An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
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An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors : Book One in the Risen Kingdoms

4.11 (671 ratings by Goodreads)
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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
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 163 x 241 x 33mm | 590g
  • New York
  • English
  • 0765389592
  • 9780765389596
  • 838,622

Review quote

"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!" -- Brandon Sanderson

"Curtis Craddock's debut is a grand tale of intrigue, adventure, and gaslight fantasy in the tradition of Alexander Dumas." --Charles Stross

"A setting fabulous and strange, heroes to cheer for, villains to detest, a twisty, tricky plot -- I love this novel!" --Lawrence Watt Evans

"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!" --David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars

"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." -- Booklist, starred review

"The skullduggery 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." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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About Curtis Craddock

CURTIS CRADDOCK lives in Sterling, CO, where he teaches English to inmates in a state penitentiary. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is his debut, a first in The Risen Kingdoms trilogy.
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Rating details

671 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 38% (253)
4 43% (289)
3 14% (93)
2 4% (25)
1 2% (11)
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