I was in high school and the public library was on the way between my house and school. All group work was done there, we stayed in the comic book section downstairs until everyone arrived to go to the library.
I had a good understanding of the library system, and how to find the books we needed, and I never thought I was a special talent until I got to college and realized that not everyone saw libraries as a fun place to hang out. (Yes, I didn’t have Google at home).
At the entrance to the library, there was a shelf with recommendations. Today I have an extensive list of books I want to read, but back then I barely knew where to start and I always started with recommendations. And on an afternoon like any other, there it was the book that would be the reason for my obsession for the next six months.
Ramses – The Son of Light by Christian Jacq is one of those books that you already know the central theme by the cover and title. Impossible to be mistaken for the hieroglyphs. The book was not new, but I had never seen anything similar to that one. As a teenager, I wasn’t just interested in stories, but I was easily convinced to read a book by its cover (Judge Me).
When you “rented” a book from the library, you had a week to return it or could renew it for another week but you had to go to the library to renew the book. The fine for overstaying with the book was R$ 1.00 per day (at that time our currency was strong so I won´t try to convert how much money it was, just keep in mind I was poor and I would not have R$ 1,00 easily). I confess that at the time I wasn’t used to dense books and that one seemed particularly challenging. But the cover and the summary on the back cover…
It took me two weeks to read the book that portrays the story of a prince, still a child, turning into a teenager, who was second in line to the throne but was chosen by his father as his successor.
Each chapter was like a new world unfolding before me. Traditions, customs, and everyday life in a time when very little was known about the world, but some behaviors were already part of society. The work that uses real characters to create a fictional story fascinated me in ways I will never be able to express.
Yes, I was aware that the author was making a free interpretation of many facts, based on his research and imagination, but the fact that he managed to transport me through a time and culture completely different bewitched me as much as the story created by the author.
There are five books that narrate the story of Ramses, evidently, I finally had a book in mind when I returned to the library after reading the first book. The fourth book was the hardest to get because it was never available in the library (tough times these days). I arrived at the library and the employees already knew me and knew about my search.
Since Ramses, all the books that involve parts of history intertwined with fantasy interest me, they interest me a lot. No wonder I read all Dan Brown’s books, any book that reveals details of the Second World War also tempts me, but none was able to inspire the same emotions as Christian Jacq’s books.