Asher, Michael The Eye of Ra

ISBN 13: 9780002258838

The Eye of Ra

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9780002258838: The Eye of Ra

A brilliant atmospheric thriller, set in Cairo and the surrounding tombs and deserts, involving the threat of the past entwined with present deaths and future machinations.

Omar Ross, a maverick archaeologist, is disturbed by the death at the foot of the pyramids of Giza of his old colleague, a famous Egyptologist, Richard Cranwell. Cranwell had become obsessed by his search for the legendary lost city of Zerzura.

Ross’s suspicions become further aroused by documents left referring to other deaths, of Carnarvon, of Wingate, of Carter, all linked by the inscription for the god Thoth. It seems as if Cranwell had been on the verge of a great discovery; but every contact, every informant, disappears. Cranwell’s body itself is lost and Ross, threatened, beleagured and friendless, turns to his mother’s family, of the Bedouin tribe.

This is a first novel with a difference. Written with great confidence, it is rich with Egyptian mythology and history, its new discoveries are plausible and convincing, the secret organizations and believers complex and frightening, and the cast of characters lively and varied.

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Review:

Omar James Ross is a maverick Egyptologist--he has his own theories, whic put him at odds with the academic establishment. He believes that the astonishing knowledge and abilities of the anciient Egyptians must have come from an earlier civilisation, which he refers to as Atlantis. When Ross receives a frightened phone call from an old friend and colleague, he returns to Egypt to find out what's wrong--and also to find that his friend is dead. Immediately he's caught up in a series of terrifying adventures--shootings, bomb attacks, beatings by the police.

Ross's mother was from a small Bedouin-type tribe, the Hawazim, and Ross finds himself drawn back into their life: long camel rides across the trackless wastes of the Western Desert with almost no food or water, hiding from the authorities, and learning, against his will, that he has a rare talent valued by his tribe.

But why are the authorities so much against him? Who are the mysterious group, the Eye of Ra? And can the tomb of the despised pharaoh Akhnaton be found at the hidden oasis of Zerzura, a place no one can find twice, and which has driven mad those few who have found it in the past? When Ross finally discovers the truth, it's more astonishing and more disturbing than anything he had imagined. But then, is it the truth? Or is it all part of the plotting and counter-plotting with which Egyptology is riven?

The Eye of Ra is a fascinating novel, written by someone who not only knows the way of the desert, but also knows the machinations of Egyptology. Many of the theories of recent speculative rewriters of ancient history (Bauval, Hancock, etc) are drawn into the plot. Beautifully written, with strong and memorable characters, this novel above all leaves in the readers' mind a powerful love and respect for the harsh but beautiful life of the desert. --David V Barrett

From the Back Cover:

“As I walked along the pyramid’s base, I ran my hand along the polished stone blocks, relearning their texture, wondering again as I’d wondered for many years, at their precision. The pyramid is a masterpiece of mathematical precision. Was this simply to satisfy the vanity of a single man, the pharoah Khufu, who wanted to triumph over death and live a million years?

I had come back in a full circle, I realised, back inevitably to death, the great obsession of the ancient Egyptians, the great taboo of the twentieth century. Was the pyramid intended simply as huge and vulgar tombstone, or was it something else – a vast cosmic clock, a machine for measuring time?

To the ancient Egyptians death was a journey into an alternative dimension, a shadow of endless possibilities. But if the pyramids were intended just as monuments, why were they built with such precision? And how did the ancient Egyptians develop such accurate engineering techniques – and apparently very suddenly – when the rest if the world was still living in the stone age?

I screwed up my eyes at the incredible brightness of the sun. Not a single cloud remained in the unforgivingsky. I remember my childhood like that.

Egypt, its fabulous archaeology, the extraordinary mythology and history, has long fascinated all of us. And not the least of the mysteries is how and by whom the Pyramids came to be built. Michael Asher’s novel, brilliant, gripping, atmospheric, comes up with a new solution.

Omar James Ross had been sacked from his job with the Egyptian Antiquities Service for unspecified offences. But on his return to Cairo to identify his old friend, a famous Egyptologist, Richard Cranwell, found dead at the bottom of the pyramids, he is disturbed by the new links to his forbidden research.

Ross’s suspicions became further aroused by documents left referring to other deaths, Carnarvon, of Wingate, of Carter, all linked by the inscription for the god Thoth. It seems as if Cranwell had been on the verge of a great discovery, possibly of a legendary lost city, possibly of a legendary lost city , possibly a connection to the tomb of Aknaton. But every contact, every informant, disappears: Cranwell’s body itself is lost and Ross, threatened, beleagured and friendless, turns to his mother’s family, of the Bedouin tribe.

'The Eye of Ra' is an extraordinary novel. Written with great confidence and pace, rich in Egyption mythology and history, its new discoveries are plausible and convincing, the secret organisations and their believers complex and frightening, and Omar Ross is a great, complex, quirky character. A highly atmospheric thriller with all the answers to the Curse of Kings.

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Asher, Michael
Published by HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD (1999)
ISBN 10: 0002258838 ISBN 13: 9780002258838
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002258838

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