In an alternate version of Europe during the pre-Elizabethan years, with the Inquisition raging in Spain, an alchemist and a scientist and a headstrong girl bonded to a magical creature travel to the edge of the world to find quintessence, a substance that can unlock the powers of the universe.
Quintessence was great fun, a novel that felt as deeply “researched” as any historical novel, and with a fully realized magical world that kept unfolding until the very last pages. Catherine, the girl whose magical bond with on of the creatures of Horizon triggers a cataclysm, did do some foot-stamping, but I forgave the author because of all the other wonderful elements of this story. The use of Spanish inquisitors brought a level of risk and theological complexity that put the book over the top for me. I really enjoyed it.