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Shahdaroba - The First and Last Scroll by Bernard Paul Badham

'The First and Last Scroll'

Adult adventure of mystery and romance, a story set in modern Egypt, where an Egyptologist discovers an unusual ancient artefact, which leads to a race against time and adversary. The frst book of the series: 'Shahdaroba - The First and Last Scroll.'

'A Maze within a Maze'

'Little did he know, and few would have believed, that he was about to unleash a sequence of events which would change the course of his life and the whole of mankind forever, like a steel ball running through a forgotten maze, to find yet another, he would take a turn which would open up a Pandora's Box of a future uncertain and not yet written.'

Alexander Sebastion Jefferson is faced with the murder of his father and an historical ancient code that becomes the pivot of his investigation. Travelling in his father's footsteps he is faced with danger and adversary and a deep historical secret that will change his life and heart.

‘I could not put this book down until I had finished it, exciting and enthrallling, full of mystery and suspense.’

‘Excellent mystery and suspense novel, loved it.’


Minerva Press Review

Shahdaroba Et Lanis* Manuscript

Minerva Press

Editorial Evaluation

‘I was delighted to receive this manuscript, Shadaroba Et Lanis, from the pen of Paul Badham.  I am pleased to report that I was impressed by what I read; what we have here is a first class solid novel with substance and scope to it, a richly textured piece of writing that very skilfully manages to be at once, incisive, tense, thought-provoking and highly entertaining.  There is a peculiar quality to Sci-Fi writing as a genre: it is easy to write a Sci-Fi novel, but very hard indeed to write a good one.  This is, perhaps, because the genre lends itself quite well to the production of endless pulp variants on a very few themes.  As a result, I always feel I should jump for joy whenever I encounter a book, like this one, which actually has something new, something unique, individual and innovative to offer.

This book is a wonderful piece of writing: a highly imaginative scenario has been created and this is swiftly built within the opening pages of the book.  Crucial ‘scene setting’ details are not relayed in vast indigestible chunks, but are instead carefully woven into the fabric of the plot. This is, of course, a fictional and highly imaginative creation of some considerable scope, its characters, their hopes and fears, their interactions and dialogue, all have a crucial grounding in reality - as a result, the whole tale is eminently believable.  I have always found the Ancient Egyptians and their culture to be fascinating, and I began this novel eagerly, my appetite having been whetted by the synopsis.  I was not disappointed; as Alex delves further and further into the unknown tomb, the reader is carefully drawn into the action, experiencing the same thrill of discovery as the hero, and the same nervous delight upon awakening the wonderful beauty, Et Tara.  The merging of the long distant past with the science fiction future is brilliantly handled, and superbly realised.

The writing style of this work is another feature of its success.  Without being at all self-conscious, this author has found an individual voice, in which he writes with fluency and expressiveness.  His style is extremely versatile: at times is terse and economical, at others it becomes descriptive and quite elegant.  This is a highly readable book.  So often I see manuscripts which have an excellent plot behind them ruined by poor writing.  This book is completely different: the strong writing maximises the potential brought by the work of a first class plot.

In short, this is an accomplished, professional creation, which I believe has a good deal of market potential.  This is a first class example of a genre into which many publishers are increasingly reluctant to introduce new blood.  We believe that it would have a significant chance of making a mark, and we recommend its acceptance under the Minerva Press imprint.’

* Original title of manuscript ‘Shahdaroba - The First and Last Scroll.'


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