Day of the False King
It is 1150 B.C. and Ramses, pharaoh of Egypt, needs the healing power of the Babylonian god, Bal-Marduk. He sends Semerket, his Clerk of Investigations and Secrets, to Babylon to negotiate the idol’s voyage to Egypt. Ramses also has information about Semerket’s wife, Naia, banished to Babylon for her accidental role in the Harem Conspiracy. Ramses is now prepared to revoke the banishment should Semerket be able to find Naia.
Semerket arrives into the pandemonium that is Babylon. The city is rife with violence and political intrigue. The Elamite king’s sister has disappeared. His condition now for sending the idol to Egypt: that Semerket find his sister.
This is a fast-paced, complex story that weaves expertly through a chiaroscuro of vivid scenes peopled with pungent characters. The author constructs the plot around a wealth of historical information, so colorful in its own right that it needs no embellishment to keep us turning pages. I cannot resist mentioning the Chamber of Insects and the Temple of Ishtar as places to watch for.
I leave it to the reader to discover the outcome of Semerket’s mission. If the book is true to its ending, we will see more of Semerket. I cannot wait for the next installment.