Middle Grade Review: The Eye of Ra

The Eye of Ra is a fast paced fun action filled story that is super riveting and incredibly enjoyable to read.

The story follows siblings Sarah and John, who are about to move to Maryland. John isn’t looking forward to the move but brave and bash Sarah can’t wait for all the adventure ahead of them. Just before they leave, they go on a hike and discover a cave, as well as some ancient hieroglyphics. But when they go to return home, they find they are not where they first entered… or as as Sarah so aptly puts it – “we’re not in Kansas anymore”.

This middle grade is so fun to read, it is filled to the brim with adventure and mystery that will keep even the most reluctant readers glued to the pages. The chapters are short and sharp while the siblings have to deal with all kinds of things from cobras, to spiders, sandstorms, and tomb thieves.

The relationship between the siblings is realistic and nostalgic, and aside from the brilliant action, was my favourite aspect of the story and I loved how they bounced off each other. In fact, all of the characters were rounded and realistic and unique, not just stereotypical girl and boy characters that sometimes creep their way into middle grade fiction. John is a bit of a chef, and I really liked his character, also more emotional than Sarah; which I thought was a nice add. Zack, a scribe in ancient Egypt, who seems to have the hots for our Sarah, was a cool character too.

In terms of the writing, at first, I’m wasn’t 100% sure on it in terms of flow, but within a few pages was hooked and thought it well written, with solid dialogue (with just as much dialogue as description, just how I like it!) and simple enough for young ones to read, with just enough challenging vocabulary to keep it interesting, and it never felt condescending (as some middle grade YA can be).

The Eye of Ra is incredibly informative about life in ancient Egypt and their gods – like Ra himself, the “creator of all things. Ruler of the sky, the earth, and the underworld”. The story did a great job of bringing ancient Egypt to life and was quite informative and felt well researched. It also showed that although the past seems so far removed from our reality and can seem wild and scary, it has familiar everyday life things too, like loving hard working parents and yummy food.

All in all, The Eye of Ra is a great solid read that will have young readers hooked from the get go, and I would highly recommend it to all young readers!

Thanks to the author for providing me a copy, and I hear that a second may be in the making, so stay tuned!

To grab yourself a copy of this middle grade historical fantasy: click here.

Title: The Eye of Ra

Author: Ben Gartner

Year: 2020


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