“Goddess of fertility, motherhood, healing, death, rebirth, and most importantly, of magic”
Review by Lilah Shahkhor
Lita-Luise Chappell’s latest release, “Isis’ Secret Treasure” is a fascinating and exciting read. This heart-stopping, “can’t put it down” adventure brings the action and mysteries in a way that has you caring and concerned for the main characters, and uncertain who can really be trusted.
The story told here will appeal to anyone with an interest in Egyptology, in particular the study of the ancient Egyptian gods and their worship. Chappell brings an expertise to the subject which reflects her years of study, in-depth travels in Egypt, as well as her initiation into The Church of the Eternal Source, where she served as a Priestess of Hathor. The organization is the oldest nonprofit church in the world dedicated to the practice of the ancient Egyptian religion. This book cleverly utilizes the ceremonial magic practiced by this modern group in a way that both educates and immerses the reader in what it must have been like to worship the old gods thousands of years ago, when their presence was tangible and real. In the same vein as the writings of Joan Grant, “Isis’ Secret Treasure” takes on a magical realism, although unlike Grant’s tales which were purportedly based on her remembrances of reincarnation, Chappell’s firsthand knowledge of the practices included here come from real world experiences and training. The rituals presented here are authentic, developed from a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, and are presented without the faintest whiff of new age fluff.
The tale introduces us to Professor Sheridan Chase, a retired archaeologist and secret devotee of the goddess Isis … we are told that “She was the goddess of fertility, motherhood, healing, death, rebirth, and most importantly, of magic.” After finding a message (or is it a warning?) hidden within a canopic jar, he comes to suspect that an undiscovered temple dedicated to the goddess may exist on the remote Egyptian island of Qasr Ibrim. Unable to take on the physical rigors of travel and a possible archaeological dig himself due to an injury which led to his retirement from the field, he enlists one of his students, Benjamin Montgomery, to make the voyage on his behalf. As Ben explores the island and wanders its ruins of once glorious temples, cathedrals, burial tombs, and crypts, he begins to make some interesting discoveries, including curious, hidden underground passageways which may or may not lead to the answers he and Professor Chase seek.
But when Ben suddenly goes missing without a trace, the adventure really begins for the professor along with a pair of Ben’s friends who go looking for him. Faced with many dangers and traps the likes of which would make Indiana Jones giddy, to say more about the archaeological mazes and quandaries that follow would be to give too much away. Suffice it to say that once the escapades really got going, I couldn’t stop reading because I just had to know what was going to happen next. This novel about survival, intrigue, ancient history, and the academic search for proof of the divine is perhaps Lita-Luise Chappell’s most exciting yet!