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The Battle of Kadesh

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The powerful Hittites have declared war on Egypt, and Ramses must do the impossible: seize their impregnable fortress at Kadesh with his ragged army, even as his powerful bodyguard and right-hand man has been arrested, suspected of treason.


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The powerful Hittites have declared war on Egypt, and Ramses must do the impossible: seize their impregnable fortress at Kadesh with his ragged army, even as his powerful bodyguard and right-hand man has been arrested, suspected of treason.

30 review for The Battle of Kadesh

  1. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    The third book of a five-part series following Rameses II, this book focuses on the coming conflict with the Hittite Empire. The book is an entertaining read, culminating in the Battle of Kadesh. While the first two books in the series had been building up to this point, I found the final battle somewhat underwhelming. As a lover of ancient history, historical accuracy is important to me in historical fiction. While this book does follow accepted facts and theories of the period fairly well, my The third book of a five-part series following Rameses II, this book focuses on the coming conflict with the Hittite Empire. The book is an entertaining read, culminating in the Battle of Kadesh. While the first two books in the series had been building up to this point, I found the final battle somewhat underwhelming. As a lover of ancient history, historical accuracy is important to me in historical fiction. While this book does follow accepted facts and theories of the period fairly well, my biggest critique lies on how Jacq relied a bit too much on the historical Egyptian documentation of the Battle of Kadesh. (view spoiler)[ Egyptian engravings of the battle show the Pharoah as a bigger-than-life figure who slays the Hittite army single-handedly, delivering victory to the Egyptian forces. This is typical of Egyptian propaganda of the time, and I was interested to see how Jacq would portray the events. When in reality, the Egyptian army was being routed by the Hittites, and was only saved by the timely arrival of reinforcements. While there has been an undertone of magical practices throughout the series, I was disappointed to see Jacq take, what seems to me to be the easy way out. In the novel, rather than having Rameses attempt to hold together his failing forces until reinforcements arrive, the novel unfolds much like the ancient inscriptions tell, with Rameses, in fact, receive divine intervention, glowing like the sun, and single-handedly slaying the Hittite army and turning the tide of the battle. I was left feeling disappointed. A little more realism would have gone a long way and left me feeling more fulfilled. I am not sure if I will finish out the last two books in the series. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    In the third installment of this Ramses series, palace intrigue ratchets up as various players try to manipulate Ramses & events to move ever closer to an all encompassing war with the Hittites in an effort to get rid of Ramses along with extending the empire. This part of the Ramses story I was not very familiar with. Homer makes quite an impression in this period, cautioning Ramses about the consequences of war, and Moses has a small but important cameo. There was a couple of phrases & words t In the third installment of this Ramses series, palace intrigue ratchets up as various players try to manipulate Ramses & events to move ever closer to an all encompassing war with the Hittites in an effort to get rid of Ramses along with extending the empire. This part of the Ramses story I was not very familiar with. Homer makes quite an impression in this period, cautioning Ramses about the consequences of war, and Moses has a small but important cameo. There was a couple of phrases & words that leapt out of the pages at me due to their modernity. For example, "performance review", "cardiac arrest" and "provenance". The latter I know, is from the French and not used until the 18th century. Was this a mistake of the author or the translator, probably the latter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheryn Shahwan

    This is hands down, one of the best historical fiction books I've read. I commend the author for his refined approach in portraying all the characters in the story, especially Ramses. It is clear that the author has profound knowledge of Ancient Egypt and its people, and that without a doubt has made the experience of reading it, a delightful one. By the way, I am almost clueless when it comes to Ancient Egyptian history, so this book captivated me so much that it proved me wrong when I initiall This is hands down, one of the best historical fiction books I've read. I commend the author for his refined approach in portraying all the characters in the story, especially Ramses. It is clear that the author has profound knowledge of Ancient Egypt and its people, and that without a doubt has made the experience of reading it, a delightful one. By the way, I am almost clueless when it comes to Ancient Egyptian history, so this book captivated me so much that it proved me wrong when I initially thought it would be dull and boring. I highly recommend it for those who want to learn more about Ancient Egypt, its people, royal functions and customs, the Hittites, battle of Kadesh, Ramses, and ancient war stratagem.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dimitri

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. French novelists have our full knowledge of Ancient Egypt to draw upon and flesh out a realistic environment for their story. Christian Jacq has ample experience at this and shows off his sources with little footnotes referring to archeological sites. The Battle of Kadesj is not exactly an obscure event in pharaoic history, so it's a HUGE turn-off to see it unfold literally as told by the hagiographic ancient accounts, with Ramses III single-handedly taking on the Hittite army, litterally radian French novelists have our full knowledge of Ancient Egypt to draw upon and flesh out a realistic environment for their story. Christian Jacq has ample experience at this and shows off his sources with little footnotes referring to archeological sites. The Battle of Kadesj is not exactly an obscure event in pharaoic history, so it's a HUGE turn-off to see it unfold literally as told by the hagiographic ancient accounts, with Ramses III single-handedly taking on the Hittite army, litterally radiant with divine protection...there's plenty of hypotheses on how he turned the battle around with tactical ingenuity.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dominika Košútová

    In my opinion this was the best book from the series so far. There was more action because of the war and this made the story more interesting a easier to get through. I enjoyed it very much and again i red it in one day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lee Murray

    Buckle up for a quick ride through Egyptian history with this book. Nothing serious here in terms of plot or intrigue. The story is rather predetermined since the Battle of Kadesh is an actual historical event and the outcome is already known—even though the actual history is better than the tale told by the author. Good read, light entertainment, the middle book of a five book series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mr Roy Davidson

    "Roy of the Rovers" battle story of Kadesh as Ramses single handedly takes on all the Hittites - and wins! Yes, it's a light yarn and so history is not necessarily important and it's an easy read. I will continue with the Series, but won't feel very well educated.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Clare Shepherd

    The third in a series of 5 books about Ramses II by Christian Jacq, a professional Egyptologist. This is a fascinating, fast past novel y an author who obviously admires his protagonist. A must read forboth history and historical novel buffs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    Love this series. Fun book to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alessia Ferrari

    Probably I’ve preferred the first 2 volumes of the saga...anyway, the plot flows ok and the reader is “forced to know” how the story will end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Macalee Karabagli

    its a wonderful series

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Finished in Cairo

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vinayak Malik

    As the novels go by the characters are becoming one dimensional. continuing for plot resolutions

  14. 4 out of 5

    Harun Bo

    Beyond history and reality.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I saw the title and thought, hurrah, finally some action. And there is. Eventually. It just takes quite a while to get there. And then when you finally do, it just doesn't seem to last that long, and (I thought) the resolution of the battle was a bit of a cop-out. (view spoiler)[Ramses and his lion Invincible win the battle all on their own with the aid of a god. Hmmm.... Nothing to do with reinforcements, then, or his soldiers seeing him taking the lead and following? (hide spoiler)] But this o I saw the title and thought, hurrah, finally some action. And there is. Eventually. It just takes quite a while to get there. And then when you finally do, it just doesn't seem to last that long, and (I thought) the resolution of the battle was a bit of a cop-out. (view spoiler)[Ramses and his lion Invincible win the battle all on their own with the aid of a god. Hmmm.... Nothing to do with reinforcements, then, or his soldiers seeing him taking the lead and following? (hide spoiler)] But this one had a different translator to the previous two, and it made quite a difference. The prose flowed so much better, and the descriptions seemed a lot more colourful. The sad thing, I think, is that Ramses himself is coming across as a fairly dull character—and I suspect that in reality he wasn't. Nefertari is just too perfect, and it's really Ahsha, Setau and Serramanna that stand out the most. Ofir and Shanaar are almost like comedy villains—"Aha! I shall work some evil magic and end Ramses' reign! It will take many, many months but I shall be victorious! Oh drat, it didn't work...." (OK, not quite that bad, but it's more or less what it boils down to.) And I really didn't need to be told every time Homer shows up that he smokes a pipe made out of a snail shell. His cat, Hector, sounds adorable though. And, despite the flaws, these books have caught my interest sufficiently that I've kept reading them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Book 3 in this 5 book series on Ramses--Pharaoh of Egypt. The country of Hatti (its people are known as Hittites) is a brutal, warrior culture with a long reputation for ruthless battle tactics. It has limited natural resources and an Emperor who lusts for power and wealth. He looks upon the land of Egypt with envious eyes and begins a massive military buildup prior to invasion. Ramses learns of the threat and plans for war. But the Egyptian military is vastly outnumbered and unlikely to build u Book 3 in this 5 book series on Ramses--Pharaoh of Egypt. The country of Hatti (its people are known as Hittites) is a brutal, warrior culture with a long reputation for ruthless battle tactics. It has limited natural resources and an Emperor who lusts for power and wealth. He looks upon the land of Egypt with envious eyes and begins a massive military buildup prior to invasion. Ramses learns of the threat and plans for war. But the Egyptian military is vastly outnumbered and unlikely to build up enough armaments in time. It will be a clash of armies and egos on the fields surrounding the fortress of Kadesh... These books present a detailed glimpse into human minds and hearts. The undying love between Nefertari and Ramses, the treachery of Ramses' elder brother, and the politics of religion and espionage are well portrayed in these stories. Each book follows the next with an almost seamless flow that develops and enhances the life of Ramses and his Egyptian culture. I highly recommend both this series and the author (check out his other books too!).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is the 3rd book in Jacq's series on Ramses. It's an excellent book, full of detail and mostly about the buildup to the battle of Kadesh, and the aftermath. The battle itself took up very little of the actual book, though given the way that Jacq wrote about the battle and its outcome, there is very little that needed to be said about the battle itself. Ramses himself, is a well written, well rounded character though he seems to take up less of this book than he did in the first two. Since th This is the 3rd book in Jacq's series on Ramses. It's an excellent book, full of detail and mostly about the buildup to the battle of Kadesh, and the aftermath. The battle itself took up very little of the actual book, though given the way that Jacq wrote about the battle and its outcome, there is very little that needed to be said about the battle itself. Ramses himself, is a well written, well rounded character though he seems to take up less of this book than he did in the first two. Since this book focuses on the plots against Ramses and how those affected the war with the Hittites there was a great deal of time spent on the secondary characters. That gives this book a great deal of depth which I appreciated. The new translator is also very helpful. This book was much easier to read. It flowed much better than the first two. I'm looking forward to the fourth in the series. I would recommend this to historical novel enthusiasts and Egyptian history enthusiasts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sportyrod

    Ancient Egyptian war-time is brought to life through this easy-to-read novel. The ancient ways were well researched and interesting. The storyline was quite simple - nothing too exciting but still amusing. The characters were not as mysterious as the characters in Jacq's other novels. They were either good or bad with a handful of characters who swapped from being bad to good. Invincible the Lion was my favourite character. This book is a good book if you just want to relax and take in a little Ancient Egyptian war-time is brought to life through this easy-to-read novel. The ancient ways were well researched and interesting. The storyline was quite simple - nothing too exciting but still amusing. The characters were not as mysterious as the characters in Jacq's other novels. They were either good or bad with a handful of characters who swapped from being bad to good. Invincible the Lion was my favourite character. This book is a good book if you just want to relax and take in a little Egyptian serenity.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ian Mathie

    In the third volume of his Rameses series, Jacque explores the egyptian military world through the conflict with the Hittite Empire which culminated in the heroic battle of Kadesh. At the same time his story moves around the country illustrating other apsects of Egyptian life and the influence each has on the other. A continuing fascinating expose of ancient Egyptian culture and history closely based on recorded fact but with enough artistic licence to bring the story truly to life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisbet

    Good book overall, but the characters are somewhat under-developed. Ramses and Nefertari talk too seriously to be believed, and only the side characters get to have any fun. Still - Jacq is skilled in his descriptions of ancient egypt.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Guido Henkel

    Riveting with politics, schemes and a good does of emotion, this book has it all once again. It has a slightly different feel than the previous parts in the series because there is suddenly an outside threat. No doubt I have to keep on reading this series to the very end!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Well this is the last book in the series that i am going to read ,got tired of hearing abt the rule of mat and how powerful Rameses is and how they took forts using archers and all the crap abt magic and spells.The magic mumbo jumbo wears one out after a while

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Still an interesting story, but I'm very tired of being introduced to the same people over and over again. Yes, I know that Nefertari is the queen of Egypt, that Homer drinks spiced wine and likes to sit under a lemon tree and the names og Ramses's closest friends and his siblings.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    Did not like this even though I liked Ramses and his friends. Really lets bring in Helen of Troy and mythological stories in the wrong time period?? Let's bring in his other "school mates" Moses,?? really.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alejandra Aristizábal

    Brightest days of Ramses brilliantly portrayed by the author, making both rich descriptions on the places he lives while making deep reflections on himself and his role as pharaoh.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katina stewart

    Another great book! 60% way through the series and I wish it wouldn't end!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth Snider

    A real page turner that will leave you enchanted with Egyptian history.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This book was....faster paced and more interesting than the earlier ones.... I would recommend it. The series may be worth it after all!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Dudson

    Great series of books, a great read

  30. 5 out of 5

    Russell Hall

    The great and celebrated battle

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