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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
The First Pharaoh is a novel about a man named Menes who became Narmer, King of Egypt. Narmer had no easy time growing up under the disapprovingly harsh scrutiny of his father, King Scorpion. Through the gentle guidance and love of Anhotek, his father's chief scribe and shaman, Narmer prepared to ascend the throne when he reached manhood. Narmer dreamt of his future - a...
Published 23 months ago by The Curious Dame

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, so-so execution
What can I say about The First Pharaoh? I just didn’t feel that strongly about it. The premise is excellent. Set in Predynastic/Early Dynastic ancient Egypt, it's a period that hasn't really been done in historical fiction, but it’s an era both fascinating and obscure that has captured my attention. Naturally, that’s the reason I picked up this book; the...
Published 10 months ago by Iset


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The First Pharaoh is a novel about a man named Menes who became Narmer, King of Egypt. Narmer had no easy time growing up under the disapprovingly harsh scrutiny of his father, King Scorpion. Through the gentle guidance and love of Anhotek, his father's chief scribe and shaman, Narmer prepared to ascend the throne when he reached manhood. Narmer dreamt of his future - a powerful vision that foretold he would unite lower and upper Kem into one kingdom. And it is this dream that guided him in everything he did or said.

Author Lester Picker weaves a tale full of wonder, intrigue, treachery, and betrayal - a limitless power-struggle by a lesser known king of Ancient Egypt. This indie-published novel is a pleasant surprise. I scored it high points for its level of authenticity and amount of research that went into the story to make it not only believable, but one that truly comes alive. It is well written and edited. Easy prose, lush descriptions, and well developed characters truly make the story compelling.

The First Pharaoh is followed by a sequel entitled the Dagger of Isis, which I will review shortly. I highly recommend both books, especially for readers who love tales of Ancient Egypt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, so-so execution, 27 April 2014
By 
Iset (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What can I say about The First Pharaoh? I just didn’t feel that strongly about it. The premise is excellent. Set in Predynastic/Early Dynastic ancient Egypt, it's a period that hasn't really been done in historical fiction, but it’s an era both fascinating and obscure that has captured my attention. Naturally, that’s the reason I picked up this book; the concept was more than strong enough to draw me in. The writing was competent enough; nothing to get angry with. I quite liked the character of Meni as a child, and his relationship with father-figure Anhotek was interesting. Even the antagonists of the piece have some depth and shading to them – at one point a possible setting aside of differences is floated – which of course is very welcome when I think of all the hackneyed moustache-twirling villains out there in historical fiction.

So what’s the problem? It was just okay. Yes, the writing was competent, but it was also nothing to shout about. Nothing about it really irritated me per se, but it lacked that creative flair, that certain je ne sais quoi, and the characters, whilst not using overtly modern slang, still spoke in an anachronistic general 20th/21st century manner that didn’t feel quite right. The prose failed to excite me, and it felt just pedestrian and mediocre. There were a couple of minor anachronisms; tomatoes, tea, and some of the characters express modern views, but this was only a niggle. Whilst I liked the father-son dynamic between Meni and Anhotek, the characters didn't feel developed enough. The characters lacked a certain subtlety and complexity - I couldn't imagine them as existing in real life - and they never really broke out of their "roles" to surprise me. The environment felt thinly sketched; I never felt immersed in the setting; it was all frustratingly distant. I longed for some masterful, atmospheric descriptions to drop me right into the thick of ancient Egypt in my mind’s eye, but it just didn’t happen. For me the plot lacked a certain tension or engagement. Even the battle scenes failed to excite me; they felt lacklustre to me, and I found my attention drifting.

What's frustrating about this book is that I really wanted to get sucked in to this era and its story, but it just didn't happen, and that wasn't so much from The First Pharaoh doing anything in particular wrong, it was what it failed to do right. It failed to deliver the fascinating characters, engrossing plot, vivid imagery, and in short all the things that I look for in the books I really love. This one's just not my style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read, 31 July 2013
This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Lester Picker has created a skilful weave of fact and fiction to create an enthralling story in `The First Pharaoh'. Little is known about the historical King Narmer, but the author has been able to take the few known facts and, with his extensive knowledge of ancient Egypt, create a believable world peopled with sympathetic characters.

Lester's writing is concise yet descriptive, you can almost see the varied landscapes and feel the heat of the Egyptian sun. He also has an ability to tap human emotions in a way which makes his characters come alive with all their strengths and weaknesses.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eagerly looking forward to reading the second part of this trilogy, `The Dagger of Isis'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok, 3 April 2014
This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Annoying errors in the book spoiled it a bit. There were no tomatoes in ancient Egypt. Proper freestanding glass was not invented until the Romans and cedars came from the Lebanon.
Apart from that sort of thing it was entertaining
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EARLIEST DYNASTY, 8 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I did enjoy this book (perhaps a bit longer than necessary?) and hadn't read anything about this period in Egypt's long history. I found it interesting and informative - and an easy read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the first pharaoh, 22 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
an interesting story of how the pharonic saga began and set the scene for all the other books/stories regarding ancient egypt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars that I had been sucked into the era and the lives of the powerful ..., 1 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A powerful story and gripping at intervals, whilst the story keeps the narrative on track. Plenty of descriptive elements that explain the time in which the story is set. The characters are so well drawn, and the story threads around these characters kept me fascinated and I knew when I began to question some decisions, that I had been sucked into the era and the lives of the powerful within it, I seriously thought of reading the book over again, so that I could better understand the characters and the decisions they made at the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good story, well written, 30 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
good story, well written, can almost smell the nile in flood and imagine the priests exacting their tythes and backhanders from the rich and the poverty and brutality suffered by the commoners.
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4.0 out of 5 stars v good read, 22 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Very good read and plenty of detail into this part of history. Would recommend to anyone who has an interest in egypt
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Pivotal Time in Egypt's pre-History, 6 Dec. 2013
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Ann Parker (Indian Rocks Beach, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The First Pharaoh (The First Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Hadn't heard of this author before, but I can't recommend Lester Picker too highly - so highly that I've already downloaded his second book which continues the struggle to peacefully unify ancient Egypt, through his great grand-daughter, Mery. You almost feel like a fly on the wall, observing the people involved in trying to further unifiation for the good of all, and those trying to frustrate their efforts for their own self aggrandisement. The characters are well drawn as is the political and religious situation of that time, both of equal importance in this ancient society. They say that a good book has to have a worthy villain, and this book has several!
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