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Madly by Amy Alward
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3.5 stars

A fun YA fantasy that shouldn’t be taken too seriously, The Potion Diaries is perfect for a sunny weekend or – if you’re lucky enough – a day at the beach. Sam, the main character, must travel to exotic destinations, trying to both figure out and then acquire potion ingredients, while also staying alive and in the race. While there is a romantic aspect to this book, it wasn’t fully developed. My favourite romance was, in fact, between the princess and herself! These glimpses into her thinking were my favourite chapters. All in all, I would recommend this to YA fans looking for a cute, more relaxing story, maybe when you’re too stressed out for a more emotionally charged novel.

You can find that on my blog! :)

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ( )
  dani_reviews | Jul 22, 2016 |
Despite commitment issues…with trilogies, that is…I was convinced to read Madly by Amy Alward, the first in the Potion trilogy. I’m glad I did. Will I read volumes 2 and 3? I can’t commit!


When Princess Evelyn mistakenly drinks the love potion she prepared for Zain, she falls in love with the first person she sees, which happens to be her reflection in a mirror. Of course the royal family can’t have this. Plus it’s wreaking havoc with her magic…and her life.

The King calls a Wilde Hunt, an ancient tradition in which alchemists the world over try to find the exact ingredients for the antidote, for anything less will kill Princess Evelyn. Taking place in the current century, the Hunt pits the Kemi family, primarily Samantha Kemi apprenticing as an alchemist to her grandfather, who hails from a long line of famous, old-school alchemists against the ZoroAster corporation, a manufacturer of synthetic potion ingredients.

Madly nicely blends the old and the new. Characters zip around in cars and trucks, fly on airplanes and teleport. They communicate via social media, telecasts, cell phones, etc. Yet they use Bunsen burners, test tubes, and mortars and pestles. They look for ingredients including flowers, unicorns, abominable snowmen…the things fairy tales are made of. There is danger at every turn.

And what would a fairy tale be, old or modern, without a wicked witch and a love interest, both of which are here in full force. For a fun read, fairy tale, adventure, romance, try Madly out. You may be bewitched. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 19, 2016 |
In a world something like our own with magic, potion makers are special, but the world of potions has been changed by synthetic potions, the older natural potion makers are being squeezed out of business and their skills are being lost. In this comes Samantha Kemi, an apprentice to her Grandfather, who was a well-respected Alchemist, but now struggles to keep his business open. Samantha understands potions and the uses of plants and knows how they work, getting moments where she sees a place for a potion use and immediately thinks what would be useful for it.

Then the crown princess takes a potion meant for the man she fancies the first person she sees is a reflection of herself and it all goes wrong. Sam and several other alchemists are summoned to the palace and she has a chance to change her family's fortunes.

There was an amount of token collecting going on but there was also a lot of mental work. Much of the resolution was background but still an interesting read. It captivated me and I found it difficult to put down.

I found this a believable society and a well drawn world and I want to read more in it, I enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more by this author. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 24, 2016 |
Samantha Kemi is the latest in her long family line of old-school alchemists. The family business, once highly respected, has fallen on hard times because of the rise in synthetic potions which many think are as good, or better than those created from ingredients that Finders, a group of skilled seekers, find in the part of the world referred to as the Wilde, which are then blended according to family recipes. Samantha's particularly skilled at intuitive potion creation.
When Princess Evelyn brews a love potion that goes horribly wrong, poisoning her, the kingdom is in an uproar and the first Wilde Hunt, a free for all scramble among alchemists, finders and synth makers to identify the right ingredients, find them and brew a curative potion ensues. This would be a great chance for Samantha to restore the Kemi name to prominence, but the playing field is cluttered and some of those in the game won't play nice. In fact one who enters unexpectedly is downright evil.
It doesn't help that Samantha has discovered she's attracted to Zain Aster, son of the man who started the whole synth potion business and who her grandfather absolutely detests. Even worse, Zain seems to have reciprocal feelings and, as they compete to identify and obtain the necessary ingredients, the possible relationship gets ever more complicated.
Teen readers who like romance mixed with magic, unusual locations and high adventure will very much enjoy this story. It was a book I read in one sitting and closed with much satisfaction. ( )
  sennebec | Jan 22, 2016 |
Samantha Kemi is a very talented alchemist, but her family has fallen on hard times since now most of the medicinal potions are made synthetically by the Asters. When princess Evelyn falls under the spell of a misused love potion, the magic hunt is on and Sam and Zain Astor and many others are racing to try to find a cure to princess Evelyn's malady before she destroys herself and the royal kingdom. Along the way, Sam finds out that Zain is significantly different from his father and the Aster family. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jan 17, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 148144378X, Hardcover)

Samantha may be falling for the beloved of the princess she is sent to save in this start to a hilarious, adventurous, and sweetly romantic trilogy.

When Samantha is summoned to the royal court of Nova for a secret mission, it’s her chance to put her training to the test: Princess Evelyn has taken an illegal love potion with disastrous effects, and Samantha, like her ancestors before her, is great at mixing potions. She may not be one of the naturally Talented—those who can heal or transform at the wave of their hands—but she is skilled nonetheless, and determined to find an antidote and cure Princess Evelyn.

The problem? Princess Evelyn took the love potion to make her best friend Zain fall for her—and it’s Zain who Samantha keeps encountering on her hunt for antidote ingredients. As forbidden sparks between them fly, Samantha is forced to wonder: will curing Princess Evelyn doom her own chance at love?

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Jul 2015 23:22:26 -0400)

Samantha's ability to mix potions is needed when her family is summoned to take part in an ancient quest to save Princess Evelyn from a potion gone awry, but will curing the princess doom Samantha's chance at love?

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