You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: $5.50
includes tax, if applicable

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Herb-Witch (Lord Alchemist Duology Book 1) by [McCoy, Elizabeth]
Kindle App Ad

Herb-Witch (Lord Alchemist Duology Book 1) Kindle Edition

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"

Length: 388 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

Save up to 70% on Kindle Books. Sale ends 30 June 2017 at 11:59 pm AEST. Shop now

Product description

Product Description

The Lord Alchemist must be immune to hostile potions. But in all the country, there are only two known immunes: Iathor Kymus, the Lord Alchemist, and his feckless brother, Iasen.

Kessa is a half-barbarian herb-witch, arrested for crimes she didn't quite intend. But when Iathor discovers her immunity to truth potions, he'll do whatever he must to court her. Guilty or not, she's his only hope of banishing his nightmare: a son enslaved to him by the loyalty potion that each Lord Alchemist's heir must drink, and defeat.

But Kessa doesn't trust him, Iasen despises her tainted blood, and there's still the mystery of who complicated Kessa's little crime into the bigger one she didn't intend. They don't even have the benefit of lust at first sight. All they have in common is the alchemist's immunity, and an ability to get on each other's nerves. Will it be enough?

(Contains mature situations.)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1059 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007DCCVH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
click to open popover

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A precise mixture of down-to-earth fantasy and thoughtful romance 26 November 2012
By H Waterhouse - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really loved this book, and bought the second one from my Kindle the second I clicked the last page. Then I spent the next three weeks telling people about it in person and trying to decide how to write the reviews.

So here's what I told people:
It's got an interesting and well-realized world, with the feeling like we are only seeing a very small part of a much bigger map. The character motivations are not baffling or arbitrary, which one might be more tolerant of if it were being sold as a romance. And it certainly has every element of a forced-marriage romance. But both main characters are also independent and self-sufficient and have their own wants and needs which do not center around short-term desires. Sometimes they are stupid, but only because they don't have all the information to make a better decision.

It's self-published. I wonder if it is that lack of "saleability editing" that makes the flavor just a little unusual. This book (and the one following) are full of sexuality. Not sexiness, or explicit sex, but the different functions of men's and women's bodies. Perhaps the best illustration is this glossary entry:

"dry tea: a contraceptive preparation for women. "Dry" refers to "infertile fields," parched from drought; the tea is brewed and drunk normally. An integral ingredient is maiden's blood; the definition of "maiden" is very strict, for this purpose."

There is a male equivalent, also. Fertility, and the prevention thereof, figure heavily in the storylines. Also Kessa is one of those women with apocalyptically bad periods, and it's just... a thing. No one avoids talking about it, it's not taboo or secret, it's just an impediment she has. The whole culture is set up so that women are as capable of almost everything as men are. Kessa is not exceptional because she owns a business, nor because she knows how to defend herself. She is exceptional because she is imaginative and stoic and flexible. And the stubborn doesn't hurt, either.

She also has extremely striking eyes, and unlike any romance novel I've ever read, they are not a point of beauty, but a disfigurement. I thought it was interesting that she uses her ugliness as a weapon, and even the man falling in love with her has trouble making eye contact with her.

Kessa is a herb-witch, working with naturally occurring ingredients to make simple potions and mixes to help people stay or become healthy. Iathor is an alchemist, and works with chemicals or "metal-salts" to create more powerful medicines and potions. One of the ways he woos Kessa is to offer to teach her more alchemy to enhance her existing knowledge. And he needs all the lures he can get -- it turns out that proposing to people when you first meet them in a dungeon and you are in a position of power makes it hard for them to trust you. Who knew, right?

Of course, the other reason she can't trust him is she has a second life, and doesn't think he would approve of it, not in the least, but her second, secret life involves her family, and she's not about to give them up or endanger them by exposure.

Like I said at the top, I really liked this book. I was blown away by the worldbuilding and structure, the seamless genre-bending, and the interesting investigations on the nature of consent, love, dynastic marriages, and birth control.

Read if: You're looking for something living comfortably between fantasy and romance. You like thinking about the problems of consent and forced marriages. You love a heroine who has a bit of sneak thief in her. You're my sister.

Skip if: You are really going to be ooked out by female biology. Romance only clutters up your poisoning mysteries. You are allergic to the Magical Dark Skinned People trope.

Also read:
The Midwife's Apprentice for herbal healing and strong-minded women.
Herb-Wife (Lord Alchemist Duology) It's what I read next!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never resolved anything... and ended awkwardly 29 August 2016
By MKH - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The while story, I kept waiting for the next stage of the story, or the next stage of their relationship, or for the action and treats to turn into something more intense, but.........nothing! It ended up as a long, drawn out, almost interesting, road to nowhere. I was disappointed! I actually started liking the characters and wanted to keep reading because I wanted to see what happened. Problem was, nothing ever did.....and the it ended! So disappointing, and definitely not worth buying.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Setting, Good Plot 4 July 2012
By A. Waite - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought Herb-Witch because a friend of mine enjoyed it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. The setting is interesting and detailed, and I liked the main character. I found the plot interesting, and the relationship moved at a realistic pace (not too slow, so that you want to yell at the book, but also not unbelievably fast).

However, I did have a couple of issues with the duology.

I did not check the stated genre before buying this book, and so when I bought the second book, Herb-Wife, I expected the same feel as the first. The first book felt like Fantasy with a romance subplot to me, while the second book moves the Romance part to the fore. If you're a Fantasy buff but not a Romance buff, the second one is still well written and has the same great setting and characters, but the addition of sex scenes may be annoying if you're reading for the intrigue from the first book.

The second problem I had is a minor quibble, but it bugged me every time I read about it. Using wads of cotton when on a period? That stuff would bunch up and get hard and really annoying. Why not soft wool and hemp layers? They're absorbent and don't bunch up like cotton does. Anyway, not something most people would think about, but I found it a bit odd.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your standard romance 29 February 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Herb-Witch/Herb-Wife duology is neither your typical romance nor your typical fantasy. In a world where magic is 'mere' alchemy but stories of dragons live on, Elizabeth McCoy weaves an engrossing tale of Kessa, 'barbarian' herb-witch journeyman in the Alchemist's Guild, struggling to support herself and those who need her help, and Iathor, the Lord Alchemist who needs her far more than she needs (or wants) him.

I am always reluctant to divulge too many details in a review for fear of spoilers, but I hope it will suffice to say that I read these books straight through twice immediately on purchasing them, and I'd read them before. Captivating, and I've caught more details of the elaborate world building on every read-through. The culture is not just 'medieval fantasy', but with its own well considered and developed unique flavor. (For more, I recommend The Bear Prince, a set of fictional fairy-tales from the same world that give their own insights into the minds of the characters.)

I highly encourage you to purchase this book to see if you like it as well. The more people that buy, the more likely I'll get to read further adventures in this unique world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great love story between real characters 18 October 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have re-read this book a few times now and still enjoy it. It's a different kind of love story, about two people that are difficult to know and love, especially the heroine.

The writer creates a rich world and the characters are complex and real. The book is not going to be for everyone - there are some scenes that will certainly turn away a few people, but overall the story is excellent and I highly recommend it to those that enjoy a love story that shows intimacy over sex.

I have read all of the books in this series and keep hoping for more.