I found Nefer the Silent while visiting one of the charity shops. The book, which was published years ago, caught my eye immediately because of its author. Do you remember Ramses? Ramses made a big impression on me when it was published. Of course, despite my young age, I had read the whole series, fell in love with Ramses and insisted that I would become an Egyptologist in the future.
However, after Ramses was over, I took a break from Egypt because of my ever-changing appetite and became interested in other things. Still, years later, when I saw Christian Jacq and Nefer the Silent among all the books, I couldn’t help but get excited. As you can see, I am immersed in an old Christian Jacq series.
Nefer the Silent takes place in the last years of Ramses’ rule. A guild tasked with constructing the tombs of the kings and decorating them with the best ornaments lives in a small village in a remote corner of Egypt. Although every artist’s dream is to enter this guild, unfortunately, only those who “hear the voice” and selected people can live and work in this village.
Of course, the village also has a big secret that leaves everyone wondering. Although Ramses guards such a village, it angers many. There are also many protection to make sure the artists in the village do their work without interruption and prevent prying eyes from outside. But, as they do, things start to get messy when one of the guards is killed one day.
This first book in the Stone of Light series, Nefer the Silent, is easy to read and delightful with its colourful characters. Of course, because of the love of Ramses and Christian Jacq, there may be situations where I can see the book better than it is. If you loved Ramses like I did and want to revisit Egypt, I recommend Nefer the Silent. Enjoy!
Nefer the Silent (Stone of Light, #1)
Nefer the Silent: They built a civilization ahead of its time, and dominated the ancient world.
They defined an era of war, love, passion, power, and betrayal.
They were a people of mystery whose secrets have turned to dust — but who inspire our awe and wonder even to this day….
The ancient Egyptians
They showed us how to live. And how to die.
Christian Jacq, author of the international triumph Ramses, brings the people and the passions of ancient Egypt to life in an enthralling epic novel in four volumes. Nefer the Silent is the first book in the series.
Deep in the heart of the Upper Egyptian desert lies a forbidden village where bands of artisans prepare the tombs of the Pharaohs. Guarded by a handful of elite soldiers, the hidden city shelters the most precious of treasures: the Stone of Light, a legendary stone of magical power. When a devious military officer schemes to infiltrate the city and capture the sacred gem, his subversive plot is thwarted by an unlikely hero: a desert wanderer who falls into a maze of treachery and betrayal, desire and danger… Nefer the Silent.
Christian Jacq is a French author and Egyptologist. He has written several novels about ancient Egypt, notably a five-book series about pharaoh Ramses II, a character whom Jacq admires greatly.
Born in Paris, Jacq’s interest in Egyptology began when he was thirteen when he read History of Ancient Egyptian Civilization by Jacques Pirenne. This inspired him to write his first novel. By the time he was eighteen, he had written eight books. His first commercially successful book was Champollion the Egyptian, published in 1987. As of 2004, he has written over fifty books, including several non-fiction books on the subject of Egyptology.
Jacq has a doctorate in Egyptian Studies from the Sorbonne. He and his wife later founded the Ramses Institute, which is dedicated to creating a photographic description of Egypt for the preservation of endangered archaeological sites. Between 1995 and 1997, he published his best-selling five book suite Ramsès, which is today published in over twenty-five countries. Each volume encompasses one aspect of Ramses’s known historical life, woven into a fictional tapestry of the ancient world for an epic tale of love, life and deceit.
Jacq’s series describes a vision of the life of the pharaoh: he has two vile power-hungry siblings, Shanaar, his decadent older brother, and Dolora, his corrupted older sister who married his teacher. In his marital life, he first has Isetnofret (Iset) as a mistress (second Great Wife), meets his true love Nefertari (first Great Wife) and after their deaths, marries Maetnefrure in his old age. Jacq gives Ramses only three biological children: Kha’emweset, Meritamen (she being the only child of Nefertari, the two others being from Iset) and Merneptah. The other “children” are only young officials trained for government and who are nicknamed “sons of the pharaoh”.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: