More and more, I am beginning to enjoy reading historical fiction. I am learning a lot. In a 10th grade World History class, I learned about Ancient Egypt and the Pharaoh, but never much beyond that, Until reading The Harmony of Isis, it was difficult to think of ancient civilizations in anything other than abstract terms. Walter, an anthropologist by trade, brought to life the world of the Pharaoh and ancient Egypt in her gorgeously woven tapestry of a tale that juxtaposes the ancient with the modern, the light with the darkness, and the good with the evil. She humanizes people whom we are only used to seeing in heiroglyphic drawings by making them “real” people with pain, fear, joy, jealousy, good, and evil.
Isis (later revered as a goddess) is singing a powerful “song” in order to locate the remains of her dead husband, Osirius, who had been murdered twice by his treacherous triad-brother, Typhon, who lusts after Isis and was hoping to be Pharaoh. The song of Isis resonates throughout the ages and is picked up by a present-day anthropologist Maggie, who, through a series of dreams, learned the history of the sibling-triad Isis, Osirius, and Typhon, from their education and training as young children and their eventual unions, which were made by the choice of the Pharaoh. Typhon’s everlasting fury at being passed over as both mate for Isis and next in line for Pharaoh will have devastating consequences for millennia to come. Maggie is one of many “harmonies” who hears Isis’ song and is willing and able to help her restore Osirius back to life. In a mirroring subplot, Maggie herself is in love with two brothers and is agonizing other which one would be a better choice for her. Her choices are the calm, settled Clem or the flighty but exciting Tris. A third choice, known as Sunny (hinted to be Osirius himself) briefly enters the picture and complicates things further.
Walter’s carefully chosen language is almost poetic and song-like, even though it is written in regular prose. You can almost hear the music as you read. The most important theme in the book is balance. Without it, everything falls to pieces and nothing is as it should be. Finding one’s center is the key to peace and happiness. Good vs. Evil, although cliched as a theme, is crafted expertly in this novel as the key plot centers around the battle between the calm, rational, and just Osirius and the greedy, vengeful, sociopathic Typhon. Walter uses a variety of non-conventional symbols, such as shapes, directions, and numbers. Exciting and educational at the same time, readers will love this gemstone of a story.
To read The Harmony of Isis: http://www.amazon.com/Harmony-Isis-Catherine-M-Walter-ebook/dp/B00FQ70AM0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419117189&sr=8-1&keywords=the+harmony+of+Isis