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The Alchemist’s Door
by Lisa Goldstein

Category: Fiction / Historical
286 pages; ISBN: 0765301504

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


In 1582, Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley communicate with angels that the latter exclusively sees in the ball of crystal. Though John thought he speaks with God or those close to God, a demon intercepts his thirst for knowledge of God’s great plan by threatening John’s family especially by possessing little Katherine. John accompanied by his family seeks help in Prague where King Rudolf of the Holy Roman Empire has summoned all the mystics for the mad ruler wants to kill one of the thirty six Righteous Men so that the world is remade in His Highness’ image.

In Prague, John meets mystic Rabbi Judah Loew. They join forces to create the Golem to keep the “Thirty-Six” safe for if one of these Righteous Men is slain, legend says the world ends. Controlling the Golom is no easy matter either and then there is the question of what to do with the tempting but forbidden fruit of an ALCHEMIST’S DOOR opened between humanity and the other side.

The prime theme of THE ALCHEMIST’S DOOR is a powerful morality tale focusing on the pride of power leading to excesses and abuses. The story line is at its strongest when the reader follows a historical ethics trail. The occasional well-written sidebars provide insight into Elizabethan era Prague, but also abate the puissant primary plot. Still this fantasy novel is a strong book that uses real sixtieth century persona to entertain while warning the audience on the corruption of power that seems so timely.

Harriet Klausner


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