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The Bonedust Dolls

The fiction serial for Reign of Winter series is called "The Bonedust Dolls" and is about an alchemist's search for the secret of some mysterious dolls in Irrisen.

I've actually been enjoying this one so far. The alchemist protagonist is engaging and the world view of such a character is portrayed in an interesting way with a constant quest for components, ingredients, recipes and secrets.  He also has an interesting take on the constant self-medication of the class. I've never really been interested in alchemical characters before but this portrayal could sway me.

Also the first two instalments have passed without any fighting or deaths. Instead you have conversations and travelogue which is a relief from the usual overwrought pulp. However the story retains an air of vague menace and good cliffhangers so far.