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The Alchemist's Apprentice by Kate Thompson
Published by The Bodley Head, 2002

Joint winner of the Bisto Book of the Year Award 2003.

Jack is on the run. Alone in the world with nowhere to turn, he finds himself on the banks of the Thames. On the river's rising tide, a strange object is floating. At first, Jack thinks it’s a sheep's heart but he soon realises it is something far more unusual. Is it worth anything? Will it fetch him enough to fill his empty stomach?

But the further Jack goes in the search to find the value of the relic, the further he seems to get from the answer. As Jack becomes more and more associated with the alchemist, Barnstable, his fortunes change beyond his greatest expectations. The mystery surrounding the alchemist won’t go away. Is he mad, as some suggest, or has he really discovered the secret of making gold?

The book, set in London against a backdrop of city life with all its chaos and brutality charts Jack's journey to physical and spiritual maturity. It was chosen as the Review Editor's choice in the Winter edition of Inis, the Children's Books Ireland magazine.

Review Editor, Valerie Coughlan has the following to say; "While magic is at its core, the Alchemist's Apprentice is a book with far more depth and resonance than many of the currently trendy books about magicians' apprentices and trainee wizards. Kate Thompson offers a reflection on where magic really lies within the covers of a well-constructed and always engaging tale."

The Beguilers, also by Kate Thompson was chosen as Clare County Library's Book of the Month for October 2002 and was the overall winner of the Bisto Book of the Year Award 2002.

Other books by the same author include:
Midnight’s Choice
Wild Blood
The Missing Link
Only Human

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