Boyd sets aside the werewolf saga launched so strongly with The Passion (1998) and The Promise (1999) to kick off another shape-shifting series, this one set in ancient Egypt.
Han, a lad from the House of Ra, is inducted into the dark alchemy of shifting things from one form to another. In the beginning he and his friend Akan and the beautiful, brilliant Nefar focus on the Practice and change themselves into birds, although they have the shocking problem of returning to weighty human form while midair. 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. Back in ancient Egypt, the three students learn physical alchemy but realize that the true key is to make people think they have seen some leaden shadow turned to golden substance. They also realize that their combined power has far greater strength than they would ever know as separate beings. This union is forbidden, and the trio find themselves up against the Master Darius who knows their every thought. They manage to leave the House of Ra, then face terrifying threats, but extraordinary magic stems from their kinetic balance of two male portions of sexual energy and the life-giving force of the female. The time they spend in Thebes becomes overwhelming bliss, but must be weighed against the afterlife paradise they will never know in their endless lives. What must happen is that all three beings combine their DNA into one Ayesha (as in H. Rider Haggard’s She).
Many rich touches, such as a clock whose pendulum swings with “the heartbeat of eternity,” that Boyd’s fans now expect. More to come.