Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova – FANTASTIC AND SO UNDERRATED

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.“

  • Title: The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1)
  • Author: Elise Kova
  • Genre: Fantasy, Adult (with an older YA Crossover appeal), Steampunk
  • Published: January 10th 2017 by Keymaster Press
  • Pages: 395

Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

The Alchemists of Loom is about Arianna who is a criminal, also called The White Wraith, most known for dealing with valuable dragon organs because she is literally the #1 dragon hater. One day she comes across a dragon, Cvareh, and even though she hates dragons with a passion, he offers her a boon that she can’t refuse. Joined by Ari’s pupil and friend Florence, the trio go on a long and adventurous journey to the Alchemist’s Guild.

This book was absolutely incredible and it is definitely one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year!

The book starts off with Arianna being on a mission to break into a building. On said mission, Ari (sort of) gets caught and is being followed, which immediately creates a thrilling atmosphere, but her mastermind knows exactly what to do to escape. She is incredible at calculating everything and it was incredibly fascinating to see how she operates!

And I always love when the first chapter starts off with some kind of action-packed scenethings exploding, people attacking, lots of fighting – and The Alchemists of Loom had all of that! It was super intriguing and it pulls you in and leaves you wanting more!

One tiny thing I have to admit is that I was a tiny bit confused when reading the first chapter and it just took me a few pages to get into the story. I needed a bit to understand some things – who Ari is, what she does, how the world works, why she is breaking in – but by the end of the first chapter I was hooked.

By the way, I have only just found out what Steampunk means but this book definitely belongs in that genre!

Quote taken from

“Typically, the stereotypical steampunk features a mishmash of futuristic technology combined with Victorian-age mechanics (airships, gear-based technology, steam-powered technology, etc). In this setting, there may be some lone visionary eccentric/mad genius as the protagonist – the unrecognized Newton, Charles Babbage, or other inventor-cum-hero type.”

The things I marked in bold definitely describe Ari! As I said before, she is always calculating her every move and she always knows exactly how much time it takes to do anything – going from one place to another, the exact moment a bomb is supposed to explode, how much time she has left until people arrive, where to hit during a fight, the structure of each building AND SO MUCH MORE.

She is incredibly good at what she does aka being a criminal – Arianna’s mastermind always knows how to get out of a fight unscathed. Even if her original plan doesn’t work, she has like a million back-up plans to get her out of a situation! Arianna is such an intelligent and smart character but also super fierce and badass and I was so here for it!

I guess there is a reason why she’s called The White Wraith!

She’s also super sassy and snarky, especially towards Cvareh aka the dragon she’s travelling with (whose skin is blue and hair is orange) (which I thought was weird at first but if you look at the cover of the second book it looks quite cool)


Since Arianna hates dragons with a passion, she’s always annoyed with Cvareh before he even opens his mouth. Cvareh tries to be nice and friendly but no matter what he says or does, Ari keeps turning him down because #dragon. And she never takes anything he says seriously so Cvareh is always exasperated.

Their dialogue was always so funny and I loved their dynamic! If you can’t tell this is an enemies to not-really-lovers-but-sort-of-friends-maybe-ish relationship and it was SO GOOD!

Jackie loves. Jackie approves.

The third main character in this story is Florence. She lives with Arianna and she is basically her pupil but also her friend. She is pretty much the balance between Ari and Cvareh and always tries to basically keep them from almost killing each other lol. She’s a little younger than Ari and therefore a little naïve and too trusting and open sometimes but that’s what made me lover her!

Oh yeah, I didn’t even mention it but The Alchemists of Loom is told from multiple POVs! And I absolutely loved it!!! Remember how I once mentioned multiple POVs as one of my Bookish Turn-Off’s? Well, I think I changed my mind 😛

We get to see the story from Ari, Cvareh and Florence’s perspectives and it was so cool??? The multiple POVs helped the world-building immensely and you got to know each character so much better! The three of them are very different from each other so they each had a very distinctive voice!

The multiple POV thing was so well-done and it brought dimension and loads of insight into the story! I LOOOVVEED IT!!!

I have grown to like all three main characters and I cared for them so much! On their journey all I kept thinking was PLEASE CAN MY BABIES STAY STAFE PLEASE DON’T LET THEM DIE

This review is long enough so I won’t go too in depth with the plot. All I will say is that there are SO MANY twists and turns and it is so action-packed pretty much the whole time! There was never a dull moment where I found myself getting bored! My gosh, it was so, so good!

The Alchemists of Loom doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger but it definitely leaves you wanting more and you want to read on like immediately! Thank god I read this a few weeks ago because the sequel The Dragons of Nova is coming out super soon (in July I believe)! And I already have an early ARC which is EVEN COOLER!

OH MY GOD. Thanks to Melanie I just found out that the THIRD book in this series is coming out in December??? ELISE KOVA IS WRITING AND PUBLISHING AN ENTIRE TRILOGY IN A YEAR????????? WOW.

I will definitely be reading more from Elise Kova because her writing is amazing and she creates such realistic worlds and likeable characters and I’m just in awe! Kudos to her!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 OUT OF 5 STARS)

Sorry if this review is all over the place, I’m not good with structuring and I tend to just ramble about whatever comes to mind! I wish I was one of those people who had sections like Characters: *here I will ONLY talk about characters*, Plot: *this is for plot ONLY* Writing: *author’s writing ONLY* but THAT’S JUST NOT ME!


Have you read The Alchemists of Loom before? Do you plan on reading the sequel? Have you read any of Elise Kova’s other books? What steampunk books have you read before and would you recommend? Let’s chat in the comments!


85 thoughts on “Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova – FANTASTIC AND SO UNDERRATED

  1. Pen & Parchment says:

    Ahh The Alchemists of Loom is one of my favorite books ever!! I read an ARC of it last year and ever since I have been DYING for Dragons of Nova. I’ve also read the whole Air Awakens series, so I highly recommend that! Great review, you’ve somehow managed to make me even more excited for the sequel! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TwinBookmarks says:

    *mental TBR grows*
    *’cuz who actually has an organised one?*

    Look at what you have done! We’ve seen this book around but we weren’t totally convinced to read it…UNTIL YOU!!

    Also glad that you clarified that the dragon is NOT IN FACT a “dragon-dragon”! But a six pack abs (possibly 8 under those black thread-belt thingie🤓❤) guy with wicked skin and hair!!

    Here we were imagining Ari talking to a massive talking dragon and hating them (basically the equivalent to a human talking to an animal and hating it…yup we’re weird..😁😅)

    Great post as always 😉❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May @ Forever and Everly says:

    3 BOOKS IN A YEAR??? WHAT??? HOW??? DID SHE WRITE THEM ALL BEFORE AND IS JUST NOW PUBLISHING??? I mean thank god for books coming out FAST but still??? THE PRESSURE. And we definitely need more steampunk! I’ll be putting this on my TBR for sure. The dragons-in-human-form-but-with-special-abilities sounds sooooo coool, and AGH this relationship between Ari and Cvareh sounds like something I’d enjoy. XD ARE THE POVS IN THIRD PERSON??? #priorities Lovely review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I haven’t read this one yet (shame! SHAME!) but I already feel like I’m in love with it and Elise Kova ❤ I'm not so sure about the underrated part, though, because I literally see this EVERYWHERE in the blogosphere. But either way, I do agree it needs more love!
    Amazing review, Jackie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. snowlyramble says:

    Oo, I’ve been wanting to read some of Elise Kova’s books for some time now, and your review has definitely intrigued me a lot more! I’m glad to hear you liked this book, I’ll have to bump it up my TBR now 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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