I invite you to enter the world of Gaelan Erceldoune and Simon Bell: a genre-bending historical/urban fantasy that mixes alchemy and genetics as apothecary Erceldoune and gentleman physician Bell try to prevent a pharmaceutical company from exploiting the book that made them immortal centuries ago.
Here’s what people are saying about The Apothecary’s Curse:
“A new narrative world lovingly created with an Old World touch. . .” (Jane Espenson, Writer/Producer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Once Upon a Time)
“Myth, medicine, and immortality, braided together like the border of an illuminated manuscript.” —Doris Egan, screenwriter, novelist, and writer and co-executive producer of House
“The Apothecary’s Curse is beautifully researched and there is a real sense of history and wonder throughout. Bell and Erceldoune are an odd couple linked in immortality and the things they have lost throughout the years. Both men are well-developed and their lives in both the modern and Victorian eras detailed. Barnett has created a captivating combination of Historical and Urban Fantasy, of science and the supernatural, and of loss and love in The Apothecary’s Curse.” — The Qwillery Blog
“It’s a well conceived tale of two men and their search for release from an accidental condition that’s been nothing but trouble and mental anguish. With the addition of some science, some myth, and some mystery, Barbara Barnett has created a wonderful new narrative.” — Steampunk Canada
“The Apothecary’s Curse was a wonderful read, featuring compelling characters, an interesting theme and awesome cameos from historical figures. The book is a self-contained story, so no waiting another year or two to get the entire story. The ending to the book was absolutely perfect. Barbara Barnett’s debut was one of my favourites so far this year. Let’s hope it’s the first of my books to come for Barnett.” — A Fantastical Librarian Blog
“The author concocts a masterful blend of the finest storytelling elements. With a tempered hand, Bell and Erceldoune’s story is told over the course of large periods of time, never once becoming tedious or boring. Love, life, secrets, and the vile intolerance of the masses pave the way for a surprising relatable tale of fear and despair. We instinctively know that their journey will be rough from other similar works, but never once does the narrative degrade into outlandishly magical deus ex moments.” — Edge of Infinity
“Barnett’s debut novel is a fantastic mix of history and fantasy using a combination of facts, fiction, myth and reality that add to the tale’s veracity. The dual timelines of past and present perfectly paint her vivid scenes while her expert narrative chronicles her period perfect story and believable characters in often unbelievable settings. Her scintillating portrayal of Gaelan’s tortured soul and Simon’s haunting guilt plus the “OMG” ending truly sets this novel apart.” — Romantic Times (RT Reviews)
“This is a wonderfully written and researched story with deeply drawn characters and more than enough action to keep the reader turning the page. It is at once an excellent rendering of old London and the state of medical practice at that time while also being a tense thriller. Barbara Barnett has written a clever and unique story and it is highly recommended.” — New York Journal of Books
“Barbara Barnett, explores the Promethean gift of immortality much like the gift of fire: it has the possibility of enormous benefit but also the capability of terrible misuse. Caught in the middle are very normal people who have to decide, based on their experience, what to do with this gift. The book alternates between 1820 and 2016 as these ideas are explored. The similarities of players in both times belie the fact that society has changed; there is good and evil in all times and places, regardless of the rationalizations. The book moves fast, there is good character development, there are interesting and poignant personal relationships, and there is the lingering question, what is the true cost of deathlessness?” — Seattle Book Review, Manhattan Book Review
“The author’s biology background and her care for accurate representation of the life sciences
are unmistakable; as a practicing molecular biologist, I can put a stamp of approval on the nerd talk that surrounds the novel’s genetic and medical mystery.” — J. M. Sidorova in the Cascadia Subduction Zone Literary Quarterly
“Part medical drama, part thriller, and completely absorbing. Barnett explores the dark side of one of humanity’s oldest obsessions–the quest for immortality–and tells a great story about greed, unintended consequences, and ultimately love.” —John VanZile, author of The Legend of Arkatak
“An irresistible blend of fairy folklore, science, and suspense that’s sure to keep you reading late into the night.” —Shanna Swendson, author of Enchanted, Inc.
“Something for every fiction fan – sci-fi, horror, romance, and fantasy – but the story interweaves the genres so deftly that the reader is focused on the story – and what a story it is! Barbara’s gift for credible, era-specific dialogue and detail is wonderful, as is her pacing and the story’s pay-off.” Denise Dorman, WriteBrain Media.
“It’s one of those books that, upon reread, will likely reveal even more of its secrets. I can see this being a good choice for a fantasy book club or creative writing class as there is a lot here that could be mined for discussion. I highly recommend this to any fantasy or historical fiction reader who is looking for a substantial, satisfying read.” — One Book Two Blog