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The Alchemist's Code | [Dave Duncan]

The Alchemist's Code

When Nostradamus is hired to find a foreign spy by Venice's ruling Council of 10, the only clues they can offer him are the spy's intercepted messages, encoded in a seemingly unbreakable cipher. Nostradamus turns to his able apprentice, the young swordsman Alfeo Zeno, whose unique talents may prove essential to unraveling the truth.
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Publisher's Summary

When Nostradamus is hired to find a foreign spy by Venice's ruling Council of 10, the only clues they can offer him are the spy's intercepted messages, encoded in a seemingly unbreakable cipher.

But Nostradamus soon detects evil influences working against him, and realizes the spy can only be caught by occult means. He turns to his able apprentice, the young swordsman Alfeo Zeno, whose unique talents may prove essential to unraveling the truth.

Thus begins a series of events that will involve Alfeo in murder, passion, betrayal, and magic.

Listen to the first book, The Alchemist's Apprentice.

©2008 Dave Duncan; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"One of the leading masters of epic fantasy." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (151 )
5 star
 (52)
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3 star
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Overall
4.2 (52 )
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Story
4.4 (51 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 12-22-09
    David Houston, TX, United States 12-22-09 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1215
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    480
    151
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    307
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start--keep going"

    For a while I thought I was going to throw this one back on the shelf. It begins slowly and the writing is not artful enough to hold a reader, even in a fascinating historical milieu, without a quicker opening to the plot. However, by the time I got a third of the way through the book, it was moving along merrily and the characters had begun to delight. The central character is engaging and attractive with wit and panache enough to make us enjoy spending time with him. Ironically, the real stength of the book is that plot which is a little slow off the mark. By the end it has proven itself fascinating and as tightly constructed as one of Master Nostradamus' logical explanations. No loose ends, satisfying twists and turns. Just enough magic to add spice. And some memorable characters all operating in one of the most interesting of all historical settings. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Milan Detroit, MI, USA 10-10-09
    Milan Detroit, MI, USA 10-10-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    A riveting murder mystery set in 16th century Venice, with politics, espionage, and necromancy thrown in for good measure. I intend to listen to more works from Dave Duncan.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Los Angeles, CA, USA 12-18-09
    Jennifer Los Angeles, CA, USA 12-18-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Dull"

    I just couldn't get into this. I gave it a fair shot. Maybe 1/4 of the book? I just couldn't bring myself to care about the characters, the plot, or even the setting, which should have been at least moderately interesting. Oh well.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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