The Alchemist by Donna Boyd

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In a sweeping epic of dazzling magic, soaring suspense, and dark longing, three immortal souls are united by fate and a fearless ambition that will change the course of history–even as it destroys their own way of life. . . .

On an upper floor of a plush, high-security building on Central Park West, an elegant man sits in the office of Dr. Anne Kramer, confessing to the heinous murder that has horrified the modern world. Randolf Sontime is renowned for his personal charm, and Dr. Kramer is fighting to keep from falling victim to it. For the first time in her life, she truly understands the meaning of the word “charisma.” Not knowing that her own destiny is irrevocably tied to his, Anne Kramer listens to the story of Sontime’s life.

“It began with the magic, you see. And so, perforce, must I.” As a boy named Han at the House of Ra, an isolated oasis in the Egyptian desert of a far ancient time, Sontime lived in privilege. There the chosen were trained in the science of alchemy–magic, philosophy, miracles. Only two other initiates were as skilled as he: Akan, quiet and studious, a boy whose thirst for knowledge was matched only by his hunger for truth; and Nefar, beautiful and brilliant, a girl as filled with wonder and unfathomable ambition as Han himself. Together they discovered that in union, theirs was a power unmatched in the physical world.

But even in the House of Ra, there were boundaries to be observed, knowledge that only the masters understood and feared. As the threesome’s thirst for answers–and for each other–deepened, they were tempted by the dark arts that they had sworn to avoid. “Look at three magnificent youths who stand astride your world and scoff at the rules you must obey. . . . Look at us, and call us gods.” Their power was palpable, their desire total–until the fateful moment when their alliance was forever damned, their gifts horribly corrupted.

A seductive work that seethes with mystery and passion, The Alchemist hurtles readers back through time to an era when magic was sacred and the workings of the world lay in the hands of a few gifted, but tortured souls. In a stunning feat of unbridled imagination, Donna Boyd has created her most hypnotic novel to date.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Donna Boyd

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Donna Boyd lives in the mountains of North Georgia.
Published March 19, 2002 by Ballantine Books. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Boyd frames the full history of Han with flashbacks from the present as Han, now the billionaire Randolph Sontime, comes into the Manhattan office of analyst Anne Kramer to unload on her his role in a devastating crime now filling TV screens.

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Feb 21 2013 | Read Full Review of The Alchemist

SF Site

The triad of Han, Nefar, and Akan is compelling, both in unity and in separation, as is the theme of alchemy that runs through the story -- the alchemy of magical transmutation, the alchemy of spiritual transformation.

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Randolph further explains that he is tired and desires the ultimate end so must tell his story to someone choosing her because he will be her latest "trophy", but actually keeps a secret from her that ties the duo together.

Jan 02 2002 | Read Full Review of The Alchemist

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