Up Next Reminder | The Alchymist’s Cat

As a reminder, in just a couple of weeks we’ll be switching gears to Book 1 of the awesome Deptford Histories trilogy! (I can just sense that all our enthusiastic commenters out there on the Mice trilogy can’t wait to sink their teeth into these back-stories!)

The Alchymist’s Cat tells the origin story of the original and (arguably) greatest Robin Jarvis villain of all time, Jupiter! Set in London in the 1600s, with a mixture of human and animal characters, this story has absolutely everything: heroes, villains, charlatans, cats, rats, magic, ghosts, the Black Plague, the Great Fire. Everything.

And unlike a certain sci-fi trilogy that attempted three ‘prequel’ films to set up its iconic villain (only to annoy nearly every fan out there), in just one book, Robin Jarvis hits it out of the park. There aren’t many villain-origin stories that work as well as this one, and I can’t wait to read it all with you.

Okay, a word on editions, as always. Sadly, this book still remains out of print, so you will have to go hunting for a second-hand edition. It does mean, however, that you get a choice of some good ones.


The original illustrated version. I love this cover and the illustrations inside are brilliant.


Also featuring the illustrations are the silver editions, which will line up to give you a great image across the side if you collect all three.


As a final note for our readers in the US: the American publishers of this book have seen fit to change the archaic spelling of the title to The Alchemist’s Cat, but please be assured that the text is the same. 

Whichever version you go for, do get it quick, because it’s going to be an awesome read, starting in May!


26 thoughts on “Up Next Reminder | The Alchymist’s Cat

  1. Yes! I’m very eager to discuss the Histories, especially my favourite Robin Jarvis book The Oaken Throne…

    Speaking of the Histories, there is something I’ve always been curious about that Robin would surely know the answer to if he happens to pop in. As we all know, the only Deptford Histories audiobooks currently available are the scarce abridged tape sets read excellently by Tim Piggott-Smith, Fiona Shaw, and Richard Griffiths. However, I’ve seen some product images that list The Alchymist’s Cat and The Oaken Throne as being read by Iain Glen and Alison Steadman. The only copies I’ve seen (and the ones I have) are read by Mr. Piggott-Smith and Ms. Shaw. What I’m wondering is if alternate versions do exist somewhere out there or (more likely) Mr. Glen and Ms. Steadman were originally going to be the readers but were then not available.

    Also to Robin if he does see this comment… please, please, please have unabridged audiobooks of the Deptford Histories produced! I’d love it if they were on Audible.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I second this. I’d be on the ceiling if unabridged audiobooks of the Histories could be arranged somehow (though Mr Griffiths’ narration has a special place in my heart). The recent recording of Fighting Pax read by Nigel Peever was excellent, and as I recall The Beach Hut came out as a digital-only audiobook, so I refuse to lose hope in that regard.

      (Hello, by the way! I was so happy to see you comment on the Illustration Nominations pages. Love your icon!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks! That’s one of my characters, Sariah, a princess of the Fir Realm. She is most skilled on the virginal, while her brother Prince Oliver has a talent for the lute. They are the children of the Lady Alena and the last of the royal house of the Fir, which according to my headcanon fell in the mid 1500s.

        Hello to you as well! I’ve been a fan of Robin’s books for about fourteen years now. I started reading them at age 11. I’m excited to know that there are other people who love these obscure books like I do!

        Liked by 3 people

    • Welcome aboard, Starshine! It always makes my day to meet someone who worships The Deptford Mice and the various other Deptford Mice-related books like I do! I can’t wait to check out the art you’ve produced for your fan characters! Your icon strikes me as a promise that I shall love what I’m going to see! If I could draw with even half as much talent as that…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard of the Iain Glen and Alison Steadman thing, wonder how that one got started? I’ve got no control or say over what gets done with something like Audible, in fact you’d probably know before I did.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh my goodness, this made me smile so much! I love it when people share their fan characters. Do you have any artwork of Prince Oliver, or of the Lady Alena? I’d love to see them. (I, too, have been a Robin Jarvis fan for fourteen years, and started reading his books at roughly the same age as you did. Gimme a high-five!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m smiling as if I just found the pot o’ gold at the rainbow’s end! Ohhhh yeeeeah! Bring on The Alchymist’s Cat! You said it, Aufwader! What George Lucas had an entire trilogy to get right and yet ultimately fell short of, Sir Robin pulled off in but a single book! As if there was ever any doubt! I just know that we’re all bursting at the seams with eagerness to delve into The Deptford Histories!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I see! Then my hat goes off to Matt for all the superb work he’s put into ensuring that the reread has been such a wonderful experience for all fans of mice and witches and the many other marvels we’ve still yet to share!


      • I have a book of the scripts for the original trilogy with annotations about how they came to be the movies we’re so familiar with. Did you know that Han Solo started out as a craggy-faced alien with gills and that Princess Leia would only have appeared once?


  4. Oh, I did just join and follow Silvering Sea, and wanted to add… I’m the one behind the massive TV Tropes Deptford Mice page update. 😜 I’m glad you don’t mind me using your images. I tried to use my own scans whenever possible but at times had to rely on other sources. I hadn’t joined at the time so didn’t know how to contact you to ask, but assumed it was ok as I saw nothing to the contrary. ☺

    Also, my computer where I have my files saved has been giving me trouble lately, but I’ll be loading my art up as soon as I can. Right now I’m on my phone.

    Liked by 4 people

    • So! You are the one behind the TV Tropes page! I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment and now we finally meet!

      Seriously, you are owed one hearty round of applause and that is precisely what you shall receive! Huzzah! You did a fabulous job of making it worthy of The Deptford Mice! I’ve been checking in on the page, gawping with admiration at how much you added to it with each passing day! If you don’t mind my asking, where did you come across the picture of Isaac Nettle which accompanies his entry on the characters page? I don’t think I’d seen it anywhere else! Again, thanks for all your great work! The fanbase owes you much!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome! I was glad to do it. I really got into finding tropes that were applicable to the series; it got to be addicting! 🙂 I’m happy to know that other people actually noticed and appreciate the information, hehe! The picture of Isaac Nettle is one I scanned from Whortle’s Hope. He was originally amongst the crowd of Fennywolders but I cropped the image to just him.

        By tbe way, I started a tropes page for the Hagwood books too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • So now there’s a page dedicated to the adventures of The Werlings? Now this I’ve got to see! You’re the hero the Robin Jarvis fandom deserves!

        Well, I never! All I can say is that you did a real swell job cropping that picture. If you hadn’t told me, I would never have guessed that it was part of a much larger image. Whenever I try my hand at that sort of thing, the results are usually passable at best. Regretfully, I’m something of a goober when it comes to that sort of thing. Well done.

        Ooh, ooh! I was thrilled to see that you submitted pictures of your fan characters to Beyond The Silvering Sea! Tundreary was right as rain in saying that your art style is so close to the illustrations from the books! First rate stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah yes, we always got to appreciate a reference to the infamous Star Wars prequels, though in this case its unfair – the Deptford Mice was never a case of ‘the original ideas were so terrible that it was only good BECAUSE of the interference’ so really, we were always safe there

    On a less trivial note, its actually a fairly good thing that every Deptford Histories book is a standalone that can hold itself up on its own as a story, rather than being either 1) a whole nother trilogy and 2) being way way too interlinked to the main story of Deptford Mice. This is one reason why I felt the concept of the Deptford Mouselets was a tad iffy, in that direct character prequels usually tend to be underwhelming. Histories only really has 4 characters from the main trilogy appear – and 3 of them were in Thomas, 2 of which were fairly brief anyway – its not really that bound up in the direct continuity, which is a good thing

    Liked by 3 people

  6. In that case Starshine, may I be the first to congratulate you. I was very impressed with the amount of lore and rumours relating to the Almanack that you included, and you clearly put a lot of effort into making it accessable. (It’s also pretty funny …’trauma conga line’! Ohoho poor Audrey!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes indeed! When I saw the trope name, I had to giggle at how perfectly it describes what a typical Robin Jarvis protagonist goes through. Their trauma is nonstop!

      One of my favourite entries to write was one for Ysabelle, where I just had to mention how her mother was concerned that she hadn’t gone through enough grief to be the Starwife… But that suffice it to say by the end of the book it wasn’t an issue anymore! 😆

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I really love how the Histories can stand alone. Someone unfamiliar with the books they are prequels to can pick any one of them up and be able to appreciate the story and enjoy it purely for what it is. They do help to expand the world of Deptford, but that’s a bonus rather than their sole purpose for existing. They also really don’t spoil anything if a reader wants to get into the Mice books later.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aaaand I’m now back from my Easter on a goat farm with my extended Irish side of the family. May I also say ‘Welcome aboard, Starshine’ and apologies that it took so long to approve your comments.

    The goat farm has goats but not much internet. Or phone.

    Liked by 3 people

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