The Scarlet Alchemist Readalong: Day 4!


Amazing photo by @elle.cheshire!

Hello bookworms!

Happy Thursday and welcome to day 4 of our readalong ofThe Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker. I’m so excited to be reading this one with you, I hope you all love it!

Wow, there was a lot of tension and action in yesterday’s chapters!

Today we’re reading from chapter 21 to the end of chapter 26. Let’s do this!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker from Chapter 21 to Chapter 26. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


We continue today’s reading with a very tense dinner with the empress. Although if there is one good thing that comes out of it, it’s that the prince calls Zilan beautiful and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear – of course this had me giggling and kicking my feet.

But the cute vibes don’t last very long when it turns out the empress has given Zilan some kind of poison and starts questioning her.

And the fact she also says “You don’t need to worry. You won’t be here for long.” yep I’m very scared for Zilan. But why make her a royal alchemist just to get rid of her?

Even though we are over halfway through the book we are still finding out new things about alchemy and I just love the magic and world!

The Moon Alchemist tells Zilan that when you resurrect someone you can’t give them qi, instead they take it from those they love most slowly over an average of four years until they eventually kill them as a result.

Zilan now realises that the reason her Aunt and Uncle were sick is because Wenshu and Yufei have unknowingly been stealing their qi.

The Moon Alchemist then takes Zilan down into the dungeons and shows her bodies stacked everywhere. Ewwww. This has taken an even sinister turn.

It turns out that the empress’s guards buy blood and fresh corpses from the poor districts each week which are then used to make life gold as well as monsters.

Zilan is then shown how they create the monsters and is also told that this is what happens when too much alchemy is performed on one body. If someone has already been resurrected before and then eats alchemical gemstones they will become a monster.

But oh no, things only get even worse from there. Zilan learns that once you become a royal alchemist, you serve the empress until you die and after that as well. Is this what the strange man in the dungeons was referring to when he told her they just want her soul?

Zilan goes to see her cousins only to find that one of the monsters has broken in to attack them. Why are they being targeted suddenly?

At least we get a little bit of cuteness again – it turns out the prince has been visiting The Moon alchemist each day to ask how Zilan is and how her training is going. How cute! I think he has romantic feelings for her. What do you think?

After heading to the prince’s room she finds his sisters hiding in the closet. They tell her monsters attacked the convent, killing all the nuns and burning it to the ground. She tells them to wait whilst she gets the prince and to hide back in the closet.

Upon returning to his room with the prince they find both of the sisters dead, the monster having gotten to them.

Zilan resurrects them and the Moon Alchemist comes to help and take them somewhere safe, also faking their death.

Seeing his sisters dead before their resurrection is the final straw for the prince and he decides that the empress must die. Zilan agrees to help.

They plan to poison her but the prince is on high alert as assassination attempts have suddenly stopped, and he suspects his mother is planning to use him in some way.

Okay, bits of dialogue from the prince had me smiling at my book because cuteeee!

“I might be a fool for plenty of other reasons, but trusting you will never be one of them.”

“It would be an honour to be robbed by you, Fan Zilan.”

Andddd back to the scary stuff! They poison the empress’s evening tea but grow suspicious when time has passed and there has been no news.
They decide to split up and when Zilan heads to the kitchen she finds it smashed to pieces and blood everywhere.

Fearing for the prince’s life she runs to find him when she hears the splintering of wood, seeing one of the libraries has collapsed and the prince is inside.

But he isn’t the only person there… there is also a monster made of sapphire.

Zilan manages to destroy it and save herself and the prince by removing it’s soul tag.

Back at the prince’s room they finally kiss. EEEEKKKKK. Can you hear my squealing?!

But the happiness doesn’t last as it turns out that Zilan has a soul tag of her own on the back of her neck that she did not know about. Biggest plot twist I did notttt see coming!!

The Moon Alchemist had resurrected her when she was just a child and she knew Zilan’s father. The reason her parents died was because she had been stealing their qi. Her father had set out to try and find a way to save her mother but disappeared or died before he could.

And to end things on an even tenser note, Zilan discovers her cousins are missing from their room with a note left behind that reads “Nice try, Scarlett”.

Well that was an action packed few chapters today wasn’t it? So many plot twists and exciting but scary new developments!

Did you suspect that Zilan might have also been resurrected or where you as surprised as I was?

Do you think her farther could be in the dungeons?

What do you think the empress is plotting to do next?

I’m so excited (but also scared) to see what will happen in tomorrow’s chapters, see you there fairies!





  • Lisa Spanu

    1. Did you suspect that Zilan might have also been resurrected or where you as surprised as I was?
    I HAD NO IDEA OMG! That was such a good twist!

    2. Do you think her farther could be in the dungeons?
    I don’t think he will be in the dungeon, but I hope for Zilan that he is

    3. What do you think the empress is plotting to do next?
    She’ll probably forge Zilan to do her bidding now that she has her cousins

  • DeeAnna

    Holy moly what a plot twist! I definitely didn’t see that coming. I’m curious as to how she’s going to explain that one to the crown prince. Also, this makes perfect sense now about the mysterious illness that killed her cousins but not Zilan. I’m also quite worried for her cousins. I really like them, and if they die again they couldn’t come back like before.

    I’m leaning more and more towards that being her father in the dungeon. Maybe he didn’t die because he left and Zilan was no longer stealing his qi.

    As far as the queen… I’m ready to see her dead, especially if she has something to do with her cousins disappearance. I hate to think about how much more evil she can do before the end of this book.

  • sparks2much

    Wow did a lot happen in those chapters. I knew something had to be going on with Zilan. I might have been wrong about the reincarnated idea, but I wasn’t too far off!

    I still think Zilan’s father is in a different country or far away. Maybe he’s trying to figure out how to keep Zilan from killing everyone she gets close to.

    I’m sure the Empress has some deadly world conquering plans, but it’ll be interesting to find out what they are.

  • Andreea Maria Cimpoeru

    The plot twist had me gasping.
    Really did not expect that, but I was wondering why her qi wasn’t depleted by her cousins, I really didn’t think it was because they didn’t love her.

    As for her father there’s a possibility he’s still alive. The Moon Alchemist advised him to stay away from her. Maybe after being away from her he managed to survive with whatever qi he had left and tried to find a way back without killing himself in doing so. He just hasn’t found it yet.
    Hope this is it as I would love for her to have her father back. Especially after finding out he didn’t truly abandon her in the way she thought.

    Not sure what the Queen’s plan is, but taking her cousins probably just means she wants Zilan to do something big for her, after which she’ll probably try to kill Zilan.
    If the Queen finds out Zilan has a soul tag she will probably use that against her, try to make her one of her monsters.

  • Tasha

    Did you suspect that Zilan might have also been resurrected or where you as surprised as I was?
    Shocked 😳 I suspected yesterday she may have been created like the duck but it didn’t cross my mind she may have been resurrected!

    Do you think her farther could be in the dungeons?
    Yes – as he left and didn’t return to Zilan then she couldn’t have drained him further?

    What do you think the empress is plotting to do next?
    Im not sure – praying the siblings are ok 🙏 Does anybody else find it suspicious that we don’t see the prince’s father like we know he is sick (or is he) but how is he sick does the prince still see him seems odd 🤨

  • Rachel

    I did suspect she might have been resurrected and visions caused by memories. I did not guess at all though she was the reason for her mothers death and father’s disappearance😱
    Yes I think it could be her father in the dungeons – something could have happened when he was trying to leave and he was never able to return to Zilan. He also never died cause he was away from her.
    I dunno what she is plotting but I’m scared especially for Wenshu and Yufei, I don’t want anything bad to happen to them😭

  • dzsuud

    Oh my goooood, I was so surprised that Zilan has a soultag!! I can’t believe it!!

    I love the Moon Alchemist, I wish we could see them more together. But it also makes me sad that alchemists are just glorified slaves making pearl monsters and gold nuggets for the rich to snack on…

    The Empress is honestly my new favourite villain in YA, she is so smart and cunning, it’s like she’s always at least 5 steps ahead of everyone! But munching on gold is big yikes…
    I really hope the man in the dungeon is Z’s father, like she reaaallly needs some support in processing this especially now that her cousins are kidnapped.

    I wonder if the Empress will make pearl monsters from Yufei and Wenshu and make Zilan fight them? I reeeaaallly hope not, I’m so scared for them now! They parted in a really ugly way but surely it can’t end like this for them?

  • Alex Shaffer

    Did you suspect that Zilan might have also been resurrected or where you as surprised as I was?
    I didn’t think that Zilan was resurrected. I was so sure that everything was because she was using life alchemy.

    Do you think her farther could be in the dungeons?
    Possibly. But Moon said he was half dead when he came to her. Maybe he was turned into a monster. And still “living”. I hope not. On the other hand, now that the aunt and uncle are separated from those draining their qi, maybe he is in the dungeon alive.

    What do you think the empress is plotting to do next?
    Something evil I’m sure. I hope she doesn’t turn them into monsters.

  • ladymeg

    1) SHOCKING plot twist and my brain is twisting itself into knots trying to figure out how a resurrected qi vampire could ressurect more qi vampires. Is it a circle of leeching off each other??

    2) Seems unlikely to me after all this time but it would be nice if Zilan could get closure about him somehow.

    3) Oh who knows, something awful I’m sure. That dinner scene where they all ate like animals was horrifying and that’s not even anything to do with the monsters.

  • Rachelle H.

    Oh my gosh this section was SO AMAZING?!?? I did not expect the twist of Zilan having a soul tag AT ALL. It makes a lot of sense, given her strange fainting spells and visions, but wow, this was such a good twist!!

    It makes me so nervous for her and prince! I was SO EXCITED they kissed, I loved their dynamic so so much and it was great to see it to progress to this place but knowing she drains people who love her… the TRAGEDY!

    I’m not sure about her father… I do have a feeling he’s maybe alive? But I don’t know about him being in the dungeon…

    I am so excited to see how this ends, and I know I’m gonna be so nervous awaiting book 2 😭😭

  • danica.brnot

    OMG I cant belive it I did not see this coming she was resurrected the plot twists say what now her cousins are gone oh dear

    I have to give hats off to the Empress dam she is smart how did she figure out that Zilan was trying to kill her OMG OMG

    Oh she got close to the prince so cute he is so sweet

    This has got me hookd now I need to find ou what hapoens next OMG OMG OMG

  • j.iris

    Oh my God, this section was positively sinister! All the reveals, and the assassination attempt. I didn’t expect Zilan finding out she’s been resurrected and also that the ressurected dead steal qi from their loved ones?? Zilan is resposible both for her mother’s death and her cousins’. And the fact that she thought Yufei and Wenshu never loved her because they weren’t stealing qi from her. This book is so so brilliant with the relationship between characters, I can’t.

    I wonder what does this mean for all the people Zilan brought back. Does her alchemy work different since the Moon Alchemist said Zilan’s soul was so hard to bring back? Does that mean she has a different type of connection with death than a normal alchemist using life alchemy?

    I’m now 100% convinced the strange man in the dungeon is Zilan’s father. The fact that they have the same eyes and that he disappeared while in Chang’an is proof enough.

    The empress is possibly one of the most sinister, unnerving absolutely disturbing villain I’ve seen in a YA book. She’ll definitely want revenge on Zilan for trying to poison her, and by hwo the chapter ends it will involve Yufei and Wenshu.

  • Valley

    I kind of had an inkling that Zilan could’ve been resurrected since there was a lot of emphasis on her visions, though I thought it was more of a reincarnation trope at first.

    It would be really nice if her father is still alive :’) but I don’t recall any hints that he could still be.

    The empress is probably going to kill everyone she suspects working against her… probably toy with Zilan before killing her?

  • susy34633

    Ok, I’m just shocked about the qi stealing business! And Zilan was also resurrected?!
    That’s why her mother died, why her uncles were sick and now better… the three of them were stealing their life force… OMG!
    And now her cousins are missing and the Empress is on to her… you won’t be here long… Nice try Scarlett…
    How is this book so amazing all the way through? Can’t wait to finish reading it.

  • Amelia Jayne

    Oh, I’m soooo glad we got a kiss!! But I’m equally sad because now she won’t be able to get close to the Prince without leeching him unless he needs to be resurrected…

    Did you suspect that Zilan might have also been resurrected or were you as surprised as I was?
    I had started to suspect as I was getting close to that part but I’m still shocked!

    Do you think her father could be in the dungeons?
    Yes! I feel like it has something to do with the moon alchemist though, maybe he’s there because she had to save herself?

    What do you think the empress is plotting to do next?
    I honestly have no idea! With the way this book has been going any plot twist is possible. Hopefully, the cousins will be okay though!

    I can’t wait to speed through the next section to see how it ends.

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