The Antiquity Affair
by Lee Kelly; Jennifer Thorne
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Pub Date 06 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 13 Jul 2023
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.
- An exciting turn-of-the-century adventure
- Stand-alone novel
- Book length: 100,000 words
- Perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn, Laurie King, Clive Cussler, and Indiana Jones
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 121 members
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found myself getting swept up in the action and excitement of the story. The writing itself was descriptive and allowed me to picture almost all elements of the story, from the characters, their environments, right down to objects. I really enjoyed the plot and the thrilling nature of solving the riddles. The characterisation was great and we got to see really diverse qualities in Tess and Lila and the sisterly dynamic between the two was written really well.
I think addressing the issues surrounding early archeology is really important, I’ve read other historical fiction books about archaeological discoveries that have made me very uncomfortable because the author hasn’t in some way attempted to address how these discoveries (while fabulous for our knowledge of the past) profited on colonialism and imperialism and were at the expense of the people who actually lived in those countries. In particular, I found the quote “I find them wretchedly distasteful. Not the objects themselves but our possession of them. These are pilfered things, spoils of bald theft, snatched from peoples in no position to argue because they’re dead or too poor or downtrodden or ensnared in political nets not of their own making to fight for what’s rightfully theirs” poignant in expressing this sentiment.
This novel is perfect for fans of The Mummy franchise, or 2000's Kids who carried the gold Egyptology book around with them everywhere. I look forward to reading about the Fearless Fords again.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for giving me the opportunity to read this book, I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for granting me this copy. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The first thing that hit me was the title and when I read the plot about an ancient artifact involving archaeology and ancient Egypt I could not resist.
The story deals with an archaeologist Dr. Warren Ford and his daughters involved in a research about this ancient artifact called the Serpent's Crown.
The two young sisters start a journey full of perils but also adventure.
The writing style is fluid and intriguing. I really liked the plot and it's development.
The characters, and in particular the two sisters, are well-built. I really appreciated how they evolve during the story.
A story full of history that people should have forgotten, but they have not. On the contrary, they want to bring back the past and the readers cannot be left behind.
What a thrilling adventure, with sisters at the heart of it. When Tess and Lila take the reins--of horse and camel--their stories take off, brimming with cases of mistaken identities, cat-and-mouse chases, booby-trapped catacombs, first loves, encrypted clues, and a long-lost treasure that all want to get their hands on. A rousing, page-turning romp across Egypt!
THE ANTIQUITY AFFAIR is a little different than what I've grown to expect from Harper Muse. This is much more of an adventure story. It's extremely well done and a rewarding read.
As our main characters travel across Egypt and Europe, the setting and historical details are nicely conveyed. You can tell the authors have done their research. But the research does not get in the way of the story. Instead, it contributes to its evocative atmosphere.
I enjoyed both Lila and Tess and found even their faults to be relatable. Ultimately their strengths shine through.
The author also does a good job at giving the reader just enough information about archaeology and the unfortunate imperialist implications in its history.
This is a fast-paced and highly entertaining adventure story perfect for fans of Indiana Jones and National Treasure.
This was a fun and adventurous tale that felt like a combination of Indiana Jones and Frozen.
Two sisters are swept up in a scheme to uncover an ancient (and potentially powerful) Egyptian relic.
I enjoyed this daring duo's adventures across Europe and Egypt. The setting and time period made for an interesting backdrop, and the pacing was reminiscent of a historical action movie. Both Lila and Tess were strong in their own unique ways, but also flawed in their own ways. Each made for a compelling main character.
I also appreciated the effort toward acknowledging the archaeology field's reliance on colonization and imperialism, while still weaving an exciting narrative. I felt the story and its characters appreciated Egypt and Egyptian culture, rather than viewing it as something to take advantage of. The ones who did want to pillage it were the bad guys.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Muse for the ARC!
Since i was a kid I likes reading and watching anything Egyptian. I lost my self in this story. I totally would read it a 2 or a 3rd time with no hesitation. I loved it!
I just reviewed The Antiquity Affair by Lee Kelly; Jennifer Thorne. #TheAntiquityAffair #NetGalley
The Antiquity Affair by Lee Kelly; Jennifer Thorne is an excellent historical fiction that has it all: history, mystery, action, suspense, family, and a dash of romance…and I loved every minute of it.
Such an excellent book that takes us to the ancient worlds and back…filled with puzzles, mythology, history, archeology, legends, intrigue, suspense…and action worthy of Indiana Jones.
I loved the alternating chapters between sisters Lila and Tess. They really added to give additional sides to this intricate, intriguing, addictive, and thoroughly fun plot in a race to solve the puzzles, find the missing pieces, thwart the evil plans of world domination, and to save the world. Lila, Alex, Tess, Mr. Ford, Annie, Samy, Nura, and yes, even William, warmed my heart. I hope I see them all in a search for something of “Celtic origin” soon.
I love Egyptology, and this was a wonderful jaunt to be submersed into the cultures of today and yesterday.
Thank you NG and Harper Muse for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 6/6/23.
I use to want to be a archaeologist so I always look forward to read books about the topic. This worked well in the puzzle aspect and did everything that I hoped for from the description. The authors did a great job in telling the story and creating these unique characters. I enjoyed the mystery aspect and can't wait for more.
"Well, Dr. Belot requires your help once again. These scrolls are an ancient puzzle, a series of texts written in an unknown language, a sequence that builds from scroll to scroll. A riddle, if you will. A riddle that will open a tomb.”
I received a free e-arc of this book through Netgalley. It started off a little stuffy at an event, but then quickly lapsed into a female Indiana Jones type book with riddles, searching for a treasure and deadly traps. I enjoyed the sisters' relationship and obviously this would be a great movie with the young women besting the old, wealthy men. A great adventure with some romance thrown in for good measure.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I was fascinated by the description of this book, and was not let down. This is a story of sisterhood, faith and love. Not only does this book offer a very fun journey of two estranged sisters, it's a very fast paced thrilling ride to the farest regions of Egypt. As a lover of history, taking this journey with the two sisters, whilst fighting off the evil cabal, was the perfect form of escapism. I was wary the characters would be too obvious in their struggle to find each other, and find true love; I was not let down. I can truly say this is a must read for all who are seeking a novel filled with adventure, cunning, joie de vivre and loyalty. I would certainly look forward to reading more adventures of the Ford sisters.
"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."
And don't forget Egyptology!
This book sends its reader on an adventure! I enjoyed getting to know both main characters and seeing how very different people can both be parts of the same incredible story. The writing was inviting, humorous at times, and well crafted. Highly recommend.
Available June 6, 2023
(Perfect for a beach, holiday or pool read!)
This was quite a romp of a read. It was as if Indiana Jones brought his two daughters along with him as additional adventuresses! Their father is a excellent archaeologist and both girls are quite bright in their own way. Through childhood with their father being gone so long, they had come up and devised their own language. Lila, is able to translate symbols and she's an excellent code breaker. Tess is well versed in the knowledge of various mythologies, everyone has talents that they will need in order to ultimately translate the ancient scrolls that will lead them to a relic, a relic that is thought to give the ultimate power to the person who claims it. However, it's not that simple, there is a society individuals that want it for themselves and they will do anything, kidnapping, a forced engagement, anything to get to it before Lila, Tess and her father do. Expect a lot of light romance, puzzles to solve, sibling rivalry between Lila and Tess, near death escapades, a shootout and of course much more. It was really a lot of fun to read. I definitely recommend the book.
Entertaining journey through Victorian society and early 20th century Egyptology. Mia and Tess both come into their own as modern thinking women, and slowly throw off the constraints that society put on “ladies” of the era.
** “I’m on tenterhooks, facing the likely prospect of either sudden, terrifying or slow, agonizing death, but Tess is with me, finally, truly with me, and I feel such relief, such life rushing through me, that I cannot see how anything will top this moment for me ever again.” **
Authors Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne join forces to deliver “The Antiquity Affair,” a sisterly adventure story.
When sisters Lila and Tess Ford both get separately kidnapped, they’re quickly drawn into an historic mystery with huge impact — a quest to find the Serpent’s Crown, a legendary object thought to hold immense power for its wearer.
As they work together to find the crown before the evil Brotherhood of the Knot, which will use the crown to take control of the world, they must learn to overcome their past issues with one another and use each of their unique skills to solve the clues to the crown’s location.
The authors put together an action-packed storyline filled with history, adventure and sometimes misadventure. They develop two quirky yet plucky characters in Lila and Tess (each chapter alternates between their points of view). And they also challenge the readers not only in the suspense of will they solve and survive their mission, but they throw in some good themes like having faith in oneself, the importance of teamwork, and putting aside differences and working together.
Fans of historical fiction, authors like Clive Cussler and adventure stories will love this Enola Holmes meets Indiana Jones meets TV’s Josh Gates from “Expedition Unknown” tale.
“The Antiquity Affair,” which is due out June 6, does contain some mild language as well as scenes hinting at intimacy.
Five stars out of five.
Harper Muse provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.
I received an ARC of THE ANTIQUITY AFFAIR from NetGalley and Harper Muse in exchange for my honest opinion.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance
Spice Level: med (open door but without gritty details)
Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne authored this book, and I was hooked from the first chapter. Each chapter's ending drew me forward, wanting to know more. Some moments had me giggling and laughing aloud.
Lila and Tess, sisters separated by one year but miles apart through personality, are in continual conflict. The tension between these siblings felt perfect!
Then there are the gents: Alex (the partly Egyptian assistant to the girls' father) and William (the son of a wealthy family who's never allowed to make his own choices). And you can bet these two add even more conflict, conflicting emotions, and some love.
I thought it was a little weird that there was sex on the page because it didn't seem necessary for the plot. *Shrug*. Maybe this detail was trying to make it fit current social norms.
I was absolutely delighted with the mystery, the twists, the treasure hunt. There are Indiana Jones moments along with Elizabeth Peters' mysteries that take place in Egypt. Even though I like the cover, I'm not sure it fits the story because it didn't have historical vibes for me.
Yes! I recommend this book for adults. It's so much fun to go on an adventure.
The Antiquity Affair is a page turner -- full of adventure with thrills, spills, and romance. I loved the characters, two teen sisters whose father is one of the premier archeologists in Egypt during the early 1900s. These two teens are the main brains working to solve a mysterious tomb’s riddles and traps. I absolutely devoured the book, and I am looking forward to reading more books with the loving, but not always best father and seeing how the girls’ romances blossom. Thank you Net Galley for providing an advance review copy.
An estranged sister, a case of mistaken identity, and the search for a hidden ancient treasure with mysterious powers--this is a tale of adventure...and misadventure. Lila Ford is on the brink of saving her family from poverty and ignominy. Since her mother died and her father prioritized his archeology career over his family, her Grandmother has raised her to see that only a good match will secure their future. If only her sister, Tess, hadn't abandoned her too, leaving all the responsibility on Lila's shoulders. But when Tess is kidnapped from Lila's party by obsessed believers in the powers supposedly carried by an ancient Egyptian artifact, it's up to Lila, her father, and his assistant, to find and rescue her. The good news is, Tess has escape plans of her own, and she's more capable than her captors realize. Can they all find each other and get to the artifact first? Or will the bad guys win the race and kill them all?
I thoroughly enjoyed this nod to Indiana Jones, but with female protagonists! It's a fanciful, turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century adventure inspired by ancient texts and mythos. The motivations and feelings of both Lila and Tess were fully developed and explored--there was so much unsaid and buried beneath the surface in the family interactions. So much hurt. Added to the family interactions were layers of romance and betrayal, and I loved it. It was fun to follow the clues and codes along the twisty path to the finish.
Triggers: abandonment, violence, dark rituals/ceremony
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
What an exciting story! I read this book in one sitting. We start with the Gilded Age and marrying for money. Then we have backstory of the sisters and their relationship. Then a kidnapping with mistaken identity. There’s the hunt for an ancient treasure that takes the sisters on their adventure filled with puzzles and mythology, archeology and intrigue, sailing ships and camels and lots of action. I couldn’t help but think of Indiana Jones and his adventures. I don’t re-read books, but this is one book that I’d definitely re-read.
The Antiquity Affair was such a fun and fast paced story seeped in Egyptian folklore and I absolutely loved it! This story definitely felt like an Indiana Jones adventure but with sisters and it was really well written. There was a lot of world building and descriptions of all of the Egypt scenes and antiquities and the characters were all really interesting. This definitely wasn't a complex read but an adventure that I think so many readers are going to love, especially if they like ancient Egypt history and Indiana Jones!
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book!
Whew- what a whirlwind! Very fast paced book, told through the perspective of two sisters and their father as they race through Europe and Egypt to prevent an ancient relic from falling into the wrong hands. The sisters and their companions fight back against a secret order, eventually making their way through a series of ancient tests to prove their worth for the relic itself. I don't often stay up late to read one more chapter, or to finish the book, but for this one I did.
Similar to other reviews, this book had strong similarities to Indiana Jones and the Mummy, but at the same time felt like different stories from those movie franchises. I really appreciated that the two lead characters were female (albeit had perhaps a more modern approach to feminism compared to the turn of the century, which is when the book is set). Sometimes with dual narrator books the plot can feel disjointed or jumpy, but this did not at all; in fact I forgot halfway through that this was written by two women. Then end tied up this story nicely, but left a lot of space for additional books to come involving the sisters; it's something I hope the authors plan on doing :)
I requested The Antiquity Affair on NetGalley, but a couple days later I saw it at the bookstore and had to purchase a copy. The very next day I was approved for the NetGalley copy and I'm not mad about it. This book was fantastic. It's just as promised...Indiana Jones meets The Mummy. I love both of those, so of course I loved this. I really hope this turns into a series. I loved seeing the sisters work together and also have some very sister-like arguments. It really captures the complicated sister relationship.
This is a super fun action adventure story with a touch of romance. I loved the idea of putting women into these roles and having them be the hero of the story. It was also nice seeing the social and ethical issues of archeology addressed. Having the characters thoughtfully decide how to handle their discovery instead of plundering for glory and profit was wonderful to see.
The Antiquity Affair is set in the early 1900s, featuring two estranged sisters, Lila and Tess. The story told in alternating POV. They're the daughters of an archeologist who have taken drastically different paths. Throughout the story, while solving puzzles and action-packed adventure that puts their lives in peril, they are finding their way back to each other.
This was an immensely enjoyable fast-paced, and thrilling adventure. I'm hoping this is only the beginning for Lila and Tess.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I love books featuring archeology, riddles, and ancient artifacts. This one was a treat and I had a lot of fun.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Historical fiction, mystery, adventure, ancient Egypt and archaeology? This book was hitting multiple faves of mine, so naturally it was a hit with me! It has some real Indiana Jones vibes, but with an obviously feminist/female slant to it that I really enjoyed. The bad guys are all obvious and over-the-top, most kind of goofy (again, I enjoy it!), and the good guys are also obvious and kind of over-the-top, and, of course, both protagonists get love interests haha
Lee Kelly is good writer that puts together good and atmospheric prose as well, though she does overly rely on certain turns of phrase, particularly in the second half of the novel. This makes certain parts repetitive, particularly once the two protagonists meet up for the second time. Does this detract? I mean, it elicited an eyeroll or two but didn't affect my enjoyment. I think it lent to the charm of the story, actually. I'd happily read more by this author (especially a sequel).
This is a tropey but fun romp across 1907 America, Europe, and Egypt. If you enjoy a light, cheesy adventure romance, you will like The Antiquity Affair as much as I did.
Move over Indiana Jones, the Ford sisters are here! It's 1907 and Lila Ford is about to make her debut into society, hoping to secure a wealthy husband and clear her family's debts. Her more unconventional sister Tess is back from boarding school to attend the ball, and right away, their sibling rivalry is in full force. The night is soon upended when their father, the renowned archeologist, appears, whisking one sister away to safety, while the other ends up kidnapped by a cult! Hidden somewhere in an Egyptian tomb is the Serpent's Crown, a relic which according to myth will give its wearer the gift of absolute power over others, and these men will stop at nothing to find it. Thus the adventure begins. The sisters will have to make use of every bit of their intelligence and ingenuity to solve the riddle of the Serpent's Crown... and to make it out alive.
I adored this fun female-centered adventure tale. The adventure itself is definitely Indiana Jones-like, but you get so much more along the way. There's a large focus on sisterhood, a nice look into Egyptian history, and a good bit of romance as well. The chapters alternate between Lila's and Tess' points of view, giving clear motivations for each sister. I loved them both and enjoyed watching as they reconnected and rediscovered their love for each other. They are both such smart and capable young women. The romance was well done, too. You can't help but fall in love on an adventure like this one, right? The danger really ramps up as the story progresses, leading to a fully satisfying conclusion. I would love to see more of Lila and Tess in the future. Would recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
For a lively frolic through turn-of-century Egypt, the Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne’s historical fiction / archeological mystery romp featuring two sisters, one year apart in age and almost identical in appearance, the Fabulous Ford Duo, Lila and Tess, siblings of archeologist and Oxford University professor Dr. Warren Ford are caught-up in international intrigue when a notorious faction pursues an an ancient Egyptian relic attributed with mystical powers called The Serpents Crown.
I adored all things ancient Egyptian and this dialogue-driven fun, yet fact-filled little treasure is a terrific read from beginning to end.
JoyReaderGirl1 graciously thanks NetGalley, Authors Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne, and Publisher Harper Muse for this advanced reader’s copy (ARC) for review.