My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - dipped in and out for over a week
Blurb From Goodreads
London 1717: on the day of his seventeenth birthday, Lord Francis Damory stumbles upon a book - a family heirloom - that will change the course of his life, linking him to the mysterious great-great grandfather Tobias, an alchemist who may yet still be alive... So begins Damory's quest for the elixir of immortality:fro the gilded salons of decadent nobility to the brothels and debtors' prisons of Georgian London; across the Alpine passes to Venice and the pirate-infested Mediterranean Sea; through love affairs and deadly duels, as Damory encounters courtesans and castrati, alchemists and anatomists, Rosicrucians, visionaries, monsters, charlatans, spies and assassins.
Lord Francis Damory is the main character in this weird and wonderful tale. Francis comes upon a book from his families past that they would rather forget which opens up a world to him that you can only dream/hope and pray about. What follows is a quest for immortality, love, murder, deceit, loss and secrets.
To be honest, much as I enjoyed some of this book there were parts I didn't love so much or became bored by. It is a huge read at 512 pages and it splits into two main parts, one follows Francis's life outside the quest. His love life, struggles, family issues and travels etc and the other part follows his quest for the truth and his work as an alchemists and the colleagues and trades he comes upon. I would be getting into the whole quest when it would go off on a personal tangent as Francis got caught up in life and love as you do then I would get into that and it would fall back into the quest.
I found myself having to look up lots of words(which is always a good thing) and read up on a bit of history to clue up on some of what was happening in the book. It is definately enjoyable and the chapters (which, as you know I love) are only a handful of pages long so you can dip in and out as you please. If you fancy something a bit different that is set back in the 1700s with a bit of science and mystery (with some brothel visits, duelling, murder and a bit of everything really) then this is the book for you. 3/5 for me this time and thank you to John Murray Publishers for introducing me to this author and giving me the chance to review this.
This book is available from all good retailers (published on 5th july 2012)