Waiting On Wednesday - Quintessence by David Walton

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Quintessence by David Walton

Quintessence is an Alternate History/Fantasy set 500 years ago in the Age of Exploration, full of arcane science, alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic. Scientists and explorers gamble with their lives to turn lead into gold and bring the dead back to life. In Europe, the magic is thin, but at the edge of the world, where the stars reach down close to the Earth, wonders abound. This drives the bravest among them to the alluring Western Ocean. 

An alchemist, Christopher Sinclair, who cares about only one thing: quintessence, a substance he believes will grant immortality and magical powers, has a ship. 

Fleeing an inquisition for illegal dissection, Stephen Parris, the king's physician, follows Sinclair to an island that perches on the edge of the world, bringing his daughter Catherine with him against his wife's furious protests. The island is teeming with fantastical animals whose secrets they explore, using extracted powders and tinctures to make bread from sand, turn salt water into fresh, and--just possibly--find the secret of immortality. (March 19, 2013)

I first came across Walton's second novel a couple of months ago, when Tor featured an excerpt as part of their Sea Monster Week. I must admit, his blog posts about science and Christianity did initially give me pause, but he puts an interesting spin on things. Considering his debut, Terminal Mind, won the Philip K. Dick award in 2008, I'm definitely curious to give this a read.


  1. Ooh that looks interesting! Hope you enjoy it once you read it!

    Here's my WoW

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. I'm loving the blurb and the bookcover is marvellous as well!

  3. This one sounds compelling - alternate history stories can be really interesting!

    Our WoW is at Book Sake. –Jessica

  4. This one puts me in mind of Mistborn from Brandon Sanderson for some reason - to be honest I cannot really pinpont why. I enjoyed that book and this adds some extra enticements that make me want to look further to check it out. Thank you for sharing and stopping by JC's Book Haven. Here is my WoW.

  5. Sounds interesting. Thanks for stopping by my My WOW

    Have a great week

  6. I'm a bit wary of the religious component but I'm fascinated by alchemy so I'll be watching out for this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, and for stopping by my blog earlier :)

  7. I’ve never heard of this one but it sounds interesting.
    Thanks for visiting My WOW

  8. Wow, it sounds so good, I'm adding it on my wishlist! Thanks for sharing!

  9. This sounds like very interesting read. I didn't hear about this author or book before but I love alternate history plots so I will definitely add it to my tbr.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. It's always great to discover new adult fantasy fan. :)
    BTW Following you now also.

    Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams
    Check out what I am waiting for this Wednesday...


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