchemists’ Council bring nuance to the characters, leaving the reader guessing about motivations and alliances . . . A good purchase for public and school libraries.” — CM: Canadian Review of Materials