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Warning: This section contains spoilers for the entire Oracle Prophecies series!

The Oracle Prophecies is a book series written by Catherine Fisher. It was published from 2003 through 2005. The titles are as follows:

UK Title
US Title
The Oracle
The Oracle Betrayed
The Archon
The Sphere of Secrets
The Scarab
Day of the Scarab

The series takes place in a mythical world in a country known as the Two Lands, which seem to bear striking similarities to the ancient Greece and ancient Egypt of our world. This is reflected not only in the theology of the land, but also in the description of dress, the names of the characters and places, and in the described architecture. The author worked as an archaeologist prior to writing novels, and her vast knowledge of ancient cultures is reflected in her realistic writing style.

The Two Lands are governed by the Archon, who is said to be the embodiment of the god on earth. Although in ancient times, the Archon freely interacted with his people, at the time the series takes place the Archon is subjected to a number of rigorous regulations and rituals. He is required to wear a mask, to remain in his palace at all times and speak directly to no one. Essentially, he has become a puppet. The Archon whose death sets the series in motion chose to break this rule by forging a close friendship with the musician, Oblek; the Archon who replaces him, Alexos, actively seeks to remove these oppressive restraints and become visibly involved with his people, beginning with the quest to the Well of Songs, which ends the drought and restores water to the Two Lands.

After the Archon, the most powerful people in the Two Lands are the Nine, a group of priestesses who live on a sacred Island and attend to the Oracle of the God. The leader of the Nine is the Speaker, who supposedly can hear the words of the God. The second most important of the Nine is the Bearer. During the ritual of the Oracle, it is believed that the god may manifest himself in a physical form such as a scorpion or a snake; it is the duty of the Bearer to carry the god in this form in a bronze bowl so that he might be present at important rituals. The Nine are respected above all others save the Archon, and are supposed to have authority over all people in the Two Lands.

At one time, the group of people who did the actual governing of the people, under the advisement of the Nine, were a group of councilmen. At the onset of the series, however, things have gone terribly wrong. A power-mad general named Argelin has dissolved the council, and has even gained power over the Nine--through his romantic involvement with her, Argelin has persuaded the Speaker, Hermia, to twist the words of the Oracle to suit his own purposes. The final betrayal comes when Argelin and Hermia arrange for the death of the Archon. When an Archon dies, a ten-year-old child is sought out to replace him. Although traditionally the Archon is supposed to be selected by the god himself, Hermia and Argelin plot to place a child of their choice as the Archon to prevent any resistance to their will. But before he dies, the old Archon contacts the new Bearer of the God, Mirany, and informs her of the treachery. Because of the Archon's faith in her, Mirany is given the gift of hearing the true words of the god, and together with Oblek and a scribe named Seth, she seeks to find the true Archon and end the corruption of Argelin and Hermia.

The Oracle Prophecies are an intricate and fasicinating series brimming with adventure, intriguing and well-developed characters, and amazing detail. This synopsis can only begin to scratch the surface. If you enjoy stories of adventure or ancient civilications, you will be sure to enjoy The Oracle Prophecies.

Learn more about the series here.