Book Review: Imitation and Alchemy

Of course, I need to start with a disclaimer. I received an advanced copy of this book. As per usual, I tried to pay with my first-born son, and as per usual, Elizabeth Hunter cruelly denied my offering. It’s almost like she has no idea how much fun almost 4-year-old boys are.

This is the second in the spin-off Elemental Legacy series and it features my second favorite Elemental World character: Tenzin.  (My heart will always and forever belong to Carwyn…sigh…)


Bonus: it’s set in Italy. I’ve never been, so it was fun seeing it all through Ben and Tenzin’s eyes.

The Blurb: All Ben Vecchio wanted was a quiet summer before his last semester of university. Was that too much to ask?

All Tenzin wanted was a cache of priceless medieval coins that had been missing for several hundred years.

And some company.

Phrases like “never again” don’t mean much when you’ve been a vampire for several thousand years. And promises made in the heat of anger don’t outweigh the lure of gold. Ben Vecchio thought he knew everything there was to know about the immortals of Italy. But when Tenzin tempts him into another adventure finding a cache of rare gold coins missing since the nineteenth century, he’ll discover that familiar places can hold the most delicious secrets. And possibly, the key to his future.

The Cover:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00068]

The Review: Because this is a book by Elizabeth, you know right off the bat that I’m going to praise her world building. This book, like everything she writes, is the perfect combination of fantastic world-building, brilliant writing, and complex and interesting characters.

It was so well-written, in fact, that it sucked me in and I read it in one sitting – once again forgetting to take the time to mark things that specifically appealed to me. That, of course, meant that I had to read it again. For you guys! Not for my own pleasures at all.

One of my favorite things in this world of ageless creatures is watching Ben grow up and change. His relationship with Tenzin has always been delightful and as he’s grown from a child to a young man, so has their relationship. For as much as she is continually getting him into trouble, he goes into it willingly knowing what he’s getting into.

The characters, some of which have been present for most of the Elemental World books, are so very consistent in their actions, words, and behavior. Elizabeth crafts her worlds so well that her characters never waver or wander (unless they are wanderers by nature).

Each book I read, regardless of series or setting, is an improvement over the last – even when that should be nearly impossible to do.

In addition to being completely delightful watching Ben grow up, it’s equally delightful to watch Elizabeth’s writing continue to develop and get better and better.

The Quote:

“…it’s Louis singing ‘A Kiss to Build a Dream On.’ On a record player. [Ben] swung [Tenzin] into his arms and began to lead her around the entry hall. “In the most perfect house in Venice. We have to dance.”


Go forth! Read the book – read them all!

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