Book Review: Sol Invictus by Ben Gartner

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.

An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

John and Sarah recently moved to Maryland, and they’re handling it okay. Sarah seems a lot moodier though, and she doesn’t want to spend much time with the family. It sounds like typical growing pains at first, but is there more to it?

When their parents decide to take John and Sarah to a museum, they end up in the ancient Roman frontier! This time, it is no accident. The gods are sending them on a mission, but they don’t want to time travel again. When they get there, they try using the Eye of Ra to return, but it doesn’t work! They decide that they probably have to complete the mission, but that seems impossible. They’re smart but I couldn’t see how they could complete this mission to get home.

John and Sarah make several friends while they’re in the ancient Roman frontier. I was hoping for more action in this second book, and I got it! I’m impressed with how the author incorporated a lot of history in Sol Invictus without it feeling like a history lesson. It didn’t slow down the story at all.

Sarah is having more and more trouble figuring out how to deal with the conflicting emotions she’s feeling and tends to walk off to be alone, forgetting how dangerous that could be. She made me so nervous running off like that! I enjoyed watching them grow throughout the book.

Sol Invictus is full of adventure that middle grade readers (and adults) will enjoy. It contains a lot of action and is a page turner. This time that John and Sarah are in is more dangerous than where they were in ancient Egypt, and they have to be on guard at all times. I’m looking forward to reading more books in The Eye of Ra series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com

Book Review: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

John and Sarah live in Colorado and are moving to Maryland soon, and of course, they’re not happy about it. When on a hike with their parents, they find a cave and magically end up in ancient Egypt. Although they want to go right back home, it’s not possible. They’re going to have to stay in this time and place until they can figure out how to get home.

Luckily, they meet a boy whose family takes them in. During the weeks that John and Sarah are in ancient Egypt, they (and the reader) learn a lot about it. I found the information interesting, but there may be a little too much detail for middle grade readers.

Sarah has a bit of an attitude which I thought was funny because that’s typical for her age. John not only learns a lot about ancient Egypt, but he now knows the he will be okay when they move. If he can make friends in another time, surely making friends in Maryland will be a piece of cake!

The Eye of Ra is an adventure that middle grade readers will enjoy. It doesn’t have as much action as I thought it would, but it gets pretty intense near the end of the book. I’m looking forward to reading Sol Invictus, the next book in the series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com