An archaeologist’s estranged daughters.
1907: The dawn of Egyptology is a time of imperialism and plunder, opulence and unrest, and Dr. Warren Ford, esteemed archaeologist, is the man of the hour. His daughters–intellectual Lila, on the eve of her debut as a Manhattan socialite, and nonconformist Tess, who dreams of following in his footsteps–have always lived in his shadow, and their lives couldn’t feel more different. But when a secretive organization seeks to find a lost relic legendary for its dangerous power, it isn’t Dr. Ford they turn to–it’s his two remarkable daughters.
A legendary artifact known as the Serpent’s Crown.
Rumored to reside in the mysterious Tomb of the Five Ladies, the Serpent’s Crown will only be found by solving a seemingly impossible riddle that will open the tomb–and the organization believes that one of the Ford daughters holds the key to deciphering the code. What was supposed to be an elegant debutante ball for elder sister Lila quickly turns sinister when Tess is kidnapped and put on a ship across the Atlantic. When Lila and her father realize that Tess’s life is in danger, they must act quickly to track her down and stop the Serpent’s Crown from falling into the wrong hands.
A puzzle three millennia in the making.
A race for the Crown begins, with Lila and her father in hot pursuit of the organization and Tess. With lives at stake, the fractured family must keep their wits about them, find the artifact, and escape the ruthless men who are also determined to possess the Crown and use it to their own advantage–no matter the cost.
In this women-centered nod to the beloved Indiana Jones stories, The Antiquity Affair is a high-stakes, trans-Atlantic thrill ride, with the page-turning excitement and romance of classic adventure novels and a poignant story of sisterhood at its core.
Lantern light glitters against the golden object in my hand. Such a curious thing. So small to contain such power.
As a ‘female-heroine take on Indiana Jones’, The Antiquity Affair is exactly what you’d expect.
A lot can be said about The Antiquity Affair, not the least being that it is never boring. With two very different sisters telling this story, they don’t share the same perspective even when they’re together. Taking place in the US, Egypt, and France… it’s a lot of ground to cover in very little time. For the most part, the timeline seems realistic – it’s refreshing that it takes days and weeks to traverse the globe, make plans, and travel further. It gives the relationships time to develop and softens the slight instalove undertone to the narrative.
I appreciated how the over-the-top aspects (cults and kidnapping and mind control crowns) mingled so easily with the incredibly realistic (corrupt governments and officials, colonialism, the theft of archaeological discoveries and ancient relics from their country of origin). It was clear to see the respect for Egyptian culture and history, the Egyptian people, and their mythology. Contrasting the cult’s actions and plans for the country with how Alex and Samy made decisions was interesting and insightful.
After a high-stakes, very intense story, I can only hope that The Antiquity Affair is the start of a series. The ending seems to hint at future archaeology adventures starring the Ford sisters, and it would be nice to see these relationships – between the sisters and others – developed further.