E A Purle
Alicorn Books (2022)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (07/22)
Hugh Geber is an alchemist following his family tradition of doing research in a lab at the University of Science and Progression. Until recently, this position has always been well respected and well-funded. Things have changed because there is now a clash between the Old Way and the New Way. Hugh follows the Old Way, in which magic is respected. Unfortunately, Robert Smithson, who is the Chancellor of the college, follows the New Way. Smithson declares war on the Old Way and is determined to ruin Hugh and his reputation.
“Orbis,” the second book in the Lore of Tellus series, picks up after Hugh’s lab is mysteriously destroyed in an explosion. Hugh sets out on a mission to discover what happened to his father and seeks out a book of lore on Alchemy so that he can earn back his reputation. Along the way, he discovers that there are four books of lore that need to be found, safely hidden away in a secret, magically protected place in the university library. Hugh is joined by his close friend Barrington and two women who share a special connection with each other. They use Steampunk technology and lots of magic to thwart their enemies, one of whom is a powerful Elf King. Romance is blossoming among these friends. Hugh also discovers that he has some powerful magical gifts, which he must learn how to control, or he will be destroyed.
I must start out by saying that I loved everything about this tale! The main characters are complex and compelling. It is fun to watch them evolve through this series. The supporting cast is also great. Most are quirky and fun. The villains are truly nefarious and upset the balance with their wicked ways. There are also lots of magical creatures involved, including a hungry kraken!
The colorful settings are vividly described with lots of Steampunk machines. While steampunk technology aids the characters, it is not perfect, especially in the wrong hands, and often has serious issues, which adds to the fun. While the author catches you up on what happened in the first book in the series, I feel it is best to read both books in order so that you will have a greater understanding of the characters and their relationships. “Orbis” immediately picks up where “Firestone,” the first book in the series, ends.
Young adults and older ones, such as myself, who are fans of fantasy, will love getting their hands on books by this author, especially this one. I cannot wait to read the forthcoming book in this series! A highly recommended well done tale.