Sunday, 11 September 2011

Kim's Review : Ramses - The Temple of a Million Years

Halfway through reading The Son of the Light, I placed an order for the next 4 books in Christian Jacq's Ramses series. The Temple of a Million Years is the Second book in this series.

The Son of the Light ended with the death of Seti, The Temple of a Million Years begins with the period of mourning following Seti's death and Ramses ascent to the throne at age 23 despite the efforts of his brother Shaanar to take control himself.

With the support of his mother Queen Tuya (Seti's wife) and his Great Royal Wife - Nefertari, Ramses begins his reign under many auspicious signs. He is protected by his lion "Invincible", his dog "Wide Awake", a Sardinian Mercenary turned personal bodyguard - Serramanna and the magic of his wife and mother.

His 4 childhood friends Ahmeni, Ahsha, Moses and Setau have all taken up positions that assist Ramses in his kingly duties. However Shaanar tries to use Menelaus who was forced to stop in Egypt on his triumphant return from Troy due to ship trouble.

Menelaus is forced to stay on in Egypt against his will, as Egyptian law allows women the freedom of will and movement and Helen uses this opportunity to stay away from Menelaus and his cruelty and grow closer to Nefertari and Tuya. However to save Ramses from Menelaus treachery, she agrees to leave with him and his army and commits suicide once out of Egyptian waters. The poet Homer stays behind though and becomes a close friend of Ramses who suspects that the poet has a gift for foretelling the future through his poetry.

The rest of the book dwells on how Ramses slowly starts asserting himself as Pharoah, shaking up the administration, all for the greater good and to uphold the divine principles of Ma'at. He also embarks on a massive construction spree in Luxor and of a new capital - Pi-Ramses under the command of his friend Moses.

Shaanar continues to spin his schemes and comes in contact with a Libyan shaaman - Ofir who claims to believe in the one true God of Akhenaton and claims that his companion Lita is a descendant of Akhenaton, and hence,  the rightful heir to the throne of Egypt.

Ofir also tries to befriend Moses, whom he knows believes in monotheism and bring him around to his way of thinking. However, before he can accomlish this, Moses runs away into the desert after accidentally killing Sary - Ramses brother-in-law. This book ends with the flight of Moses and the Hittite threat approaching the Egyptian border.

The Temple of a Million Years has a lot more widely known factual base than, The Son of the Light. So reading it, is like reading a historical text with reinterpreted ideas. Christian Jacq writes a fascinating tale and keeps the reader engrossed.

Important facts are all reinforced, so you can read Temple of a Million Years, even if you havent yet read the Son of the Light.

Rating: 4.75/5

Also check out my review of:
Ramses - The Son of the Light


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