Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review of Paul Sussman's "The Lost Army of Cambyses"

This is another historical detective set in modern day Egypt. When I started reading it I thought it was one of Will Adams' books. It had a very similar opening as in Adams' "The Alexander cipher" I reviewed few weeks back (in reality, it is likely Adams borrowed book "structure" from Sussman as latter's book was published at earlier date). 

Anyone who is into ancient history may know about the army of Persian King Cambyses lost in a desert storm following successful campaign to conquer the ancient Egypt in 6th century BC. 

When a fiction novel is about subject known to be inaccessible in reality one can immediately assume that by the time of its ending it should return to status quo. Indeed, this novel describes a rare, once in a life time archeological discovery of the lost Army and in the end the Army is lost again. 

The novel is a typical mystery detective story but the ending is actually very surprising and quite unexpecting.       

posted by David Usharaul

Friday, March 9, 2018

"Vredens Dag" by Kurt Aust - a historical fiction set in Denmark

Recently I started watching a lot of Scandinavian TV series. Most of them are very good (Borgen, Anno 1790, Dicte, Rita, 1864, Vares). 

Later I came across of a historical crime novel written by Scandinavian author and decided to read it to acquire some light introduction to their history. It is a historical detective set in Denmark at the eve of 1700 A.D.

The story is focused on crime investigation by Danish Professor who is also a royal judge and his assistant. They are traveling to another city but due to a heavy snow storm were forced to stay at some remote guesthouse in the middle of nowhere and there witnessing several gruesome murders. 

It is well written novel. Some of the real historical facts are briefly mentioned. It depicts the period in Western Europe when science is rapidly advancing and widening people's understanding of the world. 

posted by David Usharauli

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"The Alexander Cipher" - secret of the tomb of Alexander the Great

This novel is part archaeology part political thriller. The territory of ancient Macedonia covers modern-day Greece, Bulgaria, FYR of Macedonia and Albania. Wealthy Greek Macedonian Father and Son want to unify these separate territories into one country and resurrect old Macedonia. But to accomplish this goal they need something that make ordinary Macedonian people to rise up. 

They think the goal can be achieved if the tomb of the Alexander the Great is discovered. So they finance archaeological excavations in Egypt to find it.

Indeed, Daniel Knox, becomes involved in its discovery, by chance.

I liked this book. It has some some history, some realism, some fantasy. Egypt is shown with its powerful ministry of Antiquity, its wealthy, cruel but 'patriotic' magnates and ordinary Egyptians who try to do their best.       

posted by David Usharauli

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Iain Pears' "Stone's Fall" - review

After reading Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" and liking it I decided to read next book I came across from this author and surely it was another quite remarkable piece of fiction.

The story in "Stone's Fall" spans time period of 40 years from 1860s till 1908. It is divided into three sections and goes backwards in time to tell the history behind the story of main characters.

Interestingly, when first part ended I thought book was finished because story came to some natural conclusion. But I was mistaken. To my surprise not even the second section of the book could truly explain the reasons behind the first section. Only after reading the 3rd section of the book and basically only reading the final pages one can realize how deep and unexpected way it is connected to the first pages. 

It is quite remarkable story. Moreover, writing style is so easy to follow. I liked both of his books I read. Highly talented writer.

posted by David Usharauli