Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Pharaoh by Manfredi

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an Italian historian and archaeologist who turned to writing historical novels. I have enjoyed his novels because he manages to mix enough archaeological/historical facts with some fanciful theories and speculations to make his stories fascinating. His books are written in Italian and translated into English.

I love his series on Alexander the Great:
1. Child of a Dream (2001)
2. The Sands of Ammon (2001)
3. Ends of the Earth (2001)
which I read (all three volumes) in Rome. Why am I reading about a Greek hero in Rome? I wanted to read Italian authors and managed to get hold of copies of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's and Umberto Uno' s books before I left Malaysia.

Of his novels as listed below, I like his latest, Pharaoh (2008) the best.
Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis (2002)
The Spartan (2002)
The Last Legion (2003)
The Talisman of Troy (2004)renamed Heroes
The Oracle
Tyrant (2005)
Empire of the Dragons (2006)
The Tower (2006)

Without giving away the storyline, the novels started with the destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC. The prophet Jeremiah hid the Ark of the Covenant in an unnamed tomb in Mount Horeb. Then fast forward to the present day where an archaeologist was employed to excavate a tomb in the middle of the desert. In an adventure like Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raiders meets National Treasure, it evolves into a story about ancient parchment and languages, the invasion of Israel, the black opts, an terrorist attack on USA (this was written before 9/11) and a discovery that will shake the foundation of the Abrahamic faiths. It was good story telling because I missed the identity of one of the special agent though I wonder about the change of character during the second half of the movie. I missed the clues because I thought it was due to sloppy writing. bad boy!

I will recommend this and I am sure my friend pearlie will enjoy this.

'nuff said

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