Alchemists Academy: Stones to Ashes Review & Giveaway

Sher A Hart here, with a fun middle grade book review of Stones to Ashes by Kailin Gow and a giveaway for the Alchemists Academy Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. In case you’re a reader who wants to start reviewing children’s books from picture books up through clean YA, we’re looking for another reviewer to contribute so Paul and I can spend more time writing. If you’re an aspiring writer or  children’s author who doesn’t have a blog, even better. Either way, please contact either Paul or me, and we’ll be happy to get you started. We require a six month commitment because we provide training and show you how to get free books to read and review.

Also, please check out Paul’s review of Johnny and the Seven Teddy Bears of Sin with a giveaway for the Happy New Year’s Giveaway Hop. Now on to today’s review and giveaway!

Tour Schedule

The Alchemists Academy Book 1: Stones to Ashes by Kailin Gow

What do you learn here…at the Academy? Wirt asks. Magic? The responsibility to use your powers responsibly? Uh…something like that, his roommate Spencer said. More like how to rule worlds. Wirt is used to being shuffled from foster home to foster home, adopting a devil-may-care attitude toward the world along the way. Now he s in a school he can’t escape, learning to develop his latent magical abilities, for what use, he doesn’t know…to save his world or to destroy it…


The Alchemists Academy Book 2: Elemental Explosions by Kailin Gow

A new student has entered The Alchemists Academy, bringing with him an explosive power that threatens the Academy and the legend of Merlin. Wirt thought he was the only bad boy at the Academy, but he was wrong. Not only is Roland Black worse, but a new teacher plans more for Wirt and his friends than just lessons. Alana, his crush has grown prettier, and now he is rivals for her attention with not only his best friend Spencer, but newcomer Roland. On top of that, in their second year all the students must pass a test to move on to the Elite Class at the Academy. The Elite Class is the only class in the third year at the Academy, and the students who fail will be sent home, others will face something even deadlier.


Author Kailin Gow

Kailin Gow is the award-winning, international bestselling author of over 80 distinct books.

Kailin Gow is also the President of a media company, a media personality, and has been writing full-time since she was first published. Holding a Masters in communications management and leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations, she puts her leadership abilities, her experience, and desire to help others into her fiction books. As a result, she has written the forthcoming, Finding the Heroine in You book which is also a national tour. She is a mother and spends whatever spare time she has volunteering at the Red Cross, Battered Women’s Shelters, and other organizations.

Currently her Frost Series is in development for a major international MMO Game, and she has over 14,000 and growing Frosters on her facebook fan page.


Now for my review of book one in Alchemists Academy:

Stones to Ashes (The Alchemists Academy, #1)Stones to Ashes by Kailin Gow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting wizard academy story partly because it didn’t follow the Harry Potter route. What if evil wizards controlled the school located somewhere far away from Earth, and the main character doesn’t know how he got there, let alone how to get back home? That’s where young Wirt finds himself. With a chip on his shoulder from being bounced around between foster homes, he might not have the social skills necessary to survive his first interview. If he does, will his budding power help him live long enough to learn to make friends and allies to solve the big mystery threatening to close the school? One thing’s certain: if the school closes, he’ll never learn how to return to Earth.

I have to say I loved the school setting and the mode of transportation. I liked the pacing, the interesting plot, and the characters’ interplay as Wirt tried to adjust to such a foreign environment. The biggest drawback was poor editing, not just typos but misused words, grammar and tense problems. I’m rounding up from 3 1/2 stars because of the well rounded and interesting characters, not all black and white in the moral sense. Unlike in many books for teens, the adults here have lives and loves of their own that contribute to the mystery. I’ll be interested to see if future books in the series continue the character development and world building as well.

View all my reviews

Tour $25 Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/31/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent’s permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Alchemists Academy Tour Schedule

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. This is my first time hearing about this series. It does sound interesting. I like the concept and the fact that it has some unique qualities. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • You’re welcome and good to hear from you, Jess, I’ve been so busy editing this week I haven’t had time to visit a single blog. I’m about to start reading the next book in this series and looking forward to it.

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