Friday 2 of December, 2022
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From Romance to Adventure: 15 Books Inspired by Egyptian Mythology

From colouring books and graphic novels, to detailed guides on Egyptian mythology and historical non-fiction, Ancient Egypt has been a source of inspiration for all these authors and more.

Karim Abdullatif

Ancient Egypt captured the imagination of many writers in its 7,000-ish years of existence. Think of it like this: there’s been less time between Cleopatra and the iPhone than there was between Cleopatra and the Pyramids. That’s more than enough material to inspire authors across the ages to create everything from colouring books and graphic novels, to detailed guides on Egyptian mythology and historical non-fiction…


Pantheon by Hamish Steele 

Illustrating how much of a trip Egyptian myths are, this graphic novel hilariously depicts the main stories like Amun creating the universe and Osiris ruling the underworld. While it’s definitely not a source for academic papers, it’s a good opener to this world if you’re looking for a laugh.


Egyptian Mythology: A Guide To The Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch 

If you’re looking for more of a proper reference book, this is it. Incredibly thorough, it covers the timeline of mythical history by breaking down every deity, demon, concept and principle of Ancient Egypt alphabetically. 


Egyptology by Emily Sands

Any kid that loves history or mythology would adore this classic. An excellent primer on this genre, it tells the story of Egyptologist Emily Sands on the hunt for King Tut’s tomb in 1926 when she mysteriously disappears along with her crew. Your kid’s going to love this one. 


Ancient Egypt Coloring Book by Hicham Eramdani 

Exactly what it says on the cover: a colouring book centred around Ancient Egyptian deities, pharaohs, queens, and mummies. Because if you aren’t colouring in Tawaret then what are you doing?


 The Mind of Egypt by Jan Assman 

Breaking down how Ancient Egyptian belief systems worked with examples of literature, artwork, hymns and inscriptions, this book is a window into how Ancient Egyptians viewed themselves and the world around them. We would recommend taking it in chunks. 

 

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin 

Based on Ancient Egypt, Gujaareh is a city ruled by peace and powered by dreams that heal and guide people into the next life. Yet something is rotten, a conspiracy within the main temple brews as innocent people are murdered in the name of the goddess. Enter a world that feels real and explores theology deeply while the plot plays out with incredible suspense. 

 

A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark 

Steampunk meets urban fantasy in 1912 Cairo where Fatma, the youngest worker for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities (we imagine that if they had a website, it would be maesa.gov.eg) has saved the universe before. Solving a murder in a secret brotherhood should be a breeze… right?


Egyptian Book of The Dead Translated by Ogden Goelet and Raymond Faulkner

Here's a funerary text that was written during the New Kingdom. It was placed in burial chambers containing spells to assist one’s journey through the Duat, and became the first manuscript to be compiled in colour and translated into English. 


The Egyptian Box by Jane Louise Curry

Back to middle school, this book focuses on Tee who moved to California to live in the house inherited from her great uncle. She also inherited a wooden doll shaped as a mummy that turns into a shabti. When it comes to life it does whatever it is asked: homework, chores, anything. But the doll starts enjoying Tee’s life a bit too much, which has to stop. Doesn’t sound like a nightmare at all. 


The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan 

Part of The Kane Chronicles, its premise is similar to the Percy Jackson series. But instead of demigods, Carter and Sadie’s father was an Egyptologist, until he summoned a mysterious figure from the Rosetta Stone. Egyptian gods are coming back, and some crazy apocalyptic chaos is about to go down. And here you thought that driving in modern day Cairo was ‘chaos’ enough. 


Theodosia and The Eyes of Horus by R. L. Lafevers

From the series that is now an HBO Max show, this third mystery follows budding Egyptologist, Theodosia Throckmorton, as she discovers an emerald table with dubious legends following it. Theodosia is catapulted into an adventure where Edwardian London and Ancient Egypt meet, and stuffy grandmamas aren’t always what they seem. 


Ramses: The Son of Light by Christian Jacq 

An historical fiction about the life, love and reign of Ramses II, perhaps the most famous and powerful pharaoh to date. The five book series is easy to read with its entertaining portrayal of Ancient Egypt, featuring guest appearances from Nefertiti and Moses. 


River God by Wilbur Smith 

Set during the Hyksos invasion, the adventure novel comes with a love triangle between the Pharaoh, a lord’s daughter and the soldier she’s in love with. Yet the main character is Taita, a slave who has to navigate his way through the perils of the love triangle while the empire is on the brink of falling to invaders. 


The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Touted as a children’s book, this is just as enjoyable for adults. Ranofer is a young orphan who’s keen on rising above his circumstances to pursue a simple dream of becoming a goldsmith’s apprentice. At the time, it’d give him the kind of prestige and security that comes with being a banker, with the joy of crafting for Azza Fahmy. Leaving his abusive half-brother behind, Ranofer stumbles across one of the worst crimes in Ancient Egypt and it’s up to him to do the right thing. Even if it costs everything. 


Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green 

Aimed towards an older age group, this collection of stories is written by a contemporary of C. S. Lewis and Tolkien, and is broken up into three segments: stories of gods, stories of magic, and stories of adventure.