Legends of Amun Ra: The Emerald Tablet by Joshua Silverman is a book that really defies genre classification, and I mean that in a good way. The best way to describe it would be part sci-fi, part archeological adventure, part mythological mysticism and a smidge of romance. Even that doesn’t really cover it. It’s definitely a unique book full of vivid characters and intriguing lands.
The book begins with a brutally violent scene (not graphically violent, but brutal nonetheless). It’s disturbing, but it’s a very necessary part of the plot. See, Ankar, an angry man who longs for revenge, wants to make sure his daughter grows up just as angry and vengeful. He does whatever he must to ensure that she feels hatred and learns how to use that feeling. Why is he so angry? Because thousands of years ago, his people lived on Earth. They were the most ancient of the Ancient Egyptians. However, something happened to anger the gods (I’ll let Ankar explain it when you read the book, it’s very interesting!) and everyone was exiled to another planet, Potara. Then, to make things worse, certain people were exiled even further, forced to live on a moon while others got to keep the new planet and make a home. Basically, Legends of Amun Ra is a story about trying to get back home.
Atlantia, a young slave girl in the service of the Priests of Amun, has a special gift. She dreams of things that are happening or will happen. She’s an incredibly insightful girl and probably my favorite character in the book. She’s a sassy little thing, but respectful, kind and helpful. Even she doesn’t realize how very important she is to the future of the people of Potara.
Leoros also doesn’t realize his importance in the story, and with good reason. In the beginning, he’s just a kid hanging out against his will on another one of his mother’s boring archeological digs. He’d much rather be home watching Star Trek than trekking through the desert! When his mother finds the Emerald tablet, though, his life completely changes. He is whisked away to Potara, where he finds out that he has magical powers. There, he meets Atlantia, and together, they must figure out how to stop an ancient evil without giving into darkness themselves.
There are a lot of characters in this story! The point of view switches just about every chapter, but it’s actually pretty easy to keep up with. While I got the names of the characters mixed up, or just plain forgot who was who at times, the story itself is easy to follow. I kind of like the constant switching because it really makes everything move faster. I like the fact that Silverman doesn’t dilly dally getting to the point. There’s no filler in this book. Every word is there for a reason. When you’re dealing with such a huge plot, mixed genres and a large cast of characters, that is extremely important.
Legends of Amun Ra: The Emerald Tablet is definitely a fascinating and unique read! One thing though, while it does feature teenagers as main characters, it is NOT a children’s book. There are a few rather disturbing scenes that make it definitely one for the grown-up crowd. Check out the book blast for Legends of Amun Ra and enter for a chance to win an autographed copy and Season One of Game of Thrones.