Study Guide

Sophie Newman in The Alchemyst

By Michael Scott

Sophie Newman

The Thinker

You might think of Sophie as Josh's foil. They're opposite sides of the same coin. Sure, they're twins, and the two have a ton in common. But when they're different, boy, are they different. Sophie is the thinker of the two, while Josh is the doer. The narrator even tells us this straight up, saying, "when they were growing up, she used to tease Josh that he got all the 'doing' genes, whereas she got all the 'thinking' genes" (22.5-8).

See, Sophie is rational, mature, and thinks before she acts, whereas Josh is, well, the opposite. Hey, at least that helps us tell them apart.

Sister Sophie

Although Sophie is different from Josh, she loves him unconditionally, and never abandons her twin. We think that's pretty awesome. And nowhere is this more evident than the final scene, where Sophie steps back out of the mirror to bring Josh safely with her to the other side. Josh is surprised that she came back for him, but Sophie just says, "Of course I did! You are my brother. I'll never abandon you." We'll pause a minute for you to wipe your eyes. Despite the trials these siblings face throughout the book, the way the twins always stick together makes us love them as a pair all the more. At least they know they can trust each other, even when all the adults around them have shadowy motives.

Sophie Grows Up

Okay. When we say Sophie grows up, what we're really talking about is the fact that she is Awakened. So while the rest of us worry about the trials and tribulations of puberty, Sophie has to contend with the fact that she is suddenly an incredibly powerful, magical human being. She's not dealing with your average teen troubles, that much is sure.

Of course Spider-Man's uncle had it right: with great power comes great responsibility, and Sophie is, frankly, not so sure she's ready. Though she knows you can never go back (once a magician, always a magician), she longs for the safe and ordinary life she once knew: "'I don't want to be a different person,' Sophie whispered. She wanted everything to be just as it had been a couple of hours earlier, when everything was ordinary and boring. Right now, she would give anything to go back to a boring world" (24.41). Man, doesn't your heart just go out to her? The sympathetic language of this quote makes us really feel connected to Sophie. We've all had moments in our lives when we've feared change. Just not the major change she has undergone. Nope, she's on her own there… at least for the time being.


We've covered Sophie's typical teenness. She's struggling with growing up just like the rest of us. Now let's talk Sophie-the-Sorceress. In a word, she's awesome.

Her aura is one of the purest and most powerful the immortals have ever seen, and she terrifies the ancient Goddess Bastet when she goes on a rampage to transform her cat army:

Sophie flung out her arm, and a long, whip-like, snaking coil of silver energy flowed from her hand. It touched each of the cats […] and they immediately came to stumbling halts, rolling and twisting on the ground as they transformed into ordinary everyday cats, two shorthairs and a ragged-looking Persian. (28.24)

Seriously, she can transform cats? That's just plain cool. And the Witch of Endor calls Sophie's new powers a "terrifying gift," and we know Dora doesn't just say things. It appears we're dealing with one serious sorceress. Sophie is not your average, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a-hat magician.

Even Sophie doesn't quite know what to make of herself. For one thing, her new powers cause her ten kinds of pain. At one point she even doubts if she can make it through:

[…] the noise was incredible: all the glassware in the tiny shop shivered and vibrated with the sound. Sophie pressed both hands to her ears. "I don't know how much more of this I can take," she whispered tearfully. (33.69)

Despite her seeming helplessness, Sophie is increasingly linked to a long list of powerful females. It may be tough going, but it's nice to be in the company of the likes of the Witch of Endor, who trains her; Hekate, who Awakens her, and Perenelle, who speaks through her throughout the book. That's quite the who's who.

One thing's for sure, with the rise of Sophie 2.0, we can only assume that she's going to become even more powerful, and even more awesome in the future books of the series. Just imagine what she'll be able to do when she finally learns to control her powers, even use them.