Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7439-5
Historical Romance, 2004
Shadow of the Sun is a romantic adventure story set in the late eighteenth century Egypt, but the main characters are stuck in a romance that’s fairly pedestrian in nature.
Sarah Pendergrass has been trying too hard to earn her father’s approval and love all these years. The man just won’t be placated however and after neglecting his only daughter for so long, he finally summons her to get her to return some artifacts plundered from an Egyptian queen’s tomb back to the tomb. Lord Whitehurst believes that he has been cursed for plundering the artifacts. The only reason he summons his daughter for this mission is because his protégé Jake Mitchell refuses to help him.
Jake, in fact, wants these artifacts to be displayed so that his falsely maligned reputation can be redeemed after he was previously accused of stealing a fellow archaeologist’s artifacts. He’s now bent on chasing after Sarah and getting back the artifacts. Needless to say, he doesn’t believe in the curse Lord Whitehurst is rambling about. He doesn’t know that this “Sarah Easton” he met on board the vessel to Egypt is Lord Whitehurst’s daughter carrying the very relics he is searching for. But love may have to wait as a villain is trying very hard to get his grubby paws on the artifacts.
There isn’t much to say about this book, really. I find the characters and their relationship on the whole mundane and unexciting, mainly because I can detect no genuine ring to their “ohmigosh, we’re in danger, we love each other, maybe we don’t, he saves her, so they do love each other, the end” love story. The main characters seem to be merely going through the act of falling in love like underpaid actors on a TV show forced to work only because of contractual obligations. The external conflict isn’t too exciting while the trust issues between the main characters lead to several miscommunication issues that feel forced and artificial.
While this book can be easily read in one sitting , I find very little about the story that are memorable. It’s just a book with a story that’s pleasant and vaguely enjoyable, and despite having a setting that can be deemed “exotic” in the genre’s current trend of Regency England saturation, that’s all it merely is at the end of the day.