Title: Oric and the Alchemist’s Key (The Oric Trilogy #1)
Author: Lesley Wilson
*** BGS Gold Mark Awarded Book ***
Oric returns from an early-morning foraging expedition to find his home, Dunburton Manor, sacked by a band of marauders. Alchemist Deveril, Oric’s mentor and friend, lies fatally wounded. The old man thrusts a key into Oric’s hand, saying that it will unlock the secret to great wealth. Deveril also warns of terrible danger should the key fall into wrong hands.
Esica Figg, moneylender and arch villain is determined to steal the key – even if he has to kill Oric to get it. Oric escapes the burning manor and wanders the countryside until he stumbles upon Bayersby Manor, the ancestral home of Sir Edred and Lady Myferny. Together with his new friends, Ichtheus the apothecary and kitchen maid, Dian, Oric experiences many adventures, some hilarious, some life threatening. The trio is helped, but more often hindered by Sir Edred’s comical wolfhound Parzifal, and a donkey named Braccus.
The story culminates in a vicious battle when Esica Figg attempts to unseat Sir Edred.
But does Oric unravel the mystery of the Alchemist’s key?
When Oric is given a mysterious key from the person looking after him, he’s not sure what to do with it. All he knows is that he’s not the only one who seeks it out and that he must keep it from getting in the wrong hands at all costs.
Oric is an interesting character, both strong as well as questionable. I always like a 3D MC and Oric was definitely that. The delicate mix of angst and some of the decisions he made helped to establish his age in context to the story.
This fun fantasy story had a lot of well described scenes and moments. The POV changes were unique and kept the story fresh. This story really had a lot to offer and seeing it through so many different POVs made it easy to understand why each character made the choices that they did. Even the antagonist’s actions made sense in a way.
At the end of the book, it seemed as if they all came out stronger for the quest, Oric especially. He grew in education, friendships, and the way he saw the world.