Incarnadine by SM Guariento

Set in an alternate universe where reality seems to be disintegrating, this story is deeply weird yet strangely compelling.

Rome never fell. Alchemy is science. And Aristotle was right – the planets and stars really are attached to crystal spheres. As if that wasn’t strange enough, over half the human race have apparently disappeared, and along with them, all memory and record of them. Leading alchemist Andreas Stahlherz is summoned to Rome, where he learns of a powerful new form of magic. With the world unravelling, he sets out alone to journey beyond known space in search of the magus Incarnadine, in the hope of finding a vanished sister.

In the descriptions of self-published books, the word ‘metaphysical’ is usually not a good sign. But in this case, the writing is extremely good and well edited, and the characters and plot kept me reading. It’s undeniably strange and won’t be to everyone’s liking, but it will get you thinking. I have no idea what it’s all about, but I still enjoyed reading it.

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