Ramsès, tome 1 : Le Fils de la lumière

by Christian Jacq

Paperback, 1995



Call number





Pocket (1995), Edition: Coffret Pocket, 441 pages


The new Pharaoh, Ramses, aspires to greatness of a magnitude undreamed of by mortal men. But to thwart his dreams, a gaggle of fiends, including a sorcerer, invaders, and his own brother, awaits him.

User reviews

LibraryThing member pierthinker
‘The Son of the Light’ is the first book in a series by Christian Jacq and covers the coming-of-age and ascent to the throne of ancient Egypt of Ramses II. Jacq has written over 20 novels set in ancient Egypt and is a global bestseller. I approached the book wanting to see what the fuss was all about.

Either I am more sophisticated and grown-up than I thought (hard to believe!) or this is throwaway teen (sorry, young adult) trash reading. The plot is straight as an arrow and the book is a simple narrative from A to B. The goodies are very good and the baddies are very bad, with little motivation and depth behind them. The scenes depicting the introduction of the young Ramses to the ancient mysteries of Egypt have as much feeling and awe about them as a visit to the supermarket.

An area where I think Jacq is successful is in the depiction of Egyptian life. To us today many of the rituals and hierarchies of ancient Egypt seem very strange. Jacq portrays these events as normal and accepted parts of life and in this way brings us very close to these people inways that formal histories do not.

Overall, I found this an easy read with some surprising elements, but it did not excite or arouse me and has not made me eager to read the next volumes in the series.
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LibraryThing member schteve
If visitors to the Cairo Museum ever report seeing the mummy of Ramses II spinning in its display case, this book will probably be the reason.

Jacq, "France's leading Egyptologist", plays fast and loose with the known details of Ramses life, inventing a scheming older brother and casting the Hebrew Moses as a childhood schoolfriend of the Pharoah Seti's son, a highly unlikely scenario.

Add to this Menelaus and Helen stopping in Egypt for an extended stay on the way back from the Trojan War (which some scholars say may have been waged in Ramses' lifetime) with blind bard Homer in tow writing The Iliad as a first hand account (Homer actually lived hundreds of years later) and what you get is a fictional 'biography' that is part potboiler, part soap-opera.

Cardboard (or is that papyrus) characterisations abound, with absurd subplots, passionless writing and cliched, modern-idiom dialogue all adding up to an ancient world 'Bold And The Beautiful'. Jarring modern day references abound: "job description", "State Department", "police". Jacq and/or his translator seem hell-bent on breaking the spell that must be cast on a reader in a historical novel such as this. As "historical fiction" it fails dismally in both spheres.

Jacq himself deserves 5 stars for parlaying his Egyptology credentials into a career writing drivel like this. This novel was followed by 4 more volumes covering Ramses' reign as Pharaoh. I assume they are just as bad as this one.

This really is one of the worst books I have ever read.
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LibraryThing member hlselz
The first book of the series deals with Ramses as a little boy, and how he came to become Phaoroh.
LibraryThing member leore_joanne
[close] I enjoyed this book tremendously and it was finished before I had time to notice.

I found the level of the language and the dialogue as a bit too easy, especially when compraing it to what I got used to in the past week (aka, vanity fair), but the plot and adventures made up for it. I think though, that the simplicity of the language ruined a bit of the experience of reading the book.

I'm also not too sure of the historical facts, I am not too well researched on ancient Egypt. But this book definitely gave me a thirst to find more books on the subject.

I did love Toya (Seti's wife), it's refreshing to read of a strong woman in ancient culture.

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LibraryThing member AlecBaker
The story of Ramses written by Christian Jacq is the best story I had ever read. Christian Jacq wrote the story with a lot of action, less narrative style. He describes the ancient Egypt, from the holy world blessed land. I believe in God and I believe that he/she/it can appear in many forms, so is each God of the ancient world, male or female, human or animal like, an expression of the one. This story shows a lot of Gods, and a lot of humans and animals. Each one of the five books is well-written. So I write one review for all the five books of these series.
The story of Ramses begins in his adolescense. But he is not anymore a child, he is a man, like a man in a Harold Robbins stories, is Ramses as teenager like a young adult. He has to fought to be Pharao after his father. He has to fought against his brother, he has to fought against evil people which use evil spell. He has to fought against foreign forces.
But there is also love. The love of his mom, the great Queen, the love of his puppy love and the love of his great Queen, Nefertari, the love of his pals, his fellows, his folk, his country.
Ramses the Great was the greatest leader in the world. He led his country round about seventy years. He was about ninety as he died. Under his rules was egypt a rich country. Not only in wealth, also in religion, in believe, in culture, in everything. He must be the model for each politican. Ramses the Great was more a servant for the people. What he did, he had done for the people not for his own sake.
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LibraryThing member libgirl69
Not bad from what I remember . Language pretty stilted though.
LibraryThing member samantha.1020
I can't even begin to remember where I heard about this book but boy am I glad that I did. I was entranced by this novel which is about Ramses before he became king of Egypt. It begins with the first time that Ramses meets his father, the Pharoah of Egypt and Ramses is fourteen years old. From then on Ramses is never sure if his father is training him to be the next Pharoah or whether his destiny might lie as something other than king. The book continues on with the struggles that Ramses faces as well as the triumphs. Because not everyone wants Ramses to come to power including Ramses' older brother who plans on being Pharoah himself.

I loved this book! I was transported into Ancient Egypt with this novel and I was entralled. The writing was gorgeous and I was marking passages to share left and right. The best part of the book though was that the author captured my interest and I was caught up within the story. There were times that I just couldn't put the book down. Ramses was a strong and likeable character but realistic at the same time. He wasn't without his flaws and as the reader I wanted to see him overcome his enemies and become the future Pharoah. I'm really looking forward to the 2nd book in this series! Here is a little teaser to share a taste of this wonderful novel:

"A courageous man goes to the limit of his strength. A king goes beyond it. If that is not in you, you are not meant to rule and we will never see each other again. No test should daunt you. Leave, if you wish; otherwise, capture the bull."

All in all, this was a wonderful novel that I highly recommend to anyone that enjoys historical fiction.
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Original publication date


Physical description

441 p.; 4.26 inches


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