Gold of Kings is the story of Storm Syrrell. Actually, that’s only partially true. It’s really the story of Storm and her grandfather, Sean, and their quest for an ancient treasure – the missing treasures from the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was sacked by the Romans, and a list of the treasures they took was carved on stone columns. But things were missing, and a Copper Scroll discovered that lists everything the Romans missed. But what happened to it all?
That’s the question. Sean thought he knew, and he was killed for his knowledge. He passed along clues to his granddaughter, and sent his friend Harry Bennett, a freelance treasure hunter, to help her. Once Storm and Harry figure out the clues that Sean left them, we’re off, Indiana Jones style, on a high-speed roller-coaster ride that will leave readers as breathless as the characters in the book.
I honestly had decided, after reading the back of the book, that I wouldn’t like it. I read a little bit of it, then put it down as other books grabbed my attention. I’m not sure whether I picked it back up out of a sense of obligation to finish it and review it or what, but I’m very glad I did. The writing doesn’t get in the way of the plot, which happens all too often in fiction. And there are plenty of scenes that will remind readers of the Indiana Jones movies – that comparison was very intentional. The cover blurb on my ARC certainly didn’t do it justice, because this would have been a worthy beach book this summer (and I had it in plenty of time to have taken it with me twice to the beach).
One thing I always pay attention to when reading is the characterization, and Bunn does a quality job of bringing us characters we care about in this book. The only problem I had was that sometimes Harry seems too perfect, too well-prepared for every eventuality, so when things finally go wrong for him, I really wasn’t prepared for him to collapse into a funk the way he did towards the end of the book. If that had lasted a bit longer, it probably would have given his character more depth, but it was over before I knew it, so it just left me a little flat. Additionally, the romance in the book seems a little contrived (I won’t tell you who it’s between, that would be cheating).
On the whole, Gold of Kings is a great addition to my growing collection of thriller/suspense fiction. You can find the book in Christian bookstores, though there’s not really a Christian subtext in the book (unless you count a favorable portrayal of a pastor as a Christian subtext), so the book is very accessible to any reader. And it should be on your bookshelf, if not on your nightstand.