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Sparks of Bright Matter by Leeanne O’Donnell : a review

I’m delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about Sparks of Bright Matter by Leeanne O’Donnell.

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Book cover for Sparks of Bright Matter by Leeanne O'Donnell.  Magical symbols and two Georgian gentleman

Sparks of Bright Matter by Leeanne O’Donnell

  • Category : Fantasy
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Eriu (11 April 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1804184128
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1804184127

Sparks of Bright Matter Summary

When ambitious apprentice chemist and secret alchemist Peter Woulfe is tasked with caring for a mysterious illustrated book, the Mutus Liber, he quickly realises that the grimy underworld of Georgian London is even more dangerous than he first believed.

Soon the book is stolen by the light-fingered Sukie and Peter finds himself being pursued by threatening men who are willing to do anything to get the book back. Where in teeming London might Sukie be found? Why is Peter so enthralled by her? And what is it about the Mutus Liber that is so enticing? As the search for the book becomes an urgent game of cat and mouse, it seems that the key to Peter’s present dilemma might only be found in half-remembered events from his childhood, and then further back still, in the mists of Irish myth.

Sparks of Bright Matter Review

Sparks of Bright Matter is a wonderfully fascinating book. I was soon gripped with the beautifully descriptive language.

I loved that the main character Peter Woulfe was based on a real person who was deemed to be the last alchemist. The story begins in London in 1780 but other chapters delve into 1744 and at the beginning of the century in Ireland.

I raced through the beginning of the story as I was shocked with Peter murdering his assistant Mal over not looking after his furnace. After realising his mistake, he sold the corpse to a body dealer.

Peter in the past was given the task of delivering a mysterious illustrated book called The Mutus Liber but unfortunately due to a liaison with Sukie, the book is stolen. An obsession with Sukie and desperate men searching for the book, Peter discovers its secrets.

A fascinating read with alchemy, Jacobean rebels, Irish legends and a spell binding book. I preferred some parts of the story to others but I loved the historical details and the magical elements to this book.

A captivating read.

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About the Author

Leeanne O’ Donnell started her storytelling career working in radio with RTE and BBC, and has made a number of award-winning radio documentaries. Sparks of Bright Matter is her first novel, which she wrote from her home on the foothills of a mountain in the remote south west of Ireland.

IG: Donnellleeaanno

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