Book review: The Ka by Mary Deal

 The Ka by Mary Deal  

About The Ka

California archaeology student Chione has vivid dreams about the discovery of an opulent tomb. After the founder of the Institute of Archaeology learns that Chione’s dreams might be connected to events in Egypt, he accepts an offer to examine a mysterious site in Valley of the Queens.

After they discover an ancient burial site, spells encoded into the hieroglyphs on the tomb’s walls transport Chione and her former boyfriend, archaeologist Aaron Ashby, 3,500 years into the past: to ancient Egypt. There, they learn of Tutankhamon and Tauret, a priestess in Pharaoh’s Court.

Meanwhile, the other team members are affected in unfathomable ways by the Ka: the spirit of the entombed.

Chione and Aaron learn that Tauret plans to provide Tutankhamon with a living heir… and that they have been chosen to play a crucial part in completing their destiny.

My thoughts on The Ka

From the opening scenes in which a group of hot-tempered academics prepare to uncover a forgotten Egyptian tomb, The Ka draws its readers into a mystery centred in the ancient history of the pharaohs, one that pivots on mysticism and the paranormal. This is undoubtedly a potent mix.

Distinct and believable characters fumble and tumble their way through discovery and danger. The author clearly knows her subject, and provides a vivid and detailed portrait of the tombs and pyramids of ancient Egypt, along with the stories, the tragedies and cruelties, and the betrayals that went on. The historical exposition is cleverly woven into the narrative in the conversations among the party and in the mind of the protagonist, Chione.

The story maintains a good clip and is well-plotted with plenty of twists and surprises. The plot is driven by Chione, who endures many dreams and visions, at times clear, at others murky. Through Chione, Deal blends the present with the ancient, all the while imbuing the narrative with a looming sense of dread. Danger, is everywhere, as pervasive as the sweet odour that so enchants Chione.

Questions prevail, not least what is it between ex-lovers Chione and Aaron and will they re-unite? As the story unfolds the past and present collide in a dramatic way. Suddenly, ancient Egypt is a lived reality, not something dead and buried, but alive and influential, having lured Chione and Aaron back in time and trapping them there. What unfolds makes for a highly engaging read.

Original, refreshing and captivating from first to last, The Ka will appeal to historical fiction fans with a fascination for the supernatural.

 

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2 thoughts on “Book review: The Ka by Mary Deal

  1. This is an incredible surprise to wake up to. Thank you, Isobel, for validating that my four years of research before writing this story was worth the effort.

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