The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

by Mithilesh

By Michael Scott

We have always sought to understand the world around us, and explain away what we cannot fathom. Magic has eternally fascinated man. Historical figures who were scientifically advanced during their times were often labeled magicians and sorcerers. And oif course, the forbidden arts hold such fatal draw for all of us!. Nicholas Flamel is one such character that refuses to die in the minds of authors and so called early historians alike. His reputation as a fabled alchemist lives to this day along with his trusted aide, companion, Perenelle his wife. They  have figure in numerous books of science fiction. This series starts off with The Alchemyst and has The enchantress as the latest edition to the collection of stories.Flamel’s wife Perenelle too figures out in the Series.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
At a time when fantasy writers seem dime a dozen, and most – with notable exceptions like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – seem to go either the Harry Potter way or the Tolkien way, it’s refreshing to find Michael Scot as the newagean author who takes the wealth of myths and legends that have been passed down through the ages, and then puts the fabled Irish storytelling ability to good use.He does so by combining all of them with a good doses of imagination, with the added twist of contemporary settings. The result: a series that captures readers, and, despite its flaws, gives a fresh perspective on magic,science and technology, and how the twothree are intrinsically linked.

The drawback of the book is that the concept of teenagers who are destined to save or destroy the world by an age old prophecy has been overdone. Surely the fate of the world can hang by strings less delicate than emotionally and physically fragile youngsters! Having said that, there are plenty of positives. The characters in the books – apart from the teenagers, of course – are people who existed, around whom legends have been weaved; people who, in many cases, played a major role in shaping the course of history itself. Characters like Count St. Germaine, Joan of Arc, Scathach the Warrior, John Dee, one of the most famous members of the Elizabethan court, William Shakespeare, Machiavelli,  some of the Knights of the Round Table and many others, all form integral parts of the storyline. Legends associated with Gods and Goddesses like Hecate and Mars are also reinterpreted throughout the series.
The books also explore the concept of magic in different ways. A couple of hundred years ago, if you had told anybody that you could communicate with somebody thousands of miles away in less than a second, what would they have called it? Magic, of course! If you can find DNA at a crime scene and retrace the movements of the dead through forensics, what would it have been called a few centuries ago? Why, what else but Necromancy! And Alchemy is popularly known to be the transmutation of lesser metals into gold, something that does not seem very far-fetched anymore. As for the potion of eternal life – when life expectancy has risen from about thirty five to over seventy, perhaps we are getting there, too. As times changed the lines between what was Magic and what is Science have

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