Fourteen year-old Alex Weston has marooned himself and his sassy hamster, Skoodle, onto the magical island of Eridor while seeking his vanished parents. Yet Alex has no magic; he must rely on bravery, quick thinking and a few ounces of rodent as he fights to survive. 

Alex, Skoodle and Tariq, a bear, attempt to rescue a wizard boy, Luke, who is trapped on a remote mountainside by merciless, disgusting goblins. Risking his life, Tariq is transformed into a marble statue and held ransom by a vicious gargoyle; the price for his life is for a friend to turn traitor. 

Their wizard friend, Zorrin, has his mind corroded by an enchanted sapphire as he attempts to return it to a mountain with a living brain; once loyal, he is now a powerful mortal enemy. 

Determined to save Tariq, Alex seeks help from sleeping stone lions, discovering that solving an ancient armadillo alchemist’s puzzle might give them a chance of saving Eridor from destruction by Zorrin. Yet Zorrin outwits them. Betrayed, he’s furious beyond reason; mighty beyond measure. 

With no spells, no weapons, Alex must somehow save his dying friends in the few minutes remaining before Zorrin murders them all. 

Alchemy is a fast-paced fantasy novel, threaded with humour, which will appeal to children aged 9-11. 

Kids will love Alchemy thanks to its fun surprises and intriguing twists and turns. For fans of her Serpent of Eridor, they will find this book equally charming!! This is one of those stories that stays with you, popping into your mind when you least expect it. Gardiner takes you on an unforgettable adventure whose journey concludes in you wishing there was more to come.

 Gardiner knows how to write fantastic books that appeal to the right age group desperately in need of some time away from reality.

 She has great characters, knows how to write realistic dialogue and smoothe story lines that make sense from page one to the end. It’s just a great story that parents can give to their kids and not worry about what they’re reading.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Troubador Publishing Limited for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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