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.

Book Review| The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram
Tagged on:                                 

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

  • 10 January, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    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

      Thanks, Noelle!

  • 10 January, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    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

      I usually find myself doing that with Steve’s reviews 😀

  • 10 January, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    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

      Thanks, Julie – there’s certainly a lot of action in it!

  • 10 January, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Just hopping over as part of the kidlit blog hop. Great review of this book!

    • 11 January, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, Jenny!

  • 12 January, 2015 at 4:12 am

    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


  • 16 January, 2015 at 4:08 am

    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.

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: