In this clean teen adventure, magic, ancient traditions and a race against time combine to create an adventure that pits tradition against innovation.
When the Princess of Samantha’s country poisons herself with a love potion, every alchemist in the country is called to join the Wilde Hunt: a race to mix the perfect cure before the princess’s loss of control over her magic causes the kingdom to fall apart. No one works together. In a world filled with the magical Talented, Sam is ordinary. But she’s descended from the most famous line of alchemists the kingdom has ever seen, and when her grandfather refuses to join the hunt, she puts herself forward. Whilst the great synthetic labs have access to greater resources than Sam, she has the mixer’s instinct, meaning that she can make connections between ingredients quicker. But along the way, she’ll face danger, fractured friendships and a growing attraction to the son of her rival that could ruin everything.
This was an original concept, mixing an essentially modern world with a rich magical and alchemical tradition, seemingly quite similar to our own. Unfortunately, the text felt rushed, meaning that other than Sam few characters felt very developed and the love interest in particular was difficult to get behind. The themes of tested friendships were well explored, but at times came at the expense of believable world building as Sam and her companions hopped around the globe. A fun summer read for younger teenagers, but it’s a shame such a fun concept wasn’t more fully realised.