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The Alchemist in the Shadows (Les Lames du Cardinal #2)

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  272 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Paris, 1633: Cardinal Richelieu is on his guard. France is under threat, and a secret society is conspiring against him from the heart of the greatest courts in Europe. To counter the threat, Richelieu has put his most trusted men into play: the Cardinal's Blades, led by Captain la Fargue. When la Fargue hears from "La Donna," a beautiful spy claiming to have valuable info ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Pyr (first published June 4th 2009)
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Ranting Dragon
Oct 06, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle
http://www.rantingdragon.com/the-alch...


The Alchemist in the Shadows is the second book in The Cardinal’s Blades trilogy by French author Pierre Pével. We return to Pével’s vibrant 17th century Paris where magic, though rare, certainly exists, and the presence of dragons in one form or another is considered commonplace. Originally written in Pével’s native French, the English edition of The Alchemist in the Shadows is once again translated by Tom Clegg, the man responsible for its predecessor Th
...more
Marko
Jul 01, 2011 Marko rated it it was ok
Pierre Pevel continues his story about Cardinal's Blades, men of great talent who serve Cardinal Richelieu and fight for France and against the incursion of the dragons. Personally, I like Pevel's concept up until the last word and I'd be happier reading more traditional historical fiction about the 17th century rapier-wielding Frenchmen.

My main objection to this book, however, is Pierre Pevel's storytelling style. He has a collection of main characters and through whose eyes the story is told,
...more
Mike
Sep 24, 2011 Mike rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Although written in virtually an identical style, I liked this book better than it's predecessor, "The Cardinal's Blades".

It still has the short, choppy "scenes" (chapters), but since at least half the characters are continuing, there is less disruption of the story as new ones are introduced. Like the first book it also resolves one major plot turn, but creates another and ends with the classic "cliff-hanger" of movie serials from the 30s and 40s. Effective if you are trying to build interest
...more
Христо Блажев
Остриетата на кардинала воюват с преобразен дракон: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/a...

След като се забавлявах добре с “Остриетата на Кардинала”, побързах да се потопя пак в тоя свят, създаден да напомня за Александър Дюма и неговите мускетари. И ако в първата част това ми бе интересно, дори ме забавляваха връзките, които прави Пиер Певел, в продължението “Алхимикът от сенките” очаквах да развие героите си, да им позволи да придобият самостоятелност и да се отличат, изобщо да щрихова света
...more
Tessa
Sep 23, 2012 Tessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A peu près les mêmes remarques que pour le premier tome, un thème agréable mais un rythme de lecture trop saccadé.
Dès le début du livre de nouveaux personnages arrivent, tels que l’Italienne et les Dracs noirs mais ceux-ci contrairement aux personnages dans le premier tome, ne nous sont pas présentés et on se perd un peu dans l’action. Mais c’est sans parler de ceux que l’on découvre par la suite, au bout du compte, ça fait beaucoup.
Après beaucoup de personnages, il y a toujours beaucoup de desc
...more
Kahlan
Feb 18, 2012 Kahlan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'alchimiste des ombres est le second volume de la trilogie Les lames du Cardinal, de Pierre Pevel. Mêlant habilement le fantastique à notre histoire de France, l'auteur nous ramène avec aisance au Paris de l'époque, écrasé de chaleur et d'odeurs pas toujours agréables, mais surtout fourmillant des intrigues de la Cour. Nous sommes au début de l'été 1633, et un mois après avoir été rappelées par le Cardinal de Richelieu, les Lames du capitaine La Fargue sont en effet confrontées à un nouveau com ...more
Stacey O'Neale
May 11, 2011 Stacey O'Neale rated it liked it
This review was completed by Michael Cummings, staff review with the YA Fantasy Guide.

Pevel returns to seventeenth century France in this second novel of the Cardinal's Blades. A new threat rises to threaten the future of France. La Donna, an Italian spy known for her subterfuge and intrigue and, of course, inescapable and beguiling beauty, possesses information of a plot against the King and is willing to share it, for a price.

As a French adventure story that is supposed to remind us of Dumas
...more
Michelle
Oct 23, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Also published under The Ranting Dragon

The Alchemist in the Shadows is the second book in The Cardinal’s Blades trilogy by French author Pierre Pével. We return to Pével’s vibrant 17th century Paris where magic, though rare, certainly exists, and the presence of dragons in one form or another is considered commonplace. Originally written in Pével’s native French, the English edition of The Alchemist in the Shadows is once again translated by Tom Clegg, the man responsible for its predecessor The
...more
Marcus Gipps
Book Two of a series by Pierre Pevel (http://marcusgipps.livejournal.com/64...), and the first one won a Gemmell 'debut' award a couple of weeks ago, so there's obviously something going on here. A mash-up of Dumas and dragons, the first one was a very fun read, but suffered a little from the need to set everything up and trigger a bunch of plots, some of which were resolved in the first book, a lot of which weren't. It was a lot of fun, though, and the translation seemed to flow nicely. I would ...more
Michael Cummings
May 26, 2011 Michael Cummings rated it liked it
Pevel returns to seventeenth century France in this second novel of the Cardinal's Blades. A new threat rises to threaten the future of France. La Donna, an Italian spy known for her subterfuge and intrigue and, of course, inescapable and beguiling beauty, possesses information of a plot against the King and is willing to share it, for a price.

As a French adventure story that is supposed to remind us of Dumas - if Alexandre had had a penchant for dragons, dragonnettes, and dracs running rampant
...more
Cathrine Bonham
Jul 21, 2011 Cathrine Bonham rated it really liked it
As is often the case the case with Fantasy series the second novel is usually easier to follow than the first because once you are familiar with the characters and the rules of the new world your brain doesn't have to think too much about it enabling you to enjoy the story better. That applies to this book which was much more enjoyable than the first one "The Cardnal's Blades." Also The research that I did into the life of Molere acustomed me to the period.

A plot is rumored that there is a threa
...more
Jane
May 10, 2011 Jane rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dungeon and dragon readers - all grown up
Paris 1633, fully realized from the raw sewage drying on the city streets to the court of Louis XIII with all of its excesses and intrigue – to the dragons enthroned in Spain who plot to overthrow all of Europe.
Yes, dragons. Fire-breathing, flying, shape-shifting and very, very intelligent dragons.
And it works!
I was completely entranced by Pierre Pevel’s The Alchemist in the Shadows. The story follows The Cardinal’s Blades, a 17th century SEAL Team 6, as they unravel a plot against the throne th
...more
Liviu
see my review of the first book of the series for more: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

here I would add that book 2 is more unitary and has more coherence but the suspension of disbelief required is even more, the cast/world is not fresh any more and I mostly kept turning the pages to see what happens rather than being engaged in the action
Ubiquitousbastard
Sep 16, 2012 Ubiquitousbastard rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons, france
Firstly, I'm not keen on the Chatelaines, their inclusion in this book was a little abrupt, since there wasn't much talk of them in the first one. Secondly, the overall plot seems a bit weak. I love intrigue, but I think the intrigue here fell flat at the end. I even feel bad saying that, because I did like reading this.
But the reason I liked it wasn't because of the major plot, it was more for the subplots and for the characters themselves. I definitely believe that creating and utilizing good
...more
Clay Kallam
Jul 05, 2011 Clay Kallam rated it liked it
There’s really nothing serious to think about in Pierre Pevel’s “The Cardinal’s Blades” (Pyr, $11.99, 307 pages) and “The Alchemist in the Shadows” (Pyr, $11.99, 286 pages) except the convoluted plots, which involve Cardinal Richelieu, spies, intrigue and romance. And of course, how much fun it is for readers of a certain age to enjoy a book with the traditional characters: the shadowy grise eminence, the noble hero, the rogue with a heart of gold, the fencing master, and so on down the line.

Pev
...more
Ruth
Dec 30, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
c2009: Still a rollicking story (excuse the cliché) with an interesting development regarding the dragons. Definitely recommended and going for the next in the series. "She thus returned to France after a year in exile, surrounded by a certain diabolical aura, thirty years old but not ready to settle down."
Naïma
Jul 30, 2015 Naïma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historiques
Histoire toujours aussi palpitante, j'ai beaucoup aimé le complot et les péripéties de nos personnages ainsi que le côté historique alternatif... néanmoins je suis un peu déçue que le côté fantasy soit si léger et frustrée de ne pas en apprendre plus sur les dragons...
April
Apr 03, 2012 April rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, fantasy
3.5 stars, I rounded up.

I love alternate history and I love anything to do with the Three Musketeers/swashbuckline (what IS that anyway?) and the like so I was predestined to enjoy this story.

The only real drawback was that there were too many characters to follow for such a short story and too many of them with similar names and while nobody can accuse me of be a detail oriented reader, I do like to be able to tell who's brain I'm riding at any given time.

Also, and this could have been a casual
...more
Jo Oehrlein
May 25, 2015 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
Shelves: dragon
Much longer chapters than book #1. More intrigue, but it felt like less was by the Cardinal and more by others. Lots of good action/fight scenes. It seemed easier to keep track of things because you already knew the main characters and they were mostly together.

Agnes had a pretty boring part here.
Patrice Leonard
L'histoire est agréable à lire et propose un joli divertissement dans un Paris du XVIIème siècle. Le coté historique est intéressant mais comme dan le premier ouvrage, il est dommage que la mise en forme des rappels historiques éjecte le lecteur de l'histoire en le ramenant à son époque, comme s'il y avait deux lectures, l'historique et la romancée. Il est toutefois à noter que cette mise en forme s'estompe au fur et à mesure que l'on avance dans le livre et laisse place à plus de fluidité entre ...more
Sharon
Jul 31, 2012 Sharon rated it liked it
I found this the second book of the trilogy a bit hard to get into at first but this may be because it has been awhile since I read the first book and I was having a bit of trouble recalling who was who. Having said that I did enjoy the book after I settled in. I mean what's not to like, 1633 France, musketeers, beautiful seductresses & dragons. This book follows the Cardinal's Blades in their continued quest to protect France & the French throne at all costs from the constant threat of ...more
Chris
Aug 20, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
I read a pre-production proof of this book and I must say I think it's a great new idea for a fantasy book. Set in the time of the three musketeer's but with added dragons and alchemy. Quite dark in places, beautifully written, so much so that you can really imagine the dank, dingy sewage infested streets of 17th century Paris. Infact, it's so well detailed, and described, down to street names, that you could almost use it as a guide for 21st century Paris too! And now in the time honoured fashi ...more
LemontreeLime
Mar 08, 2015 LemontreeLime rated it liked it
Second chapter in the adventure, dragons - spies - and french food everywhere! Things just keep getting more and more complicated.
Darlene
Dec 31, 2014 Darlene rated it really liked it
Fun!
Tamara
Not as strong as the first book. Too many sub plots and minor characters get introduced but never go anywhere or get extremely short shrift, so theres never any sense of tension with anything involving them. The main characters seem to have character developed backwards, and are shallower ad less layered than in the Cardinals Blades too. Still a fun adventure read, (Plots! Schemes! Treachery! Swordfights! Rooftop chases!) but feels rather distant and unengaging in terms of plot and character.
Heather
May 19, 2014 Heather rated it liked it
The plot is excellent and the writing very good but this book just didn't flow for me. Perhaps because it's a translation. Boring descriptions - I know the name of every bloody street in Paris now. All the French names and titles were tiring to read as well. An insane amount of main characters, it just didn't work for me. The idea was excellent but there was too much stuffy writing to wade through to make this truly enjoyable.
John
Aug 11, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Intriguing and interesting twist to the dragon mythology. I was kept interested through out the book and enjoyed the twist and turns it sometimes took you on. Excellent characters with lots of character of their own helps the reader down the path that the author wishes to send you. I would recommend this book to anyone with a sense of adventure. Really great read.
Eric
Apr 05, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meilleur que le premier. C'est presque toujours le cas avec les trilogies...
Jo
Sep 19, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
Like "The Cardinal's Blades" before it, "Alchemist in the Shadows" is full of fun adventure, fantasy, intrigue, and really well described period details. You can really smell the reek of Paris in the summer. I'll be picking up the 3rd book shortly. Loved it.
Rudi Opperman
Aug 26, 2015 Rudi Opperman rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
History and Fantasy mixed together - works really well.
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Pierre Pevel est l’un des fleurons de la Fantasy française. Il a obtenu le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire en 2002 et le prix Imaginales 2005. Avec une verve romanesque digne des grandes heures du feuilleton populaire, il signe là tout à la fois un hommage aux romans de cape et d’épée, un récit historique admirablement documenté et une Fantasy épique à grand spectacle. La trilogie des Lames du Cardinal ...more
More about Pierre Pevel...

Other Books in the Series

Les Lames du Cardinal (3 books)
  • The Cardinal's Blades (The Cardinal's Blades #1)
  • The Dragon Arcana (The Cardinal's Blades #3)

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“But the observers were even more surprised by her thigh boots, black breeches, and the red leather corset she wore over a white shirt. It was a daring outfit, to say the least... She also wore a sword and rode her horse like a man. It was scandalous...
Page 37 of ARC”
3 likes
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