The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove – Book Review [Bane of Kings]
Bane of Kings reviews an interesting spin on Ancient Egypt, The Age of Ra, written by James Lovegrove, published by Solaris Books.
“A mind-blowing, adrenaline pumping read.” ~The Founding Fields
It’s not very often these days when you can read a series out of order and still get some idea as to what’s going on. The Alex Cross series is one example with this, along with Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels. The Pantheon Trilogy, combining the novels, The Age of Ra, The Age of Zeus, and The Age of Odin, all written by James Lovegrove, all fall into this category. They don’t even have the same characters in them.
In fact, the only similarity is that they’re all set on Earth, in the modern era, and dealing with various group of gods, and in this case, it’s the Ancient Egyptian ones, such as Ra, Set, Osiris, and Horus, and they are all alive and kicking, and currently hold total control over Earth.
Well, almost total control. When David Westwynter stumbles into Freegypt (A country independent of the Gods), and begins a journey of a lifetime. Running into Zafriah, a fierce woman more at home in the desert than elsewhere, and the mysterious Lightbringer, who is the commander of a rebellious group aimed with overthrowing the gods once and for all.
But, is this freedom fighter all that he seems? There are two major truths that he’s concealing, but as is mostly the case with my reviews, you’re going to have to read the book in order to find out what they are and both of them – are surprising twists that you won’t see coming.
Lovegrove manages to blend the Egyptian Gods into Earth history without bogging down the fast-pace of this four-hundred odd pages novel, and although this concept is not entirely original (What if gods of myth and legend were real?), with Robert Zelazny’s Lord of Light, already dealing with this, Lovegrove still manages to make the plot of the novel very interesting.
Because, just that the concept may not be original, Lovegrove has created a unique world which will make this book all the more engaging, and all the more gripping.
The Age of Ra is Lovegrove’s eighth novel, and although he’s produced more since then, (With The Age of Zeus being the only other that I’ve read), in case you’re interested. Oh, and the entire trilogy is published by Solaris books by the way, I recommend you check them out.
I know next to nothing about Ancient Egypt when I read The Age of Ra, but I managed to get a good enough understanding about it over the course of this novel. Obviously you wouldn’t expect it to get you a degree in history, but then that’s the whole point. The Age of Ra certainly isn’t a history book by any means; it’s a military-science fiction novel on an epic scale.
The characters are likeable as well, and due to the novel being told from David’s point of view (with brief interludes to look at the perspective of the gods), you find that you start seeing things the way he does (Although this isn’t told in first person mind you), and thus if David starts hating somebody – you start hating somebody.
Although The Age of Ra could have had the inclusion of several different points of view, such as a nice viewpoint from the Lightbringer himself, the story did without it and so did I.
Lovegrove’s managed to enthral me yet again with his marvellous world-building, fantastic action writing and a well-paced out read.
The Age of Ra deals with several themes in this novel, with dishonesty, friendship, loyalty, family troubles and such that each make this all the more better to read because of it.
The ending is well deserved, and the epilogue in particular is interesting as well. Although not particularly memorable, The Age of Ra is worth the read if you have the time to fit it in, or are interested in Egyptian mythology.
More Pantheon Trilogy: The Age of Ra, The Age of Zeus, The Age of Odin.