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The Lady Alchemist

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In a land torn between magic and alchemy, Sepha is an exceptional alchemist, able to bend the rules in ways no one else can. But when a slip of the tongue lands her in prison with a mountain of straw, even she has to admit that she can’t transmute straw into gold.

With the threat of a death sentence hanging over her, she’s forced to make a deal with a conniving magician. Se
Paperback, 300 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by Month9Books
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Lea There's definitely some romance. The story kind of revolves around it...without giving too much away ;)…moreThere's definitely some romance. The story kind of revolves around it...without giving too much away ;)(less)
Cindy Wolf The paperback version is available on Amazon in the US. It wasn't released until May 26, 2020, so possibly it wasn't available when you first looked.…moreThe paperback version is available on Amazon in the US. It wasn't released until May 26, 2020, so possibly it wasn't available when you first looked.(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  280 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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kath | novel + folk
This was a fast-paced, clever, steampunk Rumplestiltskin retelling full of twists and surprises and totally worthy of devouring in one sitting.

There were so many moments when the author’s prose just ascends to another level of beauty and it was a sight to behold. It was well plotted and full of action and fantastic world-building, alchemy and magic - all working together to keep me frantically turning pages. This is a book to lose yourself in for a few hours, yet will stay with you for a long ti
Samantha Vitale
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
(Well, I like it)
Elizabeth Sagan
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
review coming soon!
Ashley Daviau
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I heard this was a Rumplestiltskin retelling I was instantly sold and my hopes soared high. And let me tell you, my expectations were met and SHATTERED. I cannot accurately put into words how much I freaking LOVED this book. It’s fast paced and clever and SO original. I’ve gotten bored of YA books lately because they tend to follow the same pattern but this book is so far outside that box that it’s on another planet. The world building is great, the writing is beautiful, the story is ...more
✩ Yaz ✩
4 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

”Everyone knows magic and alchemy don’t mix.”

I was drawn to this because it’s a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin not because it’s a favorite fairytale of mine but the fact that I was looking forward to the author’s own take on this... and I was not disappointed.

• The plot was very unique with elements of the fairytale woven into it, but it maintains its own authenticity. The first half of the book is where I felt I was bombarded with info that took me a while to process but it was impor
Mar 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
That cover tho? Love it!
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you're reading and just want there to be more, or for it to be a series it's a really good book. At least imo.

But that epilog!? What was that? I need answers. I get that it's open but why even add that if you're not planning to make a series or at least a novella?
(yes it made me love the book more but still!)
Lindsey Rojem
I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for a review here and on my blog Samwise Reviews. I loved every minute of this. From the second I realized it was a Rumpelstiltskin adaptation, I was hooked. The story started with that, but it was So. Much. More. It had romance and adventure and friendship and magic and drama and hardship and just everything. It was a delicious ride to the very end, and I was demanding a sequel before I was even half way through. Some parts of it were a bit of ...more
Sheila Goicea
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Month 9 Books, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.

RTC later today!

My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook

Mable (the-forest-library)
What an outstanding debut! This book is a fast-paced wild ride from start to finish, with so many reveals that I never saw coming. Amazing world building with such interesting characters; I especially loved Destry. Rumpelstiltskin has never been my favorite fairy tale, but I enjoyed this magical and alchemical take on it much more than the other retelling I’ve read (Spinning Silver).
Rachel Tremblay
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alchemy and magic don’t mix! This epic YA steampunk fantasy / rumplestilstkin retelling gives us two adorable underdogs to root for, loveable homunculi, interesting grey characters, deliciously despicable villains, and a smooth plot that makes us excited to pick up the story again. It was a super fun read that I would have binged if I weren’t so busy. Though different, if you liked Serpent & Dove or Sky in the Deep, I think you would dig this. Give this one a go 👍🏽
SanWa Library
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars!!

I did my full honest review at my booktube channel and my blog.

See you there.

Liv | Books to Liv by
HEA: (view spoiler)
“Not every mother wants to be a mother. Not every mother wants all of her children. Not every mother cares enough to pretend she does.”

Before diving into this novel, I had no idea what alchemy really entailed and which kinds of laws it abided by. But the more I read about, the more I annotated –the more intrigued I became.
Vitale’s story might be labeled as a retelling of the The Rumpelstiltskin, but to me, it felt like something new –born ex n
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Retellings intrigue me but I don't always pick them up, but when I heard this was a loose Rumpelstiltskin retelling... okay you got my attention.

If you're not familiar with the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, basically it's about a miller's daughter who must spin straw into gold, she makes a deal with a creature to help her, in return she must give him her first born child. In the end she loses everything.

I've always been intrigued by this fairytale, and in The Lady Alchemist, Sepha finds herself in th
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Di by: Farha Mohammed
I read this book with my fellow ApoCalypsos and as always, it was a fun buddy read.

I found it very unfortunate that I couldn't love this book. There were so many elements that should have made this at least a four star for me, and yet the execution failed to 'wow' me. I was frustrated with the protagonists, found the plot to be too predictable and in all honesty struggled to find some connection to draw me in. I never got lost in reading this - I was always able to read too critically without j
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was fun, fast-paced, and intense, and that epilogue may have actually killed me? It’s a retelling of a well-known fairy tale, but the world was so unique and I can’t wait to explore it some more!
G Daniels
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I will state right from the front I really enjoyed The Lady Alchemist by Samantha Vitale and if fractions were allowed would give it a 3.75. Her writing style is good and the story she told kept you interested. Also, the ending was such that if she chooses, she can pick up the story again (and I hope she does!), this could easily be a duology if not a trilogy. So why do I recommend The Lady Alchemist? Let me explain…

But first, the rules...(Argh!!! Always with the rules!!!)
Rule #1: No telling the
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! Some great concepts and I thought Sepha was a brilliant lead. I really liked her tenacity. She had a great character arc from start to finish.

Ruhen was wonderful! I loved their interactions and how their relationship grew over the course of the story. There were so many sweet moments.

Destry was one of my favourite characters, I super liked her and enjoyed her friendship with Sepha. I also really liked/hated Henrik.

I thought the plot was well paced and the world buil
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arcs
What a hidden gem! This book seriously needs more recognition! I was honestly blown away by the wonderful, intriguing storytelling.

The Lady Alchemist has hints of a Rumpelstiltskin retelling (I don't know much about the original fairy tale), but with alchemy and magicians and necromancers. The character development and world building are fantastic. I felt truly immersed into the story and I was rooting for Sepha the whole way (though, I found her snide inner voice to be a bit distracting and unn
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Okay, so I really enjoyed this! I'm a huge octopus fan, so that didn't hurt but the story is just really good. And I loved the writing. I also really appreciated that the protagonist was 18, especially considering the contract. I'll eagerly be awaiting book two!

Advanced ebook copy received via the author, RTC.
Cindy Wolf
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am impressed by this first effort by Samantha Vitale. The narrative had a few stops and sputters in the first half of the book, but then I was drawn in by the growing relationships between the characters, keeping me hooked until the end. The story is a modern retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, made relevant for the YA and Fantasy novel audiences. Samantha has created a whole new world here with her broad imagination and she fills in many details, yet leaves us looking forward to reading more in fut ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful cover buy.

I begins very much as a Rumplestiltskin retelling, spinning straw into gold and the cost being the firstborn daughter, but soon evolves into its own wonderful thing.

The divide between Alchemy and Magic leads the conflict, with a good dose of romance which is sweet and precious. The characters continue to develop over the course of the story, and we are introduced to my favourite character, the Homunculus Theo. This book needs a sequel just for more Theo, he is the most prec
Baiba Murray
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked almost immediately and the twists and turns kept me guessing. I had a hard time putting this one down. The character development was amazing and there were such unique elements that I just adored. There were even scenes that created such a sensory experience, I loved it. I can't wait to see what happens next! ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
I haven't come across many retellings based on Rumplestiltskin and I was not dissapointed with this twist. This novel takes that tale and adds a hefty helping of alchemy and magic. It was so well done.

Sepha is a strong and flawed character. Coming from an abusive home, she's struggled through reading issues and the loss of her mother to be one of the top self taught alchemists in her town. She can do what most alchemists cannot. When the magistrate comes to town to see Sepha's alchemy, everythi
Maria Drolet
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth it!

I was hooked by the first few paragraphs and couldn’t stop reading it until I’d read through the night and was finished. Great characters, story, tempo and world building. Some authors just have that “it” factor and Samantha Vitale has “it” and then some. I will be reading whatever else she writes.
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sepha is a talented alchemist who lives in a small town with her strict and abusive father. One fateful day sets off a chain of events that changes her life forever. Along with meeting supportive friends, they also protect a secret that even Sepha is not aware of herself. For me, the book started off a bit slow, but there was tons of back story that helped as the plot went along. Sepha's character is well written and I enjoyed seeing her development along the way. The magic system is unique and ...more
Decourcy Williams
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Even with my love of magic and magicians, this book makes me want to also become an alchemist. It is an incredible read from start to finish. I feel like it only gives a sneak peak into this world and it leaves you wanting more.
I felt the gamut of emotions all through out this one! Excellent read and cannot wait for the sequel!
Geoff Habiger
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya-fiction
The Lady Alchemist starts out with a well known fairy tale premise, inspired almost directly from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin and is blended with the anime show Full Metal Alchemist. Sepha is a young woman with a skill at alchemy - transforming one material into another using complex drawings (called alchems) to achieve the transformation. But when a demonstration for the Magistrate goes awry, Sepha tries to fix the problem by claiming that she can transform anything into anything. The Magistrat ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it


What an unexpected and unique take on the story of  Rumpelstiltskin! A lot of the aspects of this book followed the clichés of the genre, but sometimes you just need to read a book like that, and it can even be comforting! And there were definitely new concepts, as well as fresh twists on some of the more recognizable concepts. The characters were memorable and I found myself attached to them very quickly; they acted in ways that I didn’t always expect, but also made the smart decisions I wan
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
First of all, thank you so much, Samantha, for choosing me to be in your street team and having me read your precious!

I found this Rumpelstiltskin retelling so refreshing. The alchemy and magic system was nothing like I had read before (although, now to think of it, I guess it has a teeny-tiny resemblance with how the Shadowhunter's runes work) and the world building was very well done.

The book had just enough of fast-paced action in it whilst being light-hearted at times, too. Even though slow
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