A dead sorcerer in the underworld named Henry Winslow, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley and former member of The Golden Dawn, steals a spell from the Forbidden Texts in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Thrice Born. He divides himself into three aspects and goes back in time to steal the Emerald Tablets of Thoth from the Great Pyramid of Giza. He wants true immortality and to change the course of history.
Jonathan Shade's old friend, Sharon, shows up with the master of time, Chronos, to send Jonathan and his team into the past to find and kill Winslow.
Jonathan and Kelly arrive in Egypt during the reign of King Tutankhamun. As they appear from nothing, they are mistaken for gods, but when Tut is murdered during a chariot race, things get out of control.
At stake is, well, everything. Because if Winslow succeeds, the world as we know it will no longer exist, wiped from the sands of time.
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"Because dead people don't get up and walk ..."
Poor Jonathan Shade: for the son of wizards without any magic of his own (other than being impervious to the magic of others), he does seem to find himself having to save the world rather frequently. This time he and his companions must go back in time to stop another dead wizard from gaining immortality and changing everything as they know it. And not just once, but three times.
This book is obviously the precursor of a series within the series (this is book four) as only part of the task is here attempted, with Shade and the fearsome fighter Kelly being transported back to Ancient Egypt in search of the villainous Harry Winslow. As in book three, the story is told from the alternating perspectives of the protagonists, which not only drives the story forward but adds extra insight into the characters themselves. Although mostly concentrating on Kelly and Jonathan, the rest of the gang - Esther, Brant and Rayna, - also make welcome appearances and we learn some especially I interesting details about Esther's past which are sure to resonate in later books.
As always, the narration is superb, with Joe Hempel's adroit voicings of each protagonist such that he becomes each character he assumes at the time.
I was fortunate in being gifted a complimentary copy of Anubis Nights, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an honest review. My thanks as this is a fun book in a very enjoyable series, with great characters, fast paced action, quirky situations and comedy, too. Best if read in series sequence, though not totally essential.
I am looking forward to book five.
- Norma Miles