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The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is a series of 6 books by Irish author Michael Scott. It's a contemporary fantasy that is set in modern day San Francisco at the beginning of the series, but also feautures other locations throughout the world, as well as various Shadowrealms.

The Alchemyst, the first book in the series, begins in San Francisco when twins Josh and Sophie Newman discover that the owner of the bookstore where Josh works is the immortal French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel. Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, are the guardians of the Book of Abraham, a collection of the most powerful spells in the world, which they have protected for centuries. When Dr John Dee discovers the Flamels whereabouts, he attacks and snatches the book to help his masters, the Dark Elders, cause The End of the World as We Know It. Josh and Sophie intervene to help Flamel, but now they too are being hunted by Dee and creatures that predate humanity.

The series consists of:

  • The Alchemyst (May 2007)
  • The Magician (June 2008)
  • The Sorceress (June 2009)
  • The Necromancer (May 2010)
  • The Warlock (May 2011)
  • The Enchantress (May 2012)

A film version has been announced, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura having purchased the rights. Michael Scott and Barry Krost will be the executive producers, but the scriptwriter has not yet been chosen.

Not to be confused with a certain other fantasy book with Nicholas Flamel.

Tropes used in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel include:


  • Action Girl - Scathach, Joan, Aoife of the Shadows
  • Alchemy Is Magic - Integral to the plot. Nicholas Flamel is a major player, and the book which contains the secrets of the Stone and Elixir are the driving forces behind the conflict. However, Nicholas's foes aren't interested in the elixir, but in other secrets hidden in the book.
  • The Alcatraz - Quite literally. Perenelle Flamel is imprisoned on Alcatraz.
    • Also, while on Danu Talis Scathach, Joan, Saint-Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare end up in a prison that is actually inside the mouth of an active volcano.
  • All Myths Are True - All of them. A lot of them got the facts wrong, but there's a grain of truth inside every one.
  • And I Must Scream: Mars and Abraham the Mage, both of whom are Taken for Granite in different ways.
  • Anti-Villain - Machiavelli is the closest this series has. Josh actually says that he would trust Machiavelli the most because the guy happens to be the only one who is an immortal, and has give Josh an honest answer to anything. And Dr. Dee in the Enchantress switches from full on villain to an anti-villain once he's left to die by his masters, Osiris and Isis
  • Anyone Can Die: In the Enchantress: Mars, Odin, Hel, Dee, Isis and Osiris, Prometheus, Niten(for a time), and Nicholas and Perenelle.
  • Badass - Many characters qualify, including but not limited to Niten, Joan of Arc, Mars Ultor, Billy the Kid (see Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? below), Palamedes, and Virginia Dare. Scathach arguably exceeds the label of Badass.
  • Badass Boast: Scathach, too many times to count.
    • Subverted in The Warlock when she mentions her common boast of being able to break out of any prison...except possibly the one she is currently in, the volcano prison on Danu Talis.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: So very many historical characters are actually immortals starting with the title character and his wife but other major characters include John Dee, Niccolo Machiavelli, Joan of Arc, William Shakespeare, Billy the Kid, and Virginia Dare.
  • Blind Seer - The Witch of Endor gave up her physical eyes for the power to see possible futures; she is able to see normal things by using magic to see out of mirrors.
  • Brother-Sister Team - Sophie and Josh.
    • Sibling Yin-Yang - As Sophie puts it, she got the 'thinking' genes, and Josh got the 'doing'.
      • Taken even farther in The Necromancer, where Josh pulls a Face Heel Turn and runs off with Dee.
      • Subverted-ish in The Enchantress when we find out that Josh and Sophie aren't really related
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: the Elders (as well as the Dark Elders), the Next Generation, the Change...
  • Cast From Hit Points: Magic uses up the caster's aura, which is tied to life force. Using too much magic for your body to handle could result in Spontaneous Human Combustion.
  • Character Title: The Alchemyst is Nicholas, the Magician is Dee, the Sorceress is Perenelle, the Necromancer is mainly Josh but also Dee and the Warlock is mainly Niccolo Machiavelli but also Mars Ultor, Billy the Kid, and Aten. Whether or not this means the Enchantress is Sophie is yet to be confirmed, though she may be Virginia Dare.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the Enchantress It's mentioned that there is the possibility of bringing someone back to life using and aura, this shows up again several chapters later when both Prometheus and Niten have died and Tsagaglalal can only bring one back
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Remember in The Alchemyst when Nicholas mentions that he knew Shakespeare? Guess who turns up two books later as a skilled magician and the leader of a pack of werewolves. Go on. Guess.
    • In The Warlock, it is revealed that Aunt Agnes is actually Tsagaglalal, or She Who Watches, an immortal as old as Gilgamesh. Also happens to be his sister.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Machiavelli.
  • Cold Iron: A few Elders make mention of iron having this effect on them, if not directly, then implied in the descriptions of their homes as having little to no iron.
  • The Chessmaster: Marethyu (aka the one-handed man, aka Josh) in The Necromancer seems to be one, judging by the fact that he helped Nicholas discover the secrets of the Codex, taught Saint-Germain how to master fire, and CREATED AN ENTIRE SHADOWREALM to catch Scatty and Joan when they fall into Machiavelli's trap, all so Scatty, Joan, Saint-Germain, Shakespeare, and Palamedes can come back in time with him to fight in Danu Talis when it falls.
    • Of course he is just a pawn of Abraham.
  • The Chosen One: Sophie and Josh.
  • The City of Light: The setting of The Magician.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Nicholas and William Shakespeare's discussion of weapons effective against werewolves in The Sorceress. Particularly Josh's comments:

 Josh: "And I suppose if we didn't find any werewolves we could just make a salad!"

Will: "No, no, we'd need a good olive oil to do that, and olive oil is ineffective against any of the wereclans."

  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? - Billy The Kid threatening his master, Quetzalcoatl with an axe. Considering the potential consequences, that took balls.
  • Divine Assistance - Scathach, among other Elders.
  • Eldritch Abomination - The Dark Elders.
    • The Archons take this to another level: if the Dark Elders haunt the nightmares of humans, then these guys haunt the Dark Elder's nightmares.
    • The Dark Elders are simply a faction of normal Elders united against humanity, and Elders look almost exactly like humans until the Change sets in. That's when they become...things varying from cat-headed people to golden statues to gigantic spiders. The Archons are (mostly) Humanoid Abominations, and the Earthlords are only vaguely humanoid and VERY eldritch.
  • Endofthe World As We Know It - The return of the Dark Elders would be this.
    • This is Marethyu's shtick.
  • Evil Albino: Phobos and Deimos, Mars's satyr minions.
  • Evil Weapon: The four elemental swords, especially Clarent, the sword of fire. Guess which one Josh gets?
  • Expy: Josh and Sophie for Ken and Allie of Scott's earlier Windlord trilogy.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Each book takes place within a timespan of two days.
  • Eyes of Gold - Josh has these when his aura is active.
  • The Faceless: Tammuz the Green Man, as well as Marethyu (until book 5).
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink
  • Fate Worse Than Death
    • Mars, at least until book 5.
    • In book 3, Dee's master threatens him with being trapped in a diseased, weakened, aged body for eternity. This comes to partial fruition in the final book..
    • Abraham the Mage. Dear God, Abraham the Mage...
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire - Scathach, though she drinks emotion instead of blood.
  • Ghost Memory - Sophie obtains the Witch of Endor's memories in book 1, although the Witch does not die in the process.
  • Giant Spider: Areop-Enop, the spider Elder.
  • Half-Human Hybrid - Bastet, the Sphinx, and probably a few other Dark Elders. This is later revealed to be part of The Change.
  • Have You Come to Gloat? - Used several times.
  • Hazardous Water - Dee, Virginia and Josh on the boat ride to Alcatraz in "The Warlock."
  • The Hecate Sisters - Used literally when the twins meet Hekate herself.
    • In The Warlock, Perenelle explains this to Sophie: Sophie is the maiden, Perenelle is the matron and Tsagaglalal is the crone
  • Historical Domain Character - All the immortal humans.
  • Historical In-Joke - Every immortal human to appear so far is a notable historical figure, and the dangerous magical creatures Dee has unleashed to help him capture the Flamels have been responsible for a number of historical disasters.
  • Hook Hand: Marethyu.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal - Sophie, Gilgamesh
  • I Just Want to Be Special - Josh
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Coatlicue before her experiments transformed her (Josh is lucky to only see her beautiful form). Ditto for Hel. Aunt Agnes and the Witch of Endor only look old but can take on a younger form if they choose.
  • Immortality - There are immortals who have come about their immortality by various means.
    • Immortality Inducer / The Ageless - The Elixir of Life has given the Flamels life eternal, though they need to keep taking it regularly or they will rapidly age to death.
  • Immortality Inducer: Elders can bestow immortality on humans who win their favor... and remove it when they lose that favor.
  • I See Dead People: Perenelle can see ghosts.
  • Ley Lines: The places where they meet make for good Warp Zones.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Niten has this train of thought, even going into the longest speech he has spoken in the entire series to elaborate on it.
    • The Flamels are closer to this than to Who Wants to Live Forever?; they accept the chance that they might die, but don't actually dislike living forever. It helps that they have Eternal Love.
  • London Town: Partially the setting of The Sorceress.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Osiris and Isis turn out to be Josh and Sophie's parents at the end of The Warlock.
    • Zig-zagged in "The Enchantress" in that it turns out that Josh and Sophie were taken from their families in their own times (Josh was from back when neanderthals walked the earth and Sophie was from 9th or 10th century Russia) by Osiris and Isis.
  • No Immortal Inertia - The Flamels get some immortal inertia, but it's been stated that humans granted immortality by an Elder will be subject to this if the Elder in question withdraws their gift.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The mermaids are daughters of Nereus, the "Old Man of the Sea" who himself is human from the waist up with an octopus bottom. The mermaids themselves are called Nereids (though Dee refers to them as mermaids) and vary in appearance. Josh notes that some look like beautiful women while others are more fishlike and some are even crab-like. All of them have green hair and green skin.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Fitting with the overarching themes of the series, there are many different monsters from all varieties of folklore and mythology.
  • Our Vampires Are Different - Well, some of them. The different ones still display some traits of traditional vampire, like not needing to breathe, but they feed off emotions rather than blood. All other vampires feed off emotions carried in the blood, but those vampires are considered of the weakest class.
  • Playing with Fire - The Comte de Saint-Germain.
  • Psychopomp - Possibly Marethyu the hook-handed man. Considering his name means Death in the language of Danu Talis...
  • Ravens and Crows - The Morrigan.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old - Pretty much every named character except the twins.
  • Rent-A-Zilla - The second book gives us the Nidhogg, who starts out as an oversized Komodo Dragon but soon begins walking on two legs like Godzilla and smashing buildings and cars in Paris.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Nidhogg is definitely an abhorrent reptile, and Machiavelli's aura is described as smelling like a snake. (This may make herpetologists cry, since the majority of reptiles don't have a noticeable smell.) The Earthlords take the cake for this trope.
  • Resurrection Sickness - Perenelle uses her aura, as well as Sophie's and Tsagaglalal's, to revive Nicholas for one more day... at the cost of one of her remaining two days left.
  • Retcon: In the first book Scatty talks about Joan of Arc and implies that she did die. The second book of course reveals that Joan is alive and well, and that Scatty herself personally saved her from death.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel - Aoife does this to a certain Archon in The Necromancer.
  • Shout-Out - Billy the Kid in "The Warlock" begs to release a kraken.
  • Slow Transformation: When Elders reach a certain age, their body begins to change to reflect their true nature.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Occurrences are explained as the result of one over-exerting his/her aura.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Archons are not aliens, but they do fit this trope. Cernunnos tells Dee that magic and Archon technology are indistinguishable to humans and even Elders. The Ancients were more advanced than they were, and the Earthlords were even more advanced.
  • Taken for Granite: Mars and Abraham the Mage--see And I Must Scream above.
  • Time Abyss: Many characters, especially the Archon Cernunnos, who uses a sarcosuchus jawbone as a club. He got it from a live specimen, and sarcosuchus lived 110 million years ago.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Codex, the Book of Abraham the Mage.
  • Translation Convention: Though nearly everyone speaks many languages and switches between them at will, all conversations are rendered in English.
  • The Unpronouncable:
    • Tsagaglalal.
    • Huitzilopochtli, another name for Mars Ultor.
    • Coatlicue, the Mother of All the Gods.
    • It's a bit of a Running Gag that Machiavelli has trouble pronouncing Quetzalcoatl's name.
  • Valkyries - the Disir
  • Warp Zone: the places where Ley Lines meet. Point Zero is sabotaged to become one leading to Danu Talis before it fell.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - The Flamels, as well as many other characters.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever? - Scatty (suggested), Gilgamesh
    • Machiavelli says that he will never turn against his master because one day, he would like to grow old and die.
  • You Have Failed Me: In The Sorceress, the Dark Elders become frustrated with Dee's failure to retrieve the Codex, and they mark him as an outlaw.
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