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Elizabeth Marx

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To Breathe the Breath of Isis
by Elizabeth Marx   

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Books by Elizabeth Marx
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Category: 

Romance

ISBN-10:  1466023291 Type: 
Pages: 

360

Copyright:  Nov 30, 2011 ISBN-13:  9781466023291
Fiction

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To breathe the breath of Isis is to be reborn.
An Egyptian necklace disassembled because of the danger it poses to any who wear it. Its pieces scattered across the pages of time like sand across the desert.
A battle ensues between the man fated to discover the necklace’s remnants and the woman destined to wear it again and again.

One woman. One man. An eternity of love hammered into twenty-one pieces of silver.
 
Marguerite is a victim of a vicious attack. The resulting brain damage causes amnesia and when she inexplicably appears in a tomb in Thebes, she insists she was coming to meet Robert Bruton. Disorientated, destitute, and alone, she senses that her necklace has led her to this familiar swashbuckler who takes her breath away; however, he claims he does not know her.
 
Lord Robert Bruton, eminent Egyptologist, and possible spy for the crown, has never discovered anything as captivating as the young woman he recovers unconscious on his dig. He has staked his career on finding the final resting place of Queen Tiye and wonders why Marguerite possesses a piece of jewelry belonging to the Eighteenth Dynasty queen. She could be a tomb robber, an American spy, or a madwoman spouting fantastical stories. 
As the necklace’s curse is revealed, the fire of Marguerite’s and Bruton’s ancient bond burns between them. But when Marguerite disappears, Bruton fears that the wings of Isis have carried away the true treasure he has been seeking his entire life.
For to breathe the breath of Isis is to be reborn.
One woman. One man. An eternity of love hammered into twenty-one pieces of silver.
 
Marguerite is a victim of a vicious attack. The resulting brain damage causes amnesia and when she inexplicably appears in a tomb in Thebes, she insists she was coming to meet Robert Bruton. Disorientated, destitute, and alone, she senses that her necklace has led her to this familiar swashbuckler who takes her breath away; however, he claims he does not know her.
 
Lord Robert Bruton, eminent Egyptologist, and possible spy for the crown, has never discovered anything as captivating as the young woman he recovers unconscious on his dig. He has staked his career on finding the final resting place of Queen Tiye and wonders why Marguerite possesses a piece of jewelry belonging to the Eighteenth Dynasty queen. She could be a tomb robber, an American spy, or a madwoman spouting fantastical stories. 
As the necklace’s curse is revealed, the fire of Marguerite’s and Bruton’s ancient bond burns between them. But when Marguerite disappears, Bruton fears that the wings of Isis have carried away the true treasure he has been seeking his entire life.
For to breathe the breath of Isis is to be reborn.
 
Excerpt
TO BREATHE THE BREATH OF ISIS

Marguerite entered the shadowy gangway without any qualms about her safety. She was lost in imaginings of sand-swept monuments, and jeweled treasure harvested from desecrated tombs. She was concentrating on the necklace pieces, almost identical to hers, and considering if they had been linked into a single piece. She wondered about the woman who wore such an elaborate adornment: did she feel blessed by its beauty, or was it an emotionally-embellished choke collar?

The gangway was similar to the one in which she’d played during her childhood, a crumbling sidewalk with a drain gutter cantering alongside the two-story brick wall. The mouth of the passage was flanked by quoins at the corners of the two buildings, shoring up the entrance like ancient pilasters defending temples’ secrets. It was reminiscent of the innumerable open-aired temples through which she had walked in her youth. She looked up at the stars, aligning in the darkened sky with warnings and provocations only understood by gods, and whispered among the priestly castes.
The air was laced with balsam sap; it expanded in her lungs and sucked her along the walkway. One could almost hear the velvety moss burning across tree bark, it brought mottled bumps to her arms. Tree roots delivered new life to their limbs even as hers became heavy, while bulbs planted deep in fall shadows pushed against the recently warmed soil, as an impatient soul pushes against its linen bindings.
Something more prickled her spine, a faint whiff of spicy incense, and for an instantaneous second, her eyes involuntarily closed with reverence. Once upon a time, that fragrance had been a place of solace, like the draft of a spring breeze beneath a sparrow’s wing. She halted mid-stride, brushing the scattered remembrance away. She’d stripped the rough edges of those memories from her flesh, as if bark from a hardened tree, an inch at a time. Her mind cleared to be reborn a sapling.
A piece of glass crunched under her next footstep; she looked up. One of the lamps that usually greeted her was out. The blackness beckoned, with a single crooked fingertip. Challenging her fear of the dark, it summoned her, and she replied with a step into a false sense of security.
Reaching the middle of the gangway, the tiny hairs at the nape of her neck screamed to their sisters along her arms. In that instant, there was a movement, a repositioning, then utter stillness. The spicy scent wasn’t a scant memory, it was a warning. Veneration escaped her senses, as heart pounding fear filled her consciousness, urging her to turn and take flight like a frightened reed warbler sighting a black-necked cobra. The impulse to run reached her limbs. The yearning to soar away ebbed through her.
A clever hand entwined the length of her hair, which trailed her escape insuring that her fingers would never brush the lever on the red-oxidized gate. Her perpetrator swung her around, pulling her along the cold bricks, dragging her face over the mortared joints with purpose. A loud wince escaped her, before the pain stole her breath, as grit and gravel abraded her lips. Even in the swirling darkness, she knew that he had come for a final reckoning.


Professional Reviews

Exciting, Dramatic, and Inspired Romance/Adventure
A solid 4.5 stars on this imaginative and captivating work.

As followers of my reviews will note, I have a soft spot for books that mash up genres. And when history is added to the mix? It's like birthday cake and ice cream and coffee all in one.

The recipe for "To Breathe the Breath of Isis" would include the following: mythology, history, love, adventure, romance, time travel, destined souls, and breath-taking landscapes.

The story opens in pre-WWI Egypt. British noble, Lord Bruton is a passionate Egyptologist in search of the tomb of legendary Queen Tiye of the 18th dynasty. While discovering several artifacts and sites linked with the Queen, true traces of her existence seem to escape him. In the midst of his projects, a mysterious woman is discovered passed out amongst the excavations. Marguerite is more than just beautiful face which invites the desire of all who behold her, however, she's intriguing. She refuses to conform to any of the expectations Bruton holds for the ways and manners of a proper lady, and despite his initial displeasure with that fact, the mystery of exactly how she came to be in the midst of Egypt without a clue of how she got there, for whom or what she came, or of any idea who she even is beyond her name, ignites in Bruton a fascination and preoccupation with the American. As bits of Marguerite's past dot the perimeters of her memories, it becomes painfully clear that Bruton and she share a deep connection, one tied to the legend of Queen Tiye herself, and harbored in the curse of a beautiful silver necklace that has found its way through time from the Pharaoh's favorite wife across thousands of years to Marguerite. No sooner have the couple come to accept their fate to be lovers, than the modern world pulls Marguerite back into its clutches, sending Bruton on a race against and with time to rescue her from peril.

There's just so much good going on with this story, that it was a delightful, refreshing breath of fresh air (no pun intended) to read. There is a driving romance which underwrites the capital in this book, but there's plenty of adventure and intrigue as well that one never feels, as is so often the case in romance, that the only purpose of the story is to get the hero and the heroine to hook up. [Don't be misled by this statement, however. There are plenty of swoon-worthy passages and for the reader inclined to fall in love with fictional heroes, Bruton will seduce your senses just as he does Marguerite's.] It was a nice turn of pace to read a book which was Egyptian-centered, and yet didn't fall into the trap of centering on the more famous of the Egyptian woman: Cleopatra or Nefertiti (and this from an author whose own book does fall into that trap). The authoress shows a great deal of respect and craftsmanship in the development of Bruton and Marguerite's characters and their love, making them earn their happiness after many trials and tribulations. And whilst I do not wish to give away too much, there is a very clever, albeit brief epilogue told from the point of view of the necklace which seals up the overarching story line nicely. I generally don't care for the use of time travel as a device in most books, but it worked well in this one as there was no overreaching attempt by the author to pound the reader over the head with the whys and the hows.

There were a few very small issues I did have, and as I promised an honest review, I would be remiss if I did not mention them. Firstly, while Ms. Marx develops the setting of 1910s Egypt very well, some of the archaeological or Arab terms used in the text may slip by or slow down readers not familiar with the region or the field of study. It should not be a hindrance, however, as one soon learns from the story painted around such terms, their meaning. One small thing I did find myself taking some issue with was a slight undercurrent of orientalism that crept into the plot at certain points. In the early passages where I felt this, I dismissed it as an accurate viewpoint of Europeans concerning the Islamic world in this era. However, later when the setting shifted to Turkey during the Young Turk era, and with Marguerite having recovered her faculties, I did find it a bit overdone. As a student of Ottoman history, I also recognized a few historical inaccuracies when the story reached that point (i.e. a male doctor in the Harem, Marguerite being arranged to marry the Sultan's son, though the sultanate did the require a legal marriage to legitimize the offspring or physical relationship between a master i.e. sultan or prince with a slave or captive), but I doubt those not as intimate as I with the history of Turkey will take an particular notice of these.

Over all, an excellent cross-genre adventure/romance, and one that's sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat up to the end.


To Breathe the Breath of Isis
I liked the book even though I am not really into historical romances. It is about a love that spans across time. It is sort of a soul mate love and reincarnation where the same 2 souls meet again and again and fall in love. Marquerite is badly beaten and set on fire by her soon to be ex husband. She almost dies but lives and is transported to Egypt back in time to the 1800's,where she is discovered in a archeological dig site. She comes too and thinks Lord Bruton is her Bruton from present day. But Lord Bruton is actually Bruton's great great great great grandfather. This starts her time in 1800 Egypt. Lord Bruton doesn't know her and asks her how she got there she tells him she flew there,he laughs and says not likely. They determine that Marquerite has amnesia. She also is wearing an ancient Egyptian necklace piece, that is part of alarger necklace. Everybody wants the necklace piece and some men want the beautiful Marquerite who they say is the reincarnation of the pharoh's wife. There is romance, kidnappings,thefts,and intrigue. There are things that are said or refered too that I felt should have been questioned such as what year it was ect.. But for the most part it was a good read...I was given a free copy of the book in order to review it...By Loves to Read


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