Study Guide

The Alchemyst Good Versus Evil

By Michael Scott

Good Versus Evil

"The Elder Race?" Josh asked, his voice rising and cracking. […] He played a lot of computer games, read some fantasy novels, and in those, elder always meant ancient and dangerous. (4.48)

Way to use your video game skills, Josh! Whenever your parents tell you to turn off the X-box and crack open the books, you can cite this scene as proof that gaming can come in handy. Now Josh knows what he's up against.

Once Dee discovers the Book is incomplete, he will return for the missing pages. And I guarantee you, he will leave no witness on this earth. (4.57)

Honestly, Flamel, you're being a bit dramatic. But maybe he's just trying to get his point across. According to Flamel's version of events, Dee is a class-A villain, and he's not to be messed with. But why should we trust what Flamel has to say?

Dee and the Dark Elders he serves will remake this world as it was in the unimaginably ancient past. And the only place for humans in it will be as slaves. Or food. (5.77)

Okay, by this point, we're getting the idea that these Dark Elders are up to no good. But seriously, what's their beef with humans? Why can't they all just coexist?

There are those amongst the elders who cannot accept that our time is past, that this age belongs to the humani. They want to see a return to the old ways, and they believe that their puppet Dee and others like him are in a position to bring that about. They are called the Dark Elders. (10.57)

So if this age belongs to the humani, does that mean the next age belongs to someone else? The Torc Allta, maybe? Or the elders themselves? It sounds like Flamel is suggesting that the Dark Elders are too impatient to wait their turn. But if Hekate's version of history is right, the elders will bounce back eventually, right?

The Alchemyst had known the Awakening could, in all likelihood, send him and Sophie into a coma, and yet had still been prepared to let them go through with it. The rage burned within him, fueled in equal parts by fear and a terrible sense of betrayal. He thought Flamel was his friend. He'd been wrong. (25.52)

Wait a minute. We thought Flamel was a good character. But now we learn that Flamel willingly risked Sophie's life, just to Awaken her so he could steal back the book from Dee. Um, not cool, dude. A little heads up would have been nice.

Dora wrapped her arms around Scathach's shoulders and put her mouth close to her ear. Her voice dropped to little more than a whisper. "I have given this girl a rare and terrible power. Make sure this power is used for good." (36.51)

Good tip, Dora. But why does she tell Scatty this info, and not Sophie herself? Maybe Sophie isn't ready for such horrifying news. Or maybe Dora's worried that Sophie won't use her powers for good without Scatty's guidance. Either way, we get the feeling that Sophie has a lot to learn about herself in the coming days.

The Elders have the powers and the abilities to reshape this world. They can make the deserts bloom […] and they can cure disease. Remember, these beings were worshiped as gods because of their powers. And these are the ones Flamel is trying to stop us from bringing back to the world. (37.53-57)

Dee has a point. The elders are awesome. And we really did worship them once, at least according to the world of The Alchemyst. But should we trust him? And more importantly, should Josh? What's really going on here is a battle between Flamel's version of events and Dee's. Which one seems more plausible at this point, and why?

Elders like Hekate and the Witch of Endor, for example […] want the world to dissolve into chaos and anarchy. When that happens, they can come out of the shadows and declare themselves the rulers of the earth. (37.59)

Dee makes some pretty big accusations against Hekate and Dora, but they also sound eerily similar to the harsh accusations Flamel threw at the Dark Elders earlier. We guess we'll just have to keep on reading to find out who's right and who's wrong.

Even in his drowsy state, an alarm bell—very faint and very, very distant—went off in Josh's head. He couldn't trust Dee, he shouldn't trust Dee […] and yet so much of what he said had the ring of truth to it. (37.65)

Here's the thing: just because someone's evil, it doesn't necessarily make him incorrect. As we said before, Dee has a point. And his version of events seems plausible. But then, maybe we're just under the same hypnotic spell that Josh is.

With no one to stand against them, Dee and the others like him would loose the Dark Elders into the world again. It would be chaos; civilization would fall. (41.7)

Uh, guys? This sounds just like what Dee said to Josh at the fountain. So according to Dee, if the Dark Elders don't take back power, the world will descend into anarchy and chaos. But according to Perenelle, chaos will reign if the Dark Elders do take back control. So which is it? Frankly, neither option sounds all that awesome.