Seven Ancient Wonders
1st edition cover
|Cover artist||Wayne Haag|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Followed by||The Six Sacred Stones|
The Seven Ancient Wonders (The Seven Deadly Wonders in the United States of America) is a book written by the Australian author Matthew Reilly in 2005. Its sequel, The Six Sacred Stones was released in the autumn of 2007. The most recent novel in the series, The Five Greatest Warriors, was released in Australia on October 20, 2009.
Around 4,500 years ago, the capstone upon the summit of the Great Pyramid of Giza absorbed the energy released by the Tartarus Rotation (a monstrous sunspot that occurs every 4,000-4,500 years), and saved the earth from major flooding and catastrophic weather. This capstone was later divided up by Alexander the Great with one piece hidden in a booby-trapped location within each of the other seven wonders of the world. If and when they are reunited and replaced on the capstone during another solar event, they can bring 1,000 years of peace or power for the nation which possesses them.
In 2006, seven days before this sunspot is again due the pieces are still divided and 3 teams are trying to reunite them, 2 for their own gain - one from Europe (representing the Catholic Church) and the other is CIEF, the Commander-in-Chief's In Extremis Force (an American force covertly representing the power of the Freemasons). The third team is an alliance of a group of 'small nations' called the Alliance of Minnows (Canada, Australia, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Jamaica, New Zealand, and later Israel), led by Jack West Jr, trying to reunite the capstone for nobler reasons. This team and the European team each also possess a child, one of the only two people who can read the "Word of Thoth", a special hieroglyphics system used in the booby-traps (the other person is her twin Alexander, who is being brainwashed by the Vatican).
West's team gain and lose a capstone, the head of the Colossus of Rhodes to the CIEF but manage to escape and then reach the hiding place of two more pieces at Hamilcar's Refuge on the coast of Tunisia. There they again lose their gains to the CIEF, and again escape.
They then spring Mustapha Zaeed, the world's foremost authority on the Capstone and the Seven Wonders and a known terrorist, from Guantanamo Bay, who leads them to two more pieces. After separating the team, the "Coalition of the Minnows" is devastated through kidnap and death. The survivors escape to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Iraq, but are there apprehended by an Israeli strike team. West is forced to lead the Israelis to the piece, but the Americans arrive, execute the Israelis, capture the piece and trap West and his team. Jack is presumed dead.
The European contingent escorts their hostages to Cairo with a lone Piece - taken from St. Peter's Basilica - and, in attempting to capture the CIEF's five pieces, lose the St Peter's piece and Epper and Lily to them. The CIEF team then goes to Hatshepsut's Mortuary, and - with the aid of the measurements from the Paris Obelisk - finds the last piece in the tomb of Alexander the Great. Taking the whole Capstone to the Giza pyramid on the day of the rotation, placing Alexander in the chamber beneath it to ensure the ritual works.
However, Jack West and his team's plane return to stop them. Judah tries to carry out the ritual, but Alexander crawls out to save himself from death, unwittingly ensuring its failure and del Piero's death, then Lily crawls in willingly and Zaeed carries it out successfully. West, however has ensured a twist to who has world dominion. West's team then wins the battle and he finds that Lily has survived by (unlike Alexander) going into the chamber willingly.
The epilogue takes place three weeks later, with Wizard and Zoe accompanying Lily across Central Australia, before reuniting with West.
- Jack West, call-sign: Huntsman / Woodsman, Australia
- Professor Maximilian T. Epper, call-sign: Caster, Wizard, Canada
- Lily 'West' (Daughter of Oracle of the Siwa Oasis Egypt, adopted by West at the end of book), Call-sign: Eowyn, Egypt
- Captain Zahir al Anzar al Abbas, call-sign: Saladin / Pooh Bear, United Arab Emirates
- Sheik Abbas, Pooh Bear's father.
- Lieutenant Enrique Velacruz, call-sign Matador / Noddy, Spain (killed)
- Sergeant V. J. Weatherly, call-sign Witch Doctor / Fuzzy, Jamaica
- Sergeant Zoe Kissane, call-sign Bloody Mary / Princess Zoe, Ireland
- Corporal Liam Kissane, call-sign Gunman / Big Ears, Ireland (killed)
- (real name unknown), call-sign Sky Monster, New Zealand
- Lieutenant Benjamin Cohen, call-sign Archer / Stretch, Israel
- The solar event is named the 'Tartarus Rotation', after the ancient Greek word for hell.
- Lily renames the call-signs of West's team after children's fiction characters such as Pooh Bear (Aziz al Anzar), Noddy (Enrique Velacruz), Fuzzy (V J Weatherly), Big Ears (Liam Kissane), Princess Zoe (Zoe Kissane), and Stretch (Benjamin Cohen). Lily in turn is given her own call-sign, Eowyn by the New Zealander pilot of the Halicarnassus, call-sign Sky Monster.
- A World War II U-boat is found in Hamilcar's Refuge, used by a Nazi expedition to find the piece. This references various popular culture items such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade showing Nazi Germany as setting out to recover occult archaeological artefacts.
- Hans Koeing, leader of the Nazi expedition, now working for the CIEF team, references various other Nazis pardoned and employed by the United States, such as Wernher von Braun.
- The Callimachus Text is a vital plot device, referring to Callimachus, the real-life librarian of the Musaeum in Alexandria, who wrote the famous list of the seven wonders. Here he is held to have been privy to Alexander's splitting up the pieces and thus to have left coded references to that in his list.
- There are numerous references made to Egyptian and Mesopotamian landmarks, notably tombs, monuments and obelisks.
- West finds an extinct plant in the Hanging Gardens, and takes one to Australia. The power of Tartarus allows the plant to grow in Australia, and he gives one to Zoe.
The Six Sacred Stones (Sequel)
Matthew Reilly has written a sequel to this novel, called The Six Sacred Stones. It was released on 23 October 2007 in most bookstores in Australia, but some stores released them later (1 November). It was released on 8 January 2008 in the US and UK. Like its predecessor, the main character of the novel is Jack West Jr.
- MatthewReilly.com - homepage of author