Open main menu

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (often shortened to The Alchemyst) is the first installment in the six volume fantasy novel series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.[1] It was written by Irish author Michael Scott and published in May 2007. The Alchemyst has been translated into 20 languages, and is available in 37 countries.[2]

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Alchemyst Nicholas Flamel.jpg
Above is the First Edition USA cover of The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
AuthorMichael Scott
Cover artistMichael Wagner
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
  • 22 May 2007 (US)
  • 24 May 2017 (UK)
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
ISBN978-0-385-73357-1 (US)
978-0-385-61293-7 (UK)
LC ClassPZ7.S42736Alc 2007
Followed byThe Magician 

The film rights to the series have been sold to Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Title characterEdit

The "Alchemyst" refers to the historical character of Nicholas Flamel, a French scrivener and manuscript seller. Flamel developed a posthumous reputation for being an alchemist and for his search for the philosopher's stone and immortality.

The Alchemyst is Nicholas Flamel.

Plot summaryEdit

Sophie and Josh Newman are 15-year-old twins who are working at their summer jobs in The Coffee Cup in San Francisco (Sophie works at The Coffee Cup, Josh works at the bookstore on the other side of the street) when a mysterious man, John Dee, comes into the bookstore for a book, the Codex – or Book of Abraham the Mage. Josh witnesses both Nick and Perry using magic. He discovers that Nick is not an ordinary bookseller, but is the medieval and the legendary alchemist, Nicholas Flamel, being kept alive by making the elixir of life (a secret from the Codex) for him and his wife, Perenelle. Dee also uses magic and takes the Codex by force while Josh is holding it – resulting in two pages being left behind; "The Final Summoning" pages that Dee needs to raise the Dark Elders, the beings whom Dee serves, and who have kept him immortal for several hundred years. Both Flamels need the Codex to make the elixir of life, or they will age rapidly and die within a month. Also, if they do not retrieve the Codex, Dee will summon the Dark Elders to destroy the world and return to an age in which humans are but slaves and food.

Flamel quickly takes Sophie and Josh to a hideout to enlist the aid of Scathach, a powerful Next Generation Elder. There, they are forced to run, threatened by rats sent by Dee, which is thwarted by Flamel and Scathach. Chased again almost immediately by tens of thousands of birds, Flamel then leads the twins and Scathach to secure the aid of Hekate, a powerful three-faced Elder, who can awaken the twins' magical potential. Dee discovers this, and enlists the aid of Bastet and the Morrigan. The trio mount a massive assault on Hekate's shadowrealm, to destroy Yggdrasill – the world tree – that is the heart of Hekate's power.

While Yggdrasill is attacked, Hekate awakens Sophie's magic abilities but does not have time to awaken Josh, as the tree has been set on fire by Dee. While she rushes to defend her home, Scathach, Flamel, and the twins attempt to escape the shadowrealm. While escaping, they encounter Dee and witness the power of the ancient Ice Elemental sword, Excalibur. They see Dee transform a wereboar into pure ice, then shatter the statue. Scathach remarks that she thought that Excalibur had been lost when Artorius died.

The twins, Scathach, and Flamel escape the shadowrealm, shortly before the destruction of Hekate, Yggdrasill, and the entire shadowrealm. As they escape, Dee uses Excalibur to freeze the tree, and Hekate, whose life and power is linked to it, transforms to ice as well. As this occurs, Dee is informed that the Flamels and Scathach have escaped with the twins. In his rage, he shatters Yggdrasill, which crushes Hekate into dust, killing her. Flamel, Scathach, and the twins travel to Scathach's grandmother, the Witch of Endor (also called "The Mistress of Air"), who teaches Sophie her magical secrets quickly by giving the girl all the witch's knowledge and the power to know how to use air magic.

While they are there, Dee has found out that a prophecy in the Codex speaks of Sophie and Josh. He tempts Josh to join him while using necromancy to raise thousands of corpses to assault the Elders, Flamel, and Sophie. Josh almost agrees, but at the last moment, he realizes he will lose Sophie if he agrees. Dee brings all the dead in a nearby cemetery alive and they start to attack them, Josh hits Dee with their Hummer, distracting Dee long enough to escape with Scathach, Sophie and Nicholas Flamel by using a leygate (a teleportation device where two or more lines of energy, ley lines, cross each other) to go to Paris which is Nicholas Flamel's old home. The book ends when Dee surprises them.

Special editions and cover variationsEdit

On 5 August 2010 in the UK, The Alchemyst, was re-released featuring an alternate cover.

The Alchemyst was released as part of a special edition boxed 3 book set called The First Codex in the US on 28 September 2010.

Audio bookEdit

The Alchemyst is also available as an unabridged audiobook. It was released by the Listening Library on 22 May 2007 and narrated by Denis O'Hare. The audiobook ISBN numbers are: ISBN 0-7393-5032-3 (UK), ISBN 978-0-7393-5032-4 (US).[4]

Award nominationsEdit

  • Irish Book of the Year – 2008 [5]
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Book Award [6]
  • Rhode Island Teen Book Award – 2008 (Winner)[7]
  • Bisto Book of the Year Award – 2008 [8]
  • CBI Shadowing Award – 2008[9]
  • Maine Student Book Award – ranked 10th[10]
  • Nevada Young Readers Award[11]
  • NCSLMA YA Book Award – 2010[12]

Online gamesEdit

The first related online game to be launched was The Codex Master.[13] The object is to get money and guess a secret code composed of a sequence of coloured orbs by inputting various sequences and using logic. When a sequence is entered, indicators show when the player has the right colour and also when a colour is in the right or wrong position to enable them to apply logic and guess the correct sequence.

Film adaptationEdit

Film rights for the book were originally sold to New Line Cinema and Mark Burnett Productions.[14] The film is currently in pre-production. This was reported at IMDb. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writer hired to pen the script was Eric Bress, who has written scripts for the television show, Kyle XY. It was reported that the producer would be Mark Burnett and that he bought the rights to the book in an auction months before it was published.[14]

In November 2009 it was announced in Variety Magazine[15] that Lorenzo di Bonaventura had bought the film rights to the series. Michael Scott and Barry Krost will be the executive producers. The script writer has yet to be announced.

Well, I have been promising news of the Flamel movie. Here's the press release. The movie was set up with New Line, but New Line were absorbed by Warner and the rights reverted to me. There has been tremendous interest in the series and eventually, it went to Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who is the man responsible for bringing Harry Potter to Warner when he was there. He genuinely loves this series. The next step now is to attach a writer - I will not write it, I have 3 more books to do!

On 20 June 2012 it was announced that the Australian company AMPCO Films had optioned the film. Michael Scott will write the screenplay. Production is due to start in early 2013 and filming will take place in Australia and New Zealand.[17]


The series continues in the sequel The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel which was released in the UK on 5 June 2008 and on 24 June 2008 in the US. The third book The Sorceress: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel was released on 26 May 2009 in the US and the fourth book was released on 25 June 2009 in the UK The Necromancer: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel followed with its US release on 25 May 2010. The fifth book, The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel was released on 24 May 2011 in America.[18] The final book in the series,The Enchantress: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, was released 24 May 2012.


  1. ^ Staff writers. "Michael Scott-Author spotlight-Random House". Random House Inc. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  2. ^ Michael Scott. "Michael Scott-The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel-The Alchemyst". Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  3. ^ Quoted from[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ The Alchemyst Audiobook. Amazon UK. ASIN 0739350323.
  5. ^ Staff writer (27 March 2008). "Book Award Shortlist". Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  6. ^ Staff writer. "2009 Master List @ The Kentucky Bluegrass Award". K.B.A. Archived from the original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  7. ^ Staff writer (17 March 2009). "2009 RI Teen Book Award Winner - Press Release" (PDF). R.I.T.B.A. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  8. ^ Staff writer. "Bisto Book of the Year Awards 2008". C.B.I. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  9. ^ Staff writer. "C.B.I Shadowing Awards 2008". C.B.I. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Maine Student Book Award 2008-2009". MSBA. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  11. ^ Staff writer. "Nevada Library Association - Nevada Young Readers' Award". NYRA. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  12. ^ Staff writer. "NCSLMA YA BOOK AWARD 2010". NCSLMA. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  13. ^ Random House, Teens (2007). "The Codex Master Game". Random House, U.S.A. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  14. ^ a b Staff writers. "Movie profile: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel". Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (18 November 2009). "DiBonaventura sets up 'Secret' Company to produce 'Nicholas Flamel' series". Variety. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  16. ^ Michael Scott. "Link to his full post". Flamel's Secret Fan Forum. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011.
  17. ^ Patricia McClintock. "Michael Scott's Best-selling book "The Alchemyst" getting movie makeover". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  18. ^ Staff writers. "Product Catalogue". Random House USA. Retrieved 6 December 2010.

External linksEdit