|| Fourteen year-old Alex Weston has marooned himself and his sassy hamster, Skoodle, onto the magical island of Eridor while seeking his vanished parents. Yet Alex has no magic; he must rely on bravery, quick thinking and a few ounces of rodent as he fights to survive. Alex, Skoodle and Tariq, a bear, attempt to rescue a wizard boy, Luke, who is trapped on a remote mountainside by merciless, disgusting goblins. Risking his life, Tariq is transformed into a marble statue and held ransom by a vicious gargoyle; the price for his life is for a friend to turn traitor. Their wizard friend, Zorrin, has his mind corroded by an enchanted sapphire as he attempts to return it to a mountain with a living brain; once loyal, he is now a powerful mortal enemy. Determined to save Tariq, Alex seeks help from sleeping stone lions, discovering that solving an ancient armadillo alchemist's puzzle might give them a chance of saving Eridor from destruction by Zorrin. Yet Zorrin outwits them. Betrayed, he's furious beyond reason; mighty beyond measure. With no spells, no weapons, Alex must somehow save his dying friends in the few minutes remaining before Zorrin murders them all. Alchemy is a fast-paced fantasy novel, threaded with humour, which will appeal to children aged 9-11.