Happy Saturday! Today I am featuring The Eye of Ra books by Ben Gartner! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Ben Gartner to share with you! These books are truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about them!
The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner
Series: The Eye of Ra #1
Published on February 1, 2020 by Crescent Vista Press
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Time Travel
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram
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.
Thanks for having me on your blog today, Kait! Happy to be here and talk about The Eye of Ra series. I’m excited because book 3, People of the Sun, is publishing in February 2022. Here’s a cool trailer if you want a quick glimpse of the series and the upcoming book 3.
Now, on to the questions!
What would you do if you spent the day with John and Sarah? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Well, since I know their secret, and since they have the Ra amulet, we could go literally anywhere and anywhen, so this question really opens up the possibilities! I’d love to visit the places featured in my books, namely ancient Egypt (book 1) and the frontier of the ancient Roman empire in modern-day Switzerland (book 2). The latter would have been much more dangerous than the former, I think, but they both had their challenges, for sure. I would also love to travel with John and Sarah a million other places too, and maybe someday we will. 😉
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
Fun question. I guess it depends on whether I was feeling up for an adventure, or just some lazing around. For the latter, the Shire seems like a lovely place to lollygag a bit. Gandalf’s fireworks are epic. For the former, to have an adventure, somewhere in the Star Wars universe would be amazing. Maybe aboard the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewie. They seem like down-to-earth kind of guys I could get along with, and we could travel at warp speed to explore the galaxy.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
A picture of my family. My book. The rarest coin I could find. The first for sentimental nostalgia and because they’re most important to me. The second because of pride (a little bit is okay!). The third for whoever finds it to get rich. You’re welcome.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Though the statue of Wadjet plays an important role in The Eye of Ra book, I didn’t talk too much about who she was. I thought this was another fascinating bit of history that could probably earn a spin-off series all its own. Notes below are straight out of my research scribbles, excerpted from the Wikipedia page:
Wadjet was closely associated in ancient Egyptian religion with the Eye of Ra.
As the patron goddess, she was associated with the land and depicted as a snake-headed woman or a snake—usually an Egyptian cobra.
She was also the protector of kings and of women in childbirth.
As patron and protector, later Wadjet often was shown coiled upon the head of Ra; in order to act as his protection, this image of her became the uraeus symbol used on the royal crowns as well.
Wadjet was said to be the patron and protector of Lower Egypt, and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt.
The name Wadjet is derived from the term for the symbol of her domain, Lower Egypt, the papyrus.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Eye of Ra?
Ugh, tough to choose!! One scene that is cited back to me often as an answer to this question is when John is trapped by the scorpions in the pyramid tunnel. I won’t spoil what happens, but readers seem to really get excited about that scene. It’s a fun one. And it also marks a pretty pivotal moment in John’s character arc, which is why I suspect it resonates with readers.
I also really liked writing the twist at the end of the book because when that idea struck me, it was like the proverbial lightning bolt “aha!” moment that tied a lot together. And also queued it up for book 2. That’s the fun part of writing, right?!
Ben: These were great questions and a fun exercise, Kait. You really pushed me to think outside of the typical interview questions. Thank you for having me! For people who want to learn more about The Eye of Ra series, my website is the best spot. I’m also active on Twitter if you want to say hi or ask a question. Happy time traveling!
Kait: You’re welcome! I’m excited to promote a great series for kids reading between Magic Tree House and Percy Jackson!
What do you think about The Eye of Ra? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!