10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2014
This story must have caused the author to do some serious research in the various agencies in this story. Interwoven are the Knight Templars, Mossad, The bible, The Ark of the Covenent, the sacred Menorah from Solomon's temple and lets not forget the Freemasons. This tale has them all in full and as our heroine and her friend/ally try to find the ark and menorah before a psychomaniac who intends to use them for evil comes to an amazing climax where the heroine feels betrayed, lost and about to meet her death. A thoroughly enjoyable read front fist to last.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2014
I just finished this, eventually, and would have given it the full five stars if it hadn't been for the fact that the end was a bit drawn out. It manages to mix a number of themes together quite convincingly: biblical relics like the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear/Lance of Longinus, the Menorah; Nazis, a wannabe Aleister Crowley; the security services of more than one country; worldwide conspiracy etc etc. It starts off quite fast paced then settles into something a bit more pedestrian. This would be forgiveable if you could not see the general direction of travel but the plot is quite well signposted. That in itself is not a criticism as the joy of a well written book far outweighs any issues of predictability. My problem is the sustained climax which seems to have no real purpose. I found myself thinking "Just get on with it!" more than a couple of times, which is a shame because it is a good book. The final bit where the loose ends are all tidied up and everybody gets on with their normal lives is also over long. Please don't be put off by these comments, however - just get ready to scan during the last 20% of the book.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2013
I initially downloaded the Kindle first few chapters on Kindle and was so horrified when finished those that I immediately bought the whole book. Having read "The da Vinci Code" in literally one sitting, I was pleased that this took me a few days to finish, constantly testing me and the characters with puzzles, interesting arcane facts and twists that you genuinely didn't see coming.
I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fast paced and packed thriller with well written and believable characters that will challenge them, make them think and, whilst entertaining them thoroughly, educate the a little at the same time.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
Having read many books in this genre, I was happy to find such well researched and educated writing. As an adventure novel, it was well paced throughout and I found it an interesting read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2014
Ava is an archaeologist seconded form the British Museum to Iraq to help track down and recover the artifacts sacked from the museum during the war. She had previously worked for MI6, as had her father who had died in unaccounted circumstances. The story opens with a raid on a sanctuary in Ethiopia to steal what is thought to be the Ark of the Covenant. The bloodthirsty description pulls no punches and sets the tone for the intense action that will run through the novel. Ava is drawn into the situation by a mysterious email that leads her to a secret auction, where things go horribly wrong and lead to unexpected convolutions of the plot. Someone is collecting lost treasures linked to the sacking of Solomon's Temple - who and why, and who else is trying to track them down? The frenetic pace of Ava and Ferguson's enquiries is at times less than believable, when did they sleep or eat, but Selwood manages to keep the threads taut and untangled. Mossad has an undercover agent who works his way into a far-right BNP-type group and this sub-plot is cleverly developed before weaving into Ava's search. Naturally a suspension of disbelief if required, but the complexities of the plot are logically brought together with a gruesome finale involving Himmler's nazi-lore, black magic rites and a gun battle..... did I mention the Templars' involvement? It's all there! The author underpins the whole story with thorough research both historical and current, which lends an air of reality to much of the plot despite the Grail Quest premise and black magic elements. Very clever and well worth the time to read.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
I fell head first into the story, felt palpable revulsion for the evil-doers and willed the go-getting good guys on towards victory. With unexpected twists and turns, the satisfying aaaah moment when seemingly divergent plot lines came together, and the heart-thumping moment I had to walk away and put the kettle on, it was like trying to read from behind the sofa, LOVED it!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2013
As soon as I began reading Dominic Selwood's The Sword of Moses, the first violent scene told me it would be hard to put down. A capable main character kept me engaged while controversial historical enigmas kept me intrigued. The author's seamless blend of historical fact and tantalizing fiction had me mesmerized and consuming the chapters non-stop. This was a very exciting read and worth picking up.
Dr. Ava Curzon thinks the world of her father and followed in his footsteps. They share the same love of archeology, even if his interest was observing occult-political movements in history and her specialty is the archeology of the Bible's Old Testament. They share the same steeliness of character, which was why Ava followed her father into working for British Intelligence's MI6. But when Ava's father was murdered and all she and her family could get was it happened 'in His Majesty's Service', Ava left MI6 and severed all ties with them, concentrating just on archeology and recovering artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq. Ava was dragged back into the world she walked away from when Congolese militia brutally killed an Ethiopian monk guarding the Ark of the Covenant, triggering a chain of events that put Ava in the path of Russian black market dealers, the Massad, U.S. and British Intelligence, the ancient brotherhood of Freemasons, the Knights Templar, and extremist Neo-Nazis. Ava relentlessly pursues the Ark, because finding the Ark might lead her to a former Nazi SS named Malchus - the man who she believes murdered her father.
The Sword of Moses hooked me in as a reader through a great story premise and a great main character. Historic facts on the Ark of the Covenant are obscured by the illogical emotions that Christians and Christian Fundamentalists have for stories of the Bible, the explosive political symbolism of a war-torn Middle East, and a true paucity of actual documents and supporting artifacts. The premise of taking the actual Ark out of hiding and into the modern socio-political climate caused all sorts of political and cultural prejudices to bubble forth and made for many options on how the plot would thicken. Throwing into the mix organizations with historic mystique - the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, and Nazis who weren't the garden variety White Supremacist bigots - escalated the suspense. Adding the possibility of an Alistair Crowley-esque practice of black magic compelled me to read through and see if something dire yet magical happened. At this point I was completely into the intricate plot, so the well done integration of historic data with literary license made me see everything as provocative fact - icing on the cake that kept me fully in the story and easily suspended my disbelief.
I also enjoyed Dr. Ava Curzon's character - she carved her own niche among the intrepid archeologists of pop culture and media. She doesn't have the vast resources and near-invulnerability of Lara Croft, but she has the same steely determination. She has the can-do nature of an Indiana Jones or an Allan Quatermain, but showed more care and regard - and an almost geek-like fan love - for the archeological artifacts she witnessed. Her MI6 background is not as polished or superhero-like as James Bond or Elektra Assassin - she is fallible, as they rarely are. It made for a character who risked a lot and pushed the envelope so much that she just as easily fell into damsel-in-distress situations without lessening her skills in 'taking care of herself'. She ended up knocked out, bound, gagged, or compromised in many ways, but never in a formulaic manner - it helped me accept her authenticity and made me want to see how she could get out of the latest mess she was in.
Between Dr. Curzon herself and the convoluted predicament she found herself in, The Sword of Moses will pique many readers' interest. I wish Dominic Selwood a wide circulation and vast readership so many more enjoy this excellent tale. Highly recommended.
on 21 February 2015
As a lover of books by the likes of Dan Brown, Sam Bourne and Chris Kuzneski I enjoy all things about historical artifacts and the various ways and reasons people hunt for them. This book had the lot, in spades. From the Knights Templar through to Freemasons and Nazis Mr Selwood has obviously done his research well. Although very long I found this book riveting, a real page turner.
The characters, from the amazing Dr Curzon, a cross between Lara Croft and Robert Langdon, right through all the supporting cast to the icon of evil personified in Malchus, all are well rounded and believable.
For me there was an awful lot of decsriptive prose and whilst some of it was necessaey to explain the plot twists, most of it was not and the pace of the action was slowed unnecessarily at times. As an extraordinarily long book it would benefit greatly from some serious trimming, obvioulsy thats only my opinion, for many people vast descriptive passages are both intreetsing and absorbing. Not for me however, hence the four stars.
That said, this book is well worth reading and persevering through the long bits as it is a fantastic read, full of danger and excitement as all good thrillers should be.
I would definitly recommend it.
on 26 January 2014
This novel is one of the most riveting of its kind, with historical fact and fiction so intelligently morphed that credit must go to Dr Selwood for his insightful historical expertise which blends seamlessly with vividly rich fiction and action-packed dramatic licence!
A real page-turner for fans of history but also for readers who like an adventure with twists at every turn. The central character and protagonist is Ava, an Oxford graduate(as was Dr Selwood)who appears academically well-equipped to deal with the African militia - claiming to hold the ark of the covenant - but she is plunged into a world so far removed from anything she has encountered before that she is mentally (and physically) pushed to the limits of anything she has ever experienced.
Knights Templar, the world of the Freemasons, Occultists and extremist neo-Nazis all come knocking and I think Ava could give Lara Croft a real run for her money! Adrenalin-charged and impossible to put down, this book is mighty in both pages and substance. but don't be inhibited by the size of the book - Selwood's ingeniously crafted novel flies of the page. A gem of a read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2014
Solid. Historical echoes of authentic patient meticulous research and evidenced in the authors rich varied life history, blended with genuine ease of penmanship. I believe we have found a genuine new author to relish in this historical adventure thriller genre. It is not what you would expect, and that is a great thing
What else to say but highly recommended!