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The Eternal Temple

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The splendor and danger of ancient Egypt continues in the second volume of this magnificent saga. For Ramses, the Son of Light, the coronation has arrived. Now he will learn whether the friends of his youth--people such as Moses and the aging Greek poet, Homer--can truly be trusted. Shaanar, the young king's scheming older brother, still has designs on the crown, and in th The splendor and danger of ancient Egypt continues in the second volume of this magnificent saga. For Ramses, the Son of Light, the coronation has arrived. Now he will learn whether the friends of his youth--people such as Moses and the aging Greek poet, Homer--can truly be trusted. Shaanar, the young king's scheming older brother, still has designs on the crown, and in the shadows, the machinations of a mysterious sorcerer threaten the throne.


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The splendor and danger of ancient Egypt continues in the second volume of this magnificent saga. For Ramses, the Son of Light, the coronation has arrived. Now he will learn whether the friends of his youth--people such as Moses and the aging Greek poet, Homer--can truly be trusted. Shaanar, the young king's scheming older brother, still has designs on the crown, and in th The splendor and danger of ancient Egypt continues in the second volume of this magnificent saga. For Ramses, the Son of Light, the coronation has arrived. Now he will learn whether the friends of his youth--people such as Moses and the aging Greek poet, Homer--can truly be trusted. Shaanar, the young king's scheming older brother, still has designs on the crown, and in the shadows, the machinations of a mysterious sorcerer threaten the throne.

30 review for The Eternal Temple

  1. 4 out of 5

    Iset

    In the course of reviewing this book I've come to understand why Book 1 received such a more wide ranging set of reviews than this, Book 2 in the series - those who were underwhelmed by the first book understandably did not continue reading the series. I bought a stack of Christian Jacq novels from a bookstore a couple of years ago whilst on the prowl for historical fiction to do with ancient Egypt. Christian Jacq seemed to be prominently displayed, and the words "international bestseller" were In the course of reviewing this book I've come to understand why Book 1 received such a more wide ranging set of reviews than this, Book 2 in the series - those who were underwhelmed by the first book understandably did not continue reading the series. I bought a stack of Christian Jacq novels from a bookstore a couple of years ago whilst on the prowl for historical fiction to do with ancient Egypt. Christian Jacq seemed to be prominently displayed, and the words "international bestseller" were printed boldly on the front of every book, leading me to believe that I couldn't go wrong with a bulk buy of several of his books at once. I soon realised that I had made a critical error when I read the "Queen of Freedom" trilogy set at the end of the 17th Dynasty, which proved to be simplistic, unimaginative, poorly written and frankly awful. That soon got shipped off to the charity shop, but I was left with the dilemma of what to do with the remaining six books that I had bought. I reluctantly decided that, as an avid reader who truly hates to give up on a book halfway through, or even the idea of giving up on a series or author, that I ought to read them - I happened to have Book 2 but not Book 1 in this "Ramses" series, hence why I've reviewed this book but not the first one. Unfortunately, I swiftly regretted my decision as my sense of good literature gagged at the utter drivel liquefying my brain whilst I was reading this book. I'm not even going to cover the little niggles of the odd naming choices and the multiple grammatical and spelling mistakes, which are frankly insignificant in comparison to the bigger issues plaguing this novel. Some people have wondered if the terrible writing in these novels is down to the fact that they are actually translated from an original manuscript in Jacq's native French, and certainly some of the minor niggles above can be attributed to that - the spelling and grammatical mistakes for example are unlikely to have been reproduced by a translator from the original text, and therefore can be attributed to the translator. However, I don't think any translator could have been so bad as to be responsible for the flat characterisations, monotone plot and poor writing. Just to make sure, I checked inside the covers of all my books by Christian Jacq and it turns out that each series is translated by a different person, and yet they all suffer from the same problems. This is definitely an issue with the author, not the translator. The language was extremely simplistic and basic, you would think almost aimed at a readership of children. Most of the language was as simple as possible, and frequently clumsy or clunky. The dialogue was trite and tedious, peppered with anachronisms such as "You're on!" and "Cat got your tongue?" The characterisations were as flat as the paper they were printed on - everyone was either "a goodie" or "a baddie" with very little in between. It was all very black and white, no room for shades of grey, for subtle or complex characters. This made the entire cast of characters either boring or cheesy and clichéd, usually both at the same time. Historical figures from other periods and parts of the world are plopped in just for the heck of it - Helen of Troy, Menelaus, Homer. There are endless repetitive conversations where Ramses is told by some advisor that what he wants to do is impossible, but he decides to go ahead anyway (this happened a lot in the "Queen of Freedom" trilogy too). Plot devices are often tired and laughably cheesy, (view spoiler)[such as the opening scene where Ramses comes across a lion in the desert, lo and behold he's somehow friends with this lion and it understands what he says and obeys him. Convenient. Magical omens convince the general populace of Egypt that Ramses is chosen by the gods to be their pharaoh, instead of him demonstrating this by skill - one of many examples where Jacq avoids "showing" the reader but prefers to "tell" instead. Many of the characters act completely illogically and wildly nonsensically, for example Ramses wandering off into the deserts of Nubia completely alone to find water. (hide spoiler)] Threads in the plot are often left as loose ends and never tied up; for example, (view spoiler)[Ramses' secondary wife writes to him to warn him that his brother is planning something against him, and Shaanar intercepts this letter and destroys it. There is never a follow up scene in which Iset asks the messenger what he did with her letter, or sends out further messengers to make sure that Ramses got the letter, and when they finally meet in person again she never asks him if he received her note - the whole incident is just forgotten. (hide spoiler)] Jacq seems to think up a development in the plot but not think it all the way through, and then drops it and creates a new even more implausible twist to try and move the plot ahead instead and inject a sense of events actually happening and moving forwards. (view spoiler)[For example, Shaanar and Ahsha's plan to work against Ramses? Er... to wait... until Ramses makes a mistake as pharaoh... then the time will be right... for them to do something... apparently. At the same time Shaanar is in cahoots with a Hittite spy. This spy, after the two characters agree to work together, only shows up again at the very end of the book. These are not isolated examples. At one point Ramses' lead bodyguard attempts to investigate a suspicious incident involving a scorpion. There are only two follow up scenes to this particular strand, but ultimately no progress is made in uncovering the perpetrator. We're told that three years pass during the course of this book - what on earth is this bodyguard doing, kicking up his heels and sipping tequila by the Cairo hotel pool?! In any case, because the whole plot to sit and wait naturally produces no results, Jacq drops that idea and introduces even more caricatured one-dimensional characters to try and restart the whole idea of plotting going on against Ramses. This results in the introduction of a Libyan sorcerer named Ofir, and a girl called Lita who is supposedly the great-granddaughter of Akhenaten. This prompts a spell of Ofir smashing magical tablets and playing with voodoo dolls... which actually works in harming Ramses and those close to him. Apparently magic is real, just as it was in the "Queens of Freedom" trilogy. (hide spoiler)] The plot also jumps about wildly and many scenes feel stunted. (view spoiler)[Ofir develops a plot with Shaanar to try and turn Moses against Ramses. Ofir and Moses have only two scenes together of only a couple of pages, and from this the Moses character transforms from a staunchly loyal friend of Ramses to a crazed and desperate man in opposition to him. (hide spoiler)] From their conversation its implied that further interactions take place between them "off-screen", so to speak, but such a fundamental change in character such as this is a really significant part of any storyline and far more resources and page space needs to be devoted to it to make it seem believable. I can't believe that the readers are asked to swallow this claptrap. Sometimes the plot devices pop up out of absolutely nowhere. (view spoiler)[In the middle of Ramses' oh so important campaign against twenty Nubian rebels, for example, an elephant shows up in the middle of the desert and leads him to the future site of Abu Simbel. Somehow Ramses already knows this elephant (in an exact repeat of his relationship with the lion, he somehow helped it when he was younger) - isn't that lucky! Ramses spies a young Nubian boy by the river and orders his men to bring the boy to him. Four paragraphs are then devoted to describing how the soldiers drag this boy before Ramses and how the boy struggles to get away, only to culminate in the following scintillating piece of dialogue: "Answer my question," Ramses told him, "and you'll go free. What do they call this place?" "Abu Simbel." "You may go." Are you kidding me?! Four paragraphs of build up just to ask the boy the name of the place?! Just send a guardsman to ask and then come back and tell you! (hide spoiler)] The historical inaccuracies are really just an afterthought. Throughout the book, a secret police force, hospitals, acid, the spinal cord, royal schools or universities and initiation into the "mysteries" at Memphis are mentioned. All of which did not exist in ancient Egypt and the Egyptians had no knowledge of - but an in depth explanation of that is not for this review. When I finished the book I couldn't believe how crushingly bad it all was, but after the "Queen of Freedom" trilogy I wasn't surprised. The entire novel was cringeworthy to the point of making my eyes bleed. As an avid reader who treasures her books, it really galls me to say this, but I'll be sending these books to the charity shop. Still, there is a lesson to be learned here. Never buy books in bulk from an author you've never read before. If you simply must, just buy the first book and see how you like it. If you can, check out the reviews and try to get it out from the library before buying.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sully (thysaltymar)

    When I was in highschool, my grandmother bought me this book because I told her once that I loved Ancient Egyptian History (Tombs, Pyramids, Pharaohs and the like). Well, I did! But after I have read this. I AM THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED. I read the first few chapters and it doesn't get any better per chapters! It's just simply BORING. The story revolves around the bold and confident leader, Ramses. We are told that he is in no doubt secure with his leonine, canine, and pirate bodyguards, and most i When I was in highschool, my grandmother bought me this book because I told her once that I loved Ancient Egyptian History (Tombs, Pyramids, Pharaohs and the like). Well, I did! But after I have read this. I AM THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED. I read the first few chapters and it doesn't get any better per chapters! It's just simply BORING. The story revolves around the bold and confident leader, Ramses. We are told that he is in no doubt secure with his leonine, canine, and pirate bodyguards, and most importantly his beautiful wife Nefertari, as well as his choice of friends, Asha, Setau, and Moses. In a plain morning they set out to be an epithet of Egypt through building and restructuring everything under the sun or wherever his intuition dictates. And that so-called ‘intuition’ is his guiding principle. Some might call it magic or divine power but I call it a waste of time. I see Egyptian history as an interesting part of the world but shattered by a poorly written proved to be simplistic, unimaginative and frankly awful novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Far too many names for me to get my head around.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ilija Ilić

    Definitely amazing! I liked it more then the first book. Its amazing!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Very easy read, book #2 of a five book series, better than book #1. Covers the first 3 years of Ramses II reign as he consolidates his place as Pharaoh. I enjoyed the historical details most about the book. There is little depth in the characters, lots of court intrigue and an interesting take on Moses.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

    This is the second book in the series and deals with the young Ramses II as he becomes Pharaoh and his early reign. This volume is about the early building projects which Ramses started and the various intrigues in the court designed to overthrow Ramses in favor of his older brother. I found the reasoning behind all the buildings and monuments to be fascinating. The thought was that building the temples and tombs was a way of honoring the gods and protecting Egypt. When Ramses was crowned, his na This is the second book in the series and deals with the young Ramses II as he becomes Pharaoh and his early reign. This volume is about the early building projects which Ramses started and the various intrigues in the court designed to overthrow Ramses in favor of his older brother. I found the reasoning behind all the buildings and monuments to be fascinating. The thought was that building the temples and tombs was a way of honoring the gods and protecting Egypt. When Ramses was crowned, his nature was bound with the gods and he became their representative on earth. Building various temples would protect Ramses' Kah or eternal soul/spirit and bring prosperity to Egypt. The last few chapters deal with Moses and his emerging belief in the one God as opposed to Ramses. Moses is shown as the master builder of Ramses temples and ultimately his new Delta city, Pi Ramses. As he builds, he becomes more grounded in his Hebrew faith and the book ends as Moses heads for the desert.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I am very curious and interested about Ramses II. I quite enjoyed the first book in this series but this sequel was not as good. The part of the story about Menelaus, Helen of Troy and Homer being in Egypt felt a bit far fetched, though there are certain historians that have proposed them all to have been alive at this time and that the Spartans might have landed there after the war. There is even a school of thought that believes Helen may have spent the entire Trojan was in Egypt. It was really I am very curious and interested about Ramses II. I quite enjoyed the first book in this series but this sequel was not as good. The part of the story about Menelaus, Helen of Troy and Homer being in Egypt felt a bit far fetched, though there are certain historians that have proposed them all to have been alive at this time and that the Spartans might have landed there after the war. There is even a school of thought that believes Helen may have spent the entire Trojan was in Egypt. It was really the choppy story, 2-D characters and the never-ending coincidences confirming Ramses power, that became too much and left me just wanted the book to end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Briansmom

    The first book in this series, I liked; this one, I didn't. I really, really wanted to like it, and I tried. I was fascinated by the author's idea of the Moses/Ramses friendship and was eager to read his spin on that. But I didn't even finish it. (Way) Too much dialogue, and too many really non-believable situations. Also I found the many anachronisms really distracting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ali Crain

    It's ok as long as you don't look to it for facts

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gözde Kaya

    The book is amazing in that it is brimming with intrigues. When you finish it, simply you can't wait for the remaining three books of the Ramses series...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Lee

    Well, here we are in Book II of the five-part series. Plenty of intrigue still going on (hardly unexpected, given all that happened in Book I). Since Book II picks up nearly the day after Book I, not much has changed. We've still got dissatisfied and sneaky older brother Shaanar, quietly poisoning any hypothetical well available. Sister Dolora's husband Sary is not only dissatisfied - he's spreading disastrous gossip in an effort to undermine the new Pharoah. Menelaus the Greek is still in town, Well, here we are in Book II of the five-part series. Plenty of intrigue still going on (hardly unexpected, given all that happened in Book I). Since Book II picks up nearly the day after Book I, not much has changed. We've still got dissatisfied and sneaky older brother Shaanar, quietly poisoning any hypothetical well available. Sister Dolora's husband Sary is not only dissatisfied - he's spreading disastrous gossip in an effort to undermine the new Pharoah. Menelaus the Greek is still in town, waiting for Helen of Troy to agree to go home to Sparta, but thinking about ways to dispose of Ramses in the meantime. Moses-the-Hebrew is finishing Karnak in Seti's honor, but Ramses wants more, more, more. The Hittites are rumbling. And there's a few priests that aren't doing Ramses's bidding, a few priests absconding with funds, plenty to worry about. Oh, but wait - we've got a new plot line: unknown to Ramses, there's a survivor of monotheist Pharaoh Ankhenaton's bloodline. So that gives us a new potential enemy to chew on - might even give Moses-the-Hebrew a few worried nights about his core values. In fact, Moses is starting to take a few steps in the same direction as his character in the well-known plot of the movie The Ten Commandments (lack of archeological proof notwithstanding). We're still not seeing a lot of character development, but the book is such a quick read it's almost like you're reading a synopsis for a movie. Ramses goes from one event to the next with barely a change of linen or a kiss for Nefertari; he develops kingly demeanor; he meditates. You follow along with the Nile flowing in the background. It's entertaining, not deep - and on some days, that's all you need.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I just love ancient Egypt and reading about the culture. The book was enjoyable, but not the page turner I was hoping to find. The main storyline is interesting, but there needed to be a bit more development there of the characters for me. I found it sometime difficult to follow the timeline and wanted on occasion to know how many months/years had actually passed between chapters or sections. Since I have not read the first book in this series I am going to read that one, which may give me a dif I just love ancient Egypt and reading about the culture. The book was enjoyable, but not the page turner I was hoping to find. The main storyline is interesting, but there needed to be a bit more development there of the characters for me. I found it sometime difficult to follow the timeline and wanted on occasion to know how many months/years had actually passed between chapters or sections. Since I have not read the first book in this series I am going to read that one, which may give me a different perspective.

  13. 5 out of 5

    James

    Fairly stilted shallow characterisation and standard plot lines make this a very middle of road book. I wouldn't not say it was terrible. It was certainly readable and if you're interested in historical fiction (as I am) you'll be prepared to overlook shortcomings. The writer is a professional Egyptologist I believe so there is an element of authenticity in the descriptions of artefacts and cultural practices.

  14. 4 out of 5

    KStar

    I liked this book, maybe because i accepted the authors imagined life of ancient Egypt. I liked the story inside it and the emphasis on the rituals that are said to rule Egyptian life. I think that if you can separate the historical from the interpretation of life in ancient times you can enjoy this book, if you can't then don't read it because you will read none of it. I did appreciate the story-line and found it to be an interesting and compelling read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nahid Rahman

    The second book of Ramses series The Eternal Temple is very good. It shows how powerfull Egypt was, how eager the egyptians were to statisfy their gods and how beautifull Egypt must be. At the same time it shows the big confrontation of believes between the Pharao and his best friend Moses. It's a book to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    kiwison

    It's dramatically worse than the first book. When I was a teenager at high-school I read it once and it blew my mind. Now I understand it wasn't that good. However, I'm definitely going to finish the rest of the series

  17. 4 out of 5

    matteo

    Continuing my reread of a series I first discovered at the UCSD library in the early/mid-2000s. The sentences are too short and the writing is choppy, but otherwise I love everything about the mythology and historical fiction. It's fascinating beyond imagination.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Berna

    3,5 stars rounded up to 4. It had a slow start but it got much better in the second half. I am not fond of any of the characters but I like the political maneuvers and the inclusion of religious disagreements.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Louis

    This second book in the series covers Ramses' first 3yrs of his reign,, covering his successes, the conspiracies against him and setting us up for Mosis' story and war with the in the coming book. As with book one we continue to learn more about the Gods and role of the Pharaoh

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather Cunningham

    After reading #1, I was immediately engaged in the story and eager to know what new characters might be introduced.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    The tale continues. Ramses' struggle with Shanaar, Moses' personal discovery. The power struggles. So much is at stake!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean Harding

    Jacq continues his telling of Egyptian history of Ramses II and Moses - this is the 2nd of 5 - it is pretty average with nothing to make it overtly memorable though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    I always enjoy reading this series however it does get a little stuck in mud at times with the continual sibling attacks, otherwise it’s a pleasant read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    I’ve read three quarters of the book and found it a little dull and uninteresting. I’ve given up finishing it and gone on to more interesting books.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I shouldn't have started rereading this series right after finishing Wilbur Smith's Egyptian novels. I like a meaty novel. These are well written but very brief for my liking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marijana Stojanovic

    I like the book.It is diferent from the first one,but still as good

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mr Roy Davidson

    Light read but a rather uneventful book. I will persevere with the series - not because I enjoy the book, but because I want to learn more of Ramses from a historical perspective.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Harun Bo

    Beyond history and reality.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    He's young, handsome and rich. He's married to the most beautiful woman in the land. His name is Ramses and he's just become the new Pharaoh of Egypt. But all is not as wonderful as it seems. He's suffered a personal tragedy in his marriage. His elder brother wants to usurp his throne. Members of his court are lining up against him. There have been attempts on his life. And he lives with the fear that he won't measure up to the high standards needed in a Pharaoh. Book II of the five-book interna He's young, handsome and rich. He's married to the most beautiful woman in the land. His name is Ramses and he's just become the new Pharaoh of Egypt. But all is not as wonderful as it seems. He's suffered a personal tragedy in his marriage. His elder brother wants to usurp his throne. Members of his court are lining up against him. There have been attempts on his life. And he lives with the fear that he won't measure up to the high standards needed in a Pharaoh. Book II of the five-book international bestselling series. Not a dry history of an ancient culture but a study in the pitfalls of being all too human. Honor and integrity fight against deceit and treachery. And through it all is the strength and love of two women who guide Ramses on his journey to greatness!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    The copy I have is tittled "Ramses: The Temple of a Million Years." Apparantly it was renames at some point or there are different but simarily tittled novels by the same author. Dr. Jacq is described as a respected Egytologist and founder of the Ramses Institute in France on Wikipedia. He has written many novels. This book sounds almost like a novelization of translated hyroglyphics. Of, course that could just be the writing style. I happened across this novel in a book shop in Pattaya, Thailan The copy I have is tittled "Ramses: The Temple of a Million Years." Apparantly it was renames at some point or there are different but simarily tittled novels by the same author. Dr. Jacq is described as a respected Egytologist and founder of the Ramses Institute in France on Wikipedia. He has written many novels. This book sounds almost like a novelization of translated hyroglyphics. Of, course that could just be the writing style. I happened across this novel in a book shop in Pattaya, Thailand. Guess I will have to order more of his work (and there are many listed under his name on wiki). Or at least the other five in this series. This book goes to my sister if she doesn't have all his stuff already. :-)

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