The Scarlet Alchemist
Kylie Lee Baker
You cannot create good without also creating evil.
‘DAZZLING’ Chloe Gong
‘GRIM, LUSH, FASCINATING’ Guardian
Zilan dreams of becoming a royal alchemist, of providing for her family by making alchemical gold and gems for the wealthy to eat in order to stay young forever. But for now, she’s trapped in her impoverished village in southern China, practicing an illegal form of alchemy to keep food on the table – resurrecting the dead, for a price.
When Zilan finally has the chance to complete her imperial exams, she ventures to the capital to compete against the best alchemists in the country in tasks she’ll be lucky to survive, let alone pass. On top of that, her reputation for raising the dead has followed her, and the Crown Prince himself seeks out her help, suspecting a coming assassination attempt.
The more Zilan succeeds in her alchemy, the more she gets caught in the dangerous political games of the royal family. There are monsters lurking within the palace walls, and it’s only a matter of time before they – and secrets of Zilan’s past – catch up with her.
A dark YA fantasy duology set in an alternate Tang Dynasty China, where alchemy has led to income inequality as the rich eat gold to achieve eternal youth, and a poor biracial girl with the ability to raise the dead gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family.
Visceral to the core. The Scarlet Alchemist imagines alternate history with daring imagination and incredible detail. Even once you've turned the last page, you'll still be entrenched within this dazzling world running with gold and blood * Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights * The Scarlet Alchemist is a dark and glittering jewel of a book, full of blood, gold, and fury. I devoured it in a day! * Judy I. Lin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Book of Tea duology * Kylie Lee Baker stuns in this deliciously dark page-turner! An exhilarating blend of strikingly unique magic and masterful twists, with a sharp-edged, fiercely ambitious heroine who subverts the rules of life and death, clawing her way to the top-and into your heart * June CL Tan, international bestselling author of Jade Fire Gold * Vivid, twisting and thrilling! I loved this morally grey rollercoaster through an alternate Tang Dynasty with ruthless competition, intrigue and dark magic. Zilan is a captivating and complex protagonist, by turns relatable, loveable and monstrous-and always fascinating * Vanessa Len, author of Only a Monster * The Scarlet Alchemist is a beautifully crafted and incisively written tale of alchemy, blood, magic, and family that gripped me from the first page to the last. Full of twists I didn't see coming, a wry humor that made me laugh out loud, and a fierce, capable heroine I couldn't help but root for, this book is everything I look for in a fantasy novel. Read it! * Rati Mehrotra, author of Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove * I loved this book and you will too. The Scarlet Alchemist is perfectly paced, with dynamic prose, clever competition setups, and a protagonist who will leave you in awe of her resourcefulness. Kylie Lee Baker is an amazing storycrafter, and I would sell my soul for the sequel! * Joan He, New York Times bestselling author of Strike the Zither * Kylie Lee Baker writes incredibly immersive historical fantasies. So fans of C-dramas and Fullmetal Alchemist, look no further. The Scarlet Alchemist is an absolute treat * June Hur, bestselling author of The Red Palace *
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