Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Eye of the Serpent

The Eye of the Serpent

Philip Caveney
For ages 9 to 12
Random House UK, 2008   ISBN: 978-1862306080

For much of the year Alec Devlin attends a boarding school in Cairo. For the last few years, during the long holidays, he has gone to work at his Uncle Will's archeological dig in the Valley of the Kings, and Alec has always greatly enjoyed these special times working with his uncle and exploring the past. This holiday, the trip to the valley is more needed than ever because Alec’s mother died not long ago and he needs something to do that will distract him.

Though Alec’s uncle has been taken ill, his uncle’s replacement and dear friend, Ethan Wade, still wants Alec to go out to the dig. Ethan is an American who has plenty of energy but who does not know a great deal about archeological digs. Though Alex is only fifteen, his experience working in the Valley of the Kings will be useful.

Soon after arriving in Luxor, Alex learns that some decidedly odd things have happened at the dig. Soon after his Uncle Will found an untouched tomb full of riches, his assistant Tom Hinton suddenly disappeared. Then Uncle Will had what looks like a nervous breakdown, and he had to be taken to a medical facility. Alex isn’t at the dig long when even more bizarre things happen. Bats attack Alex and his companions one evening and then, to the horror of everyone, something in the tomb comes to life. The restless and very dangerous spirit of  an ancient Egyptian High Priest is on the loose and he is not going to rest until he gets his revenge.

This is the first book in what promises to be a very exciting and interesting series. The author beautifully weaves together real facts about ancient Egypt and archeology with the fantastical fiction that his imagination has conjured up. It is going to be interesting to find out what Alex does next.