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Martin Booth

Martin Booth(1944-2004)
Martin Booth was a poet and writer of mostly non-fantasy fiction. He died of brain cancer in 2004 before finishing The Alchemist’s Son trilogy. Martin Booth’s obituary.


The Alchemist’s Son

The Alchemist’s Son — (2003-2004) Ages 9-12. Publisher: When Tim and Pip’s family moves to an old English country estate, they accidentally awaken an alchemist’s son, Sebastian, from a centuries-old slumber. But Sebastian’s father’s enemy, Pierre de Loudeac, has also awakened — and is relentlessly pursuing the dream of alchemists to create an homunculus, an artificial human made from dead material. Aided by Sebastian’s wise guidance and insight into six hundred years’ history, the two spirited siblings bravely take action to stop the man’s ominous quest. But even as they daringly defeat de Loudeac in this battle, Evil lives on… All the magic in Dr. Illuminatus is real, the author has noted, the chants, the herbs, the potions, and the equipment. The irresistible combination of history, humor, and horror will keep young readers on the edge of their seats — and anxious for the next installment.

Martin Booth The Alchemist's Son 1. Doctor Illuminatus 2. Soul Stealer fantasy book reviewsMartin Booth The Alchemist's Son 1. Doctor Illuminatus 2. Soul Stealer fantasy book reviews

Dr. Illuminatus: Its strength is also its weakness

Dr. Illuminatus by Martin Booth

Doctor Illuminatus is the first of what promises to be three books, and it deserves two and a half stars, putting it exactly midpoint between good and just fair. Though it has an interesting premise and is full of fascinating facts and ideas, it often falls short on several accounts.

Pip and Tim are two twins that have just moved into an old, mysterious house called Rawne Barton: your standard beginning for a fantasy story of this nature. Before long, the siblings have uncovered a strange boy hidden in the walls of the house named Sebastian who claims to be the son of a medieval alchemist. He has been in a drugged sleep for the last six centuries, and has now awoken in order to battle his father's enemy de Loudeac. In league with the devil himself, de Loudeac plans to create a homunculus, a being made out of dead matter that will do his bidding. Sebastian tells the twins th... Read More

Soul Stealer: Weaker than first book

Soul Stealer by Martin Booth

I have tracked down Soul Stealer, but I must confess that my search for the third book in this series will be even more lethargic than the search for this one. Despite a strong beginning, and excellent use of real history and alchemical knowledge in the shaping of his story, Martin Booth continually fumbles in his melding of ancient and contemporary times.

First, the good components: Booth creates a beautiful setting for his characters; an English countryside full of "autumn leaves, mist over the river, and red antlered stags". In fact, it reminded me a little of the utterly fantastic Children of Green Knowe series by Lucy Boston, in its dark and dreamy feel. Likewise, though the twins are still a little b... Read More