Monday, April 11, 2011


While several people I know in real life have recommended Michael Scott's THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL series to me over the last couple of years, I don't remember having seen it in the blogosphere. Did you know that Nicholas Flamel was a real person? I had no idea that J.K. Rowling borrowed him and the philosopher's stone from history. Of course the stone was only a rumor, but he and his wife were very wealthy, and when someone broke into their tomb, they found it empty. In this series, Michael Scott blends history, myth, and legend with his own unique story.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

In THE ALCHEMYST, Sophie and Josh Newman, get caught up in a very old conflict when they come to the aid of an elderly couple that they think they know (Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel).  Nicholas believes they're the twins from an ancient prophecy and that it's his responsibility to train them, so he takes them to Scathach, a warrior and trainer of heroes. I don't want to give anything major away, but the villain (Dr. John Dee) might be more interesting than the Flamels. This is my least favorite book of the three (not that it's boring - just a lot about prophecies and such), but it really picks up in the next book.
The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)

I loved the addition of Machiavelli and Joan of Arc in THE MAGICIAN.  She's always been one of my favorite heroines, and I felt like Scott nailed her character. Aside from Perenelle's POV, on Alcatraz, this part of the story takes place in Paris and below Paris. Paris can be such a great setting. I like the juxtaposition of the twin swords: Excalibur and Clarent. Sophie learns to use fire, and Josh finally gets to see some action, chasing Nidhogg through the streets of Paris to save Scathach (among other things).
The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)

If anything, the intensity builds in THE SORCERESS. Perenelle shines in this one. Nicholas takes the twins to London to learn how to use water from King Gilgamesh, but where Paris was Flamel's home, London is Dee's. The importance of the two swords grows more and more sinister as the story unfolds, and the opposition calls in favors from increasingly powerful entities. The end left me wanting the next book, THE NECROMANCER, even though I know the series isn't finished. THE WARLOCK comes out next month, and it won't end the series, either.

It's still hard to believe that Scott made me sympathize with Gilgamesh and Machiavelli, but there were times I did. Though I also enjoyed this: "Nor have I told them that Gilgamesh is quite, quite insane . . . and that the last time we met, he thought I was trying to kill him." Exactly. It made me snicker. Scott's interpretation of various historical figures is nothing short of delightful. I highly recommend this series for anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.

If you'd like to read about more Marvelous Middle Grades, the following people would love to oblige you: 

Shannon Whitney Messenger (our founding mother)

Have a Marvelous Monday!               


  1. Me either on Nicholas! I was talking with someone when I realized we were talking about an actual person...well, they were, lol. I was thinking of a book character. A few questions later I realized...huh...he was an actual people! Thanks for highlighting these-some of a favourites to recommend to kids!

  2. I've heard quite a lot of good things about the first of these, but almost nothing about the other two. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about them!

  3. I read the first two books in this series and enjoyed them. I need to read the next one. Thanks for reminding me.

  4. I have The Alchemyst but haven't read it yet. I'd like to start on this series.

  5. I really enjoyed these books. Read the fourth one! And the fifth one is out in May. Good times, all around.

  6. Thanks for the run down on these. I think my grandson might like them.


  7. Wow, I had no idea Nicholas Flamel was a real person! I'm just blown away by the level of research J.K. Rowling put into the HP books. Thanks for the reviews!

  8. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it. I love when authors blend history and fantasy together.

  9. My older son has read them all and thinks they're great.

    I read the first book and found it intriguing. Book 2 is sitting near the top of my TBR stack. Interesting to hear that The Alchemyst is your least favorite of the three! Now I can't wait to read the rest. Thanks for the recommendation, Myrna!

  10. Herbal liver natural detox cleanse cleansing supplement plays
    an important part to maintaining your immune system powerful.
    It's been very hard on him.

    My page -

  11. In testimonials, maximum clients express their views about
    services of a particular website and make it more popular in the pagerank companies.
    Because of this, KEI squares the number of SERP s containing the links of web optimization services

    Also visit my blog post seo optimizing

  12. This article shall focus on ingredients and foods for homemade natural
    detox cleanse recipes for beginners. Plan ahead manage your time and money and give you more energy.

    Stop by my web page ... webpage

  13. treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    Feel free to visit my site alcohol induced fatty liver treatment