Ramses, The Son of Light
~ A Capsule Book Review by Allen Kopp ~
Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II (also known as Ramses the Great) lived an astonishing ninety years, from 1303 BCE to 1213 BCE, about twelve hundred years before Christ. As Pharaoh, he was a builder of mighty monuments and an effective administrator. His father, Seti, was Pharaoh before him. Seti made Ramses his regent when Ramses was only fourteen years old, meaning he would be Pharaoh after Seti.
French writer Christian Jacq has written a series of six fictional books about the long-ago life of Ramses. The first book in the series is Ramses, the Son of Light. It’s about the early life of Ramses, from childhood into young adulthood. Though he was born into privilege, he did not have an easy life. There were always those who wanted to destroy him or marginalize him. His older brother, Shaanar, was his biggest rival and his greatest enemy. Shaanar saw himself as the future Pharaoh and would have done anything to remove Ramses from the scene, especially after it became clear that Seti wanted Ramses to succeed him.
Being regent meant that Ramses had to undergo many tests to prove that he could be an effective Pharaoh when the time came for him to ascend the throne. Not only would he have to deal with treachery and opposition in his own sphere, he would have to keep Egypt’s enemies at bay and do what needed to be done to avoid war.
Ramses was precocious, as one might expect, and manly in his teen years. He had a girlfriend, Iset the Fair, with whom he shared many passionate embraces, beginning when they were barely out of their teens. When it came time to marry, though, Ramses chose Nefertari as his blushing bride. A Pharaoh wasn’t limited to only one wife, so Iset the Fair became his number-two wife after Nefertari. With Nefertari he felt love, while with Iset the Fair he felt passion.
Ramses, the Son of Light is lightweight reading. It’s not a serious examination of a long-ago monarch or the time in which he lived. It’s what is called pop fiction instead of serious literature. Book two in the series, which I haven’t read, will be sure to pick up at the beginning of Ramses’ long and successful reign as Pharoah. There will be wars, there will be rivals, there will be intrigue, there will be dishonesty, there will be plenty of ugly and destructive human nature to go around.
Copyright © 2022 by Allen Kopp