One legend that I’ve always found interesting is the story of Nicholas Flamel and the Philosopher’s Stone, something that seems to be largely ignored in the United States. I learned of it through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a book that was originally title, and known in Great Britain as, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, a cool historical link that I wish hadn’t been removed in the U.S. edition of the book.

As the story goes, the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicholas Flamel discovered the process required to make the Philosopher’s Stone, a device that could turn base metals into pure gold and produce the Elixir of Life, which would make the drinker immortal. Not long after the discovery, Flamel disappeared…

The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott, is a fanciful continuation of the story of Nicholas Flamel’s story, taking place in the modern day. Masquerading as the owners of a bookstore, Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel guard the Book of Abraham the Mage, also known simply as the Codex, a book containing many prophecies and secrets, including that of the making of the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Alchemyst tells the secrets of Flamel’s everlasting quest to protect the Codex from the Elders, an ancient race of magical beings that seek to retake dominion over the world, after their downfall at the start of the Iron Age. The Elders consist of many ancient deities, such as the Greek Hekate and the Scottish Morrigan, aided by the human magician Dr. John Dee.

Quite an interesting book is The Alchemyst, incorporating many bits and pieces of history and mythology, twisted into a great story.