The Alchemist by Donna Boyd
I'm actually not sure how I feel about this one, not entirely. I love fantasy books, it's just about my favourite genre, but I'm not sure about this one.
Summary from the back of the book: An elegant man sits in the office of Dr. Anne Kramer, confessing to a heinous murder in the highest echelons of power that has horrified the modern world. Little knowing that her own destiny is irrevocably tied to his, Anne listens to Randolf Sontime's story. "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 was trained in the science of alchemy - sorcery and miracles. Only two other initiates were as skilled as he: Akan, a boy whose thirst for knowledge was matched only by his hunger for truth; and Nefar, a beautiful girl filled with wonder and ambition. Together they discovered theirs was a power unmatched in the physical world. That is until that fateful moment when their alliance was forever damned, their gifts horribly corrupted....
My review: I haven't read anything else by Donna Boyd, but The Alchemist was very well written, one of those books you can get lost in for hours at a time, and if it's an example of what her other works are like, I'm anxious to read more.
My only issue is some... mature content. Well, now I sound like a movie rating system. But my point is that the book itself deals with mature themes (movie rating again), the whole power struggle thing, you know? And that was handled very well, that's not my issue. Normally, I wouldn't even mention it, but it's just that they was some... well, more than PG-13 stuff in it. Personally, it didn't really bother me, but if there was a rating, I didn't see it (but I am admittedly a little unobservant) and I felt there definitely should be, because there's nothing really on the cover or back that suggests the age or maturity that it's aimed at. And that's a pet peeve of mine that you don't want to get me started on.
Conclusion: Although I had some issues with the maturity of the book, it wasn't a particularly bad thing as I believe I am a (sorta) mature reader myself and it was a good read and while it wasn't one of my favourite books, it definitely is going on my recommend list.