After her mother succumbs to madness, Thea goes to live with her father, who did not know she existed, in England. There, alchemy is not really acknowledged, and he teaches chemistry, practicing alchemy in secret. He and his colleagues and working to finish the Philosopher's Stone. Thea knows the path they need, as she and mother had finished the steps, but she soon becomes wary of the madness that gripped her mother, fearing that the creation of the stone is what causes it. However, being a girl, most are unwilling to listen to her.
What I loved: The setting was really interesting, and I love the tidbits about alchemy that we get through the book. This was a new twist on the Philosopher's Stone and it ended up being really clever. Thea was an interesting character having been treated with love-hate by her mother, but raised to follow in her shadow. Her life has not always been easy, and she's developed an interesting attitude as a result. I overall enjoyed her story.
What left me wanting more: The book is a little slow and long-winded in places, and I found it a bit of a slow read for that reason. It was not a book that I found particularly engrossing.
Final verdict: Overall, this was an intriguing YA historical fantasy that tackles some interesting topics. Would recommend for people who enjoy a slower-paced, character-driven read.