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Friday, January 2, 2009

Curse of the Scarab King by Wend Petzler

Curse of the Scarab King by Wend Petzler
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical, Time Travel
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Review by Orchid

Caught up in a centuries old battle for power, Kate finds herself thrown back into ancient Egypt, when the priests of Ra, using the Black Book of Fire, resurrect the Scarab King, Setti, and use it to send him back in time to defeat the evil queen SobeKnefru.

Setti, brother of the dead Pharoah Amenemhet the Fourth, is about to become the Regent Pharaoh to look after the Double Crown for his infant nephew. Setti is determined to marry the woman he loves instead keeping with tradition and marrying his sister SobeKnefru. Incensed by her brother’s decision SobeKnefru plots to kill Setti, but Sabni, the priest who is to carry out the murder, cannot force himself to take the Pharoah’s life. Instead he makes Setti immortal, intending to bring him back to life when he feels the time is right.

Three thousand years later Kate Martin, an archaeologist, is working in the Karnak ruins in Egypt when she comes across the key to release the Scarab King, the name given to Setti after his death. Unwittingly she becomes involved in a plot to kill the immortal Setti and make SobeKnefru immortal instead. Determined to aid Setti instead of his sister, she helps the Scarab King wake from his long sleep and the two of them return to a time four years after SobeKnefru’s betrayal of her brother.

The rest is easy, isn’t it? All they have to do is find the Black Book of Fire and Sabni the priest, rally the Pharaoh’s Army, remove SobeKnefru from power, take back the Double Crown and return Kate to her own time. Simple!

Unfortunately a colleague of Kate’s from the future has followed them and he aligns himself with SobeKnefru, throwing even more danger in their path. Feelings begin to stir between Setti and Kate. He is fascinated that she will not obey him as a woman of his time should, while she refuses to allow herself to be dominated by him, just because of where and when she is.

Both realize their love is not to be. Even if they can overcome all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their path, how can Kate align herself with an immortal knowing her best course is to return to her mortal life in her own time?

This book is full of the richness of modern day Egypt and the age of the Pharaohs. The author shows how the people of the past and present have very different ways of looking at life and death. Adventure filled with the mystique of Ancient Egypt and the problems arising from being in the past, bring this book to life in a spectacular way. In addition there is the problem of two people from different time frames falling in love, both knowing their love can never survive the separation of centuries.

I found this story both intriguing and unusual. The backdrop of Ancient Egypt and the ways of the Bedouin are entirely realistic. The story is well rounded with Setti and Kate being thwarted by the dangerous Queen Pharaoh who appears to be slightly unhinged. Throw in a High Priest who believes he’s really in charge, Kate’s colleague from the future who wants to rule alongside SobeKnefru and you have a novel which produces a high quality story of time travel. I have no hesitation in recommending The Curse of the Scarab King for an fascinating read.