This is a cracking adventure story for younger readers by one of my fellow BookElves, Fiona Ingram.

Adam and Justin manage to get leave from school to go with their aunt to Egypt – provided they tell their classes about the history they’ve learned and explored when they get back, of course. Their aunt is on the trail of a missing archaeologist, who may have discovered the tomb of the Scarab King, a monarch even older than the 1st Pharaonic Dynasty.  However on the surface of it, they are on a standard tourist trip starting in Cairo, and going up and back down the Nile.

It’s exciting enough as a trip in itself, but when a ragged bystander secretes an odd stone in Adam’s back pocket, while ostensibly selling him three others, things start to turn strange.  And strange in Egypt can be dangerous – very dangerous!

Ms Ingram spins a great yarn, and keeps the many characters to just the right number at a time for my tired brain to handle.  She also kindly lets the protagonists catch up with each other at regular intervals, which, considering that it’s a long story, is no bad thing – although if you were reading it without interruptions it could slow the narrative down.  I was juggling a lot of things while I read this, and I think it’s all credit to the author that whenever I started the book again (sometimes after well over a week, and reading another book in between) I found it easy to pick up with the characters and the story, and get fully immersed in the Egyptology again.

I did take issue with a few details of temples visited and so on, since too much bussing was involved on the riverboat trip, and it’s quite hard to look down on the Sphinx. I didn’t like the ‘one stone to rule them all’ event near the end, which smacked of too many other legends.  I don’t think it is a real Egyptian myth, but the source I checked with admitted he wasn’t familiar with pre-Pharaonic history.  However I only realised it was the first in a series in the autumn when the second book came out, and it’s cleverly organised to be able to scamper through a number of different legends in various parts of the world, all of which appeal to young people and their history teachers.

It’s very well written and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys history, especially adventures in Egyptian tombs with plenty of booby traps!

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

I bought the kindle version of this book last summer, possibly at a discount price, I can’t remember.  This is my own unbiased review.

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Book Review| The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram
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11 thoughts on “Book Review| The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

  • 10 January, 2015 at 1:51 pm
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    This sounds like a great romp of a YA book. I’m all for books that teach history along the way. Good review, Jemima!

    • 10 January, 2015 at 9:27 pm
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      Thanks, Noelle!

  • 10 January, 2015 at 4:22 pm
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    Funny–I was just working on my review yesterday! I’ll read yours when I’ve finished polishing mine.

    • 10 January, 2015 at 9:31 pm
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      I usually find myself doing that with Steve’s reviews 😀

  • 10 January, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    A great review Jemima. I also really enjoyed this, and Fiona has a way of keeping the action coming, with endearing characters. Thanks for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

    • 10 January, 2015 at 9:33 pm
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      Thanks, Julie – there’s certainly a lot of action in it!

  • 10 January, 2015 at 10:17 pm
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    Just hopping over as part of the kidlit blog hop. Great review of this book!

    • 11 January, 2015 at 1:14 pm
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      Thanks, Jenny!

  • 12 January, 2015 at 4:12 am
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    Okay, I have to add one thing after reading yours–need to come clean about the BookElves connection!

    • 12 January, 2015 at 10:57 pm
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      Ah!

  • 16 January, 2015 at 4:08 am
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    I have seen so many posts about this story and simply must read it! I’m certain it’s one my daughter would enjoy as well.

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