If you’ve been searching for a high fantasy thrilling adventure story, look no further. Notorious Sorcerer gave me nostalgic and Sebastien de Castell vibes. There are multiple planes of the universe, and precious mentor mentee relationship, alchemy, and high society. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
In a city filled with dangerous yet heavily regulated alchemical magic, a man from the slums discovers he may be its only hope to survive certain destruction in this wickedly entertaining fantasy.
Welcome to Bezim, where sword-slinging bravi race through the night and rich and idle alchemists make magic out of mixing and measuring the four planes of reality.
Siyon Velo, Dockside brat turned petty alchemist, scrapes a living hopping between the planes to harvest ingredients for the city’s alchemists. But when Siyon accidentally commits an act of impossible magic, he’s catapulted into the limelight—which is a bad place to be when the planes start lurching out of alignment, threatening to send Bezim into the sea.
It will take a miracle to save the city. Good thing Siyon has pulled off the impossible before. Now he just has to master it.
A dazzling fantasy bursting with wild magic, chaotic sword-fighting street gangs, brazen flirting, malevolent harpies, and one defiant alchemist.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
While reading Notorious Sorcerer I fell in love with the magic and I’ve never fallen out of love. I’ve been looking all over the place for a good alchemy book and Notorious Sorcerer fits the bill. Even more so, this book combines alchemy and high society with multiple planes of the universe. Every new advance thrilled me. I need to read the next book in the series to just uncover even more about the world. This multiple POV novel – in the sense that we see many characters throughout the book – has so much to offer.
Whether it be characters who are just searching for their purpose, or ones who are struggling against the cages of expectations, or even ones who desire to break free from everything they’ve ever known. Notorious Sorcerer is a book that will deliver a magic and adventure story which will thrill you. But even more so, I loved the high society class system. The very clear divides in class, name, backgrounds, and how it manifests in protection and ambition. The ways in which the government cracks down on alchemy, while also having hidden cards up their sleeves.
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Notorious Sorcerer is full of levels of imbalance, danger, and stakes. At the core of this story are characters who are chasing futures they dare to dream. While I was confused at a few times in the story – due to the lack of clear POV markers – I highly recommend this unique magical world. There is certainly a vibe sometimes that thing are happening to them, not the other way around, but I feel like that is probably the closest approximation we have to how it feels in our lives sometimes. How it can feel like we are being pulled through life before we have the courage to take the wheel. Which is a major theme in Notorious Sorcerer – embracing our destiny. This is an extremely solid first book and debut to a series I will be following!