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The potential of the subject matter is not fully exploited
on 19 December 1998
This is Christain Jacq's fourth novel in the Ramses series. Jacq is apparently a leading egyptologist and he provides us with some fascinating insights into the life of the Pharaohs ,from their relationship with the Gods to various herbal remedies. Despite Jacq's acedemic knowledge this novel, like its predecessors, lacks the sort of cutting edge that say Lindsey Davis brings to her Falco novels.
Jacq's hero, unlike Davis' Falco who is a figment of her imaganation, was a real person. There are then historical limitations to Jacq's creative interpretation. I find, as a consquence,the plot weak and the recounting of events like the Exodus lack credibility and frustratingly brief. I also found it distracting that I did not get an impression of time and was disappointed to discover, given the brevity of the narrative, that years had elasped.
The publishers of this book sought not to include extracts from more established critics than I on the back cover. Perhaps, being a French author the reviews were in French and not thought relavent. Given that the novels can be seen in all the book shops I cannot believe that they have not been reviewed and I simply wonder whether there have been too few good ones for the publishers to include any !
For fans of Jacq and the Ramese novels, his approach to story telling will be familar. If you have read the previous volumes and got this far you will no doubt enjoy this book. Strangely, I found it compelling and find myself looking forward to getting my hands on Under The Western Acaica, so why bother with what I think !