Attn Harry Potter and Games of Thrones fans… this is going to be the next Harry Potter deathly series…
Legends of Amun Ra is a bold new science fiction/fantasy series of the year. A unique blend of history, mythology, fantasy, and science fiction wrapped in a heart-pounding adventure mystery, you will uncover the magic spells, mythology, and wonders of the ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
You will cross boundaries that will lead you into another dimension. A dimension of magic, rooted in genuine the mythology of ancient Egyptian religion. Legends of Amun Ra explores the transformative processes of the soul, and is truly unlike anything you have ever read.
Come and Experience One of the Year’s Best New Tales of Magic…
It’s time to discover the magic, mythology, and wonder of Legends of Amun Ra. Visit us today at www.legendsofamunra.com to begin your journey to a dimension defined by the powers of the gods and goddesses.
All Fantasy World’s said: “The battle scenes were perfect, just like in “The Emerald Tablet”. Vivid images, a lot of action, and a determined Thea who is not very sure of what she is doing, but she knows she wants to save Messenia.”
Tome Tender reviews said: “The attention to detail throughout the story creates a living and breathing world laced with the author’s knowledge of ancient Greek history and its gods.”Student Spyglass blog called The Emerald Tablet: “A middle ground between Harry Potter deathly and Game of Thrones
The authors admit that a collection of all of the readings would be too dense for your average reader. They give a decent, although superficial in some places, introduction on the background of these readings and how they fit into ancient Egyptian religion, as well as the impact they have had on other religions, science, philosophy, etc.
The bulk of the book consists of 20 chapters on the Hermetic texts. Each chapter contains a 2 page summary written by the authors in more modern language and then the reading itself, written in a more poetic style. This style gets a bit old, because you end up reading the same thing 2 times for each reading.
Isis, daughter of Nut and Geb, was one of the ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses to make up the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. She fell in love with her brother, Osiris, and wed him. Although she was a symbol of femininity, fertility, and motherhood, teaching women how to grind corn, flax, weave, and cure disease, she was not a subservient goddess. In fact Isis was infamous for her skills of magic and sorcery. She used her abilities to trick the sun god, Ra, into giving her his full name. In ancient Egyptian religion, knowing the true name of a god was to capture his or her power, and, in obtaining Ra’s secret name, Isis increased her powers in wizardry. 
Book Review: The Priests of Ancient Egypt: New Edition by Serge Sauneron, David Lorton, Jean-Pierre Corteggiani
This is one of the few books which emphasizes the duties of the priests and their functions in the sphere of ancient Egyptian religion. While most books on ancient Egyptian religion discuss the ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses and their roles in the mythologies of the ancient culture, Sauneron (I keep thinking of Sauron the White from Lord of the Rings when I read his name), instead chooses to place his focus on the daily life of the actual priests.
The book is vast in its contents and touches on everything from the corruption in the priesthood and the bribery which inevitably happens in every vast religious organization, to the mundane in regards to dietary restrictions, cleanliness, fornication, and dress code. Some of the more elaborate chapters which I liked focused on the actual rituals of morning prayers, mid-afternoon prayers, and evening prayer rights.
Most people would be surprised to discover that ancient Egyptian religion is strikingly similar to Judeo-Christian values. Despite this, during Roman times when Christianity was becoming the dominant religion, polytheistic societies such as Greece and ancient Egypt were labeled “pagans” so that the Judeo-Christian sect could distinguish themselves as a civilized religion as compared to the “barbaric” polytheism that was predominant in most of the ancient world.
In ancient Egyptian religion, people relied on a pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses. One goddess, Ma’at, was not just a divinity but a concept. Ma’at itself means “truth”. And not only did the goddess embody her namesake in her duties, she set the standard for all citizens to behave. Many people believe that civilized life was not possible before the Ten Commandments—as if a world without our modern religion was anarchy. However, the concept of ma’at in ancient Egypt proves that notion wrong. Every Egyptian wanted to aspire to a life of “truth”. They wanted to live a “good life” so that at the end of their mortality, they could stand before their gods and goddesses, in particular Ma’at, and complete the weighing of the heart ceremony to determine their role in the afterlife.
Backstory is fundamental. Backstory is cumbersome. Backstory is intriguing. Backstory is useless.
I’ve heard all of these adjectives applied to the plot element commonly referred to as backstory. If you don’t know what backstory is, it is a tangential sub-story that describes a character’s past actions. It is often used to help sculpt a character’s personality or create sympathy and a relationship between the reader and the character. It can help explain what motivates a particular character to take certain actions. It can also provide more depth to the relationship between two characters, such as a romance, a friendship, a familial relationship, or, conversely, a rivalry or revenge scenario.
In his book, On Writing, Stephen King argues that backstory should be the last tool you implement to explain your character. Since the reader just started the book, they don’t have a enough of a sympathetic or empathetic relationship with your characters to care about their backstories yet. It is imperative to wait until you’ve established a relationship between reader and character before you start boring your audience with backstory. That is why, in The Emerald Tablet, I try very hard to wait until the second half of the book to start giving the backstory of my characters. This has led many readers to say: “I hated XYZ character until the last third of the book.”
With the finale of one of my favorite shows Spartacus and the news of a sequel to the movie 300 coming out, I thought I would talk a bit about the history of slave wars. The wars did not start with Spartacus. Rather, Spartacus was one of many leaders of freedom fighters in the course of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, British, and American history. Before Rome had Spartacus, Sparta had Aristomenes. (Fun fact: Spartacus was not from Sparta but was from Thrace, though he is named after the famous city-state).
In 750 BCE, Spartan king Theopompus went to war over the northern city-state of Messenia, which was also Greek. He did so because his territory needed expanding and his men needed slaves so they could focus on warfare. The First Messenian War lasted twenty years and enslaved the population of Messenia. The ratio of Messenian Helots to Spartan citizens was 7:1. It is estimated that around 700 BCE, the Spartan population was between 10,000 and 20,000. The only thing I could compare this to would be if Arizona went to war with California and enslaved all the Californians. We are all Americans, but live in separate states. What the Spartans did to the Messenians was unprecedented. Typically, in ancient times, you made slaves of foreign people, not domestic.
This book was pretty interesting in that it made me question the idea of having the main character be likable. As I writer and a reader, there is an implied expectation in most fantasy fiction that protagonists are the “good” guys. They’re the ones who we’re rooting for. They’re the ones who we want to see, as readers, overcome the obstacles and triumph over the antagonists and evil.
I do explore the idea of good and evil in my own book series, but I still want my characters to be liked. Karen Miller doesn’t seem to have the same idea.
Hekat was born a slave but through her communication with the god, she rises through the class hierarchy of Mijak society. Hekat, the protagonist, is selfish, stubborn, and overconfident in her beliefs and her abilities. This doesn’t make her a likable character despite her position as the protagonist. She enslaves people who stand in her way, exiles her political adversaries through cunning manipulation, and downright murders naysayers without a second thought. All the while, she does this in the name of the “god”.
Guest Post by Joy Hoeffler, Beware “The Butthole Phrase”
Every reader experiences this moment: You are reading along, completely wrapped up in a scene and enjoying every sentence until—BAM—the writer throws in a strange description or an oddly worded sentence that takes you right out of the action and leaves you going…WTF?
As an editor, it’s my job to find these stumbling blocks before the reader trips, and the thread of a brilliant story gets tangled in a bit of terrible writing. When I’m writing a book, I fall victim to them on a regular basis. Case in point—a bit of my writing that led to the title of this blog:
Her gaze was burning into him now, and he felt his face getting hot. He had an idea where this was going, and he wanted her to stop.
“Peter, I need to tell you something before you go.” Her voice was low, and her blue eyes held a mixture of fear and hope and the unspoken words he knew were about to spill out of her small pink mouth.
It is widely known that many Christian traditions and holidays were modified forms of pagan festivals. In 313 CE, Constantine the Great (you know, the Roman Emperor who converted and turned the Western world Christian overnight), declared the official religion of the Roman Empire as Christianity. To smooth this idea over with the public and assist with the conversion process, he tied many Christian holidays to pagan ones which the public already celebrated. He didn’t want a revolt on his hands. (Although it’s an oversimplification, just imagine if the President of the United States declared the official religion of the United States wasn’t Judaism or Christianity. That is essentially what Constantine did in 313 CE.).
But, if we know that most holidays have their roots in ancient cultures, where does Easter come from? By using symbology and finding the common threads throughout the ancient world’s religions, we can understand why we celebrate our holidays the way we do.
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