Museum of Seraphs in Torment
Francis Valerian Hammond: the most gifted young Egyptologist of his generation—or a crackpot so unstable that he merits his current residence in the locked ward of a psychiatric facility? Scrawled writings from his cell hint at a lost treasure known as King Solomon’s Wand—an artifact that Hammond claims somehow links the Egyptian prince Khaemwaset, son of pharaoh Ramses the Great, with otherworldly visitors called the Seraphs. Despised and isolated, Hammond finds his claims laughed off by all his onetime academic colleagues—all except his old friend Ricky Atlas, a grad-school dropout and Egyptological ne’er-do-well now making an odd-job living as a tomb-robber and thief-for-hire serving the pleasure of private collectors. When an entity calling itself the Corporation hires Ricky to unearth Solomon’s Wand, he finds himself on a hazard-filled quest that propels him from Cairo’s Egyptian Museum to a mountaintop cave in the highlands of Yemen, and from there to Chicago’s Oriental Institute and the deserts of the American Southwest. There he meets Annie Martinez, a free-lance antiquities-hunter who joins Ricky in the attempt to free Francis Hammond, vindicate his claims, and keep one step ahead of the Corporation—while also seeking to learn how Solomon’s Wand may unlock the ancient secret of the Seraphs.
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Pinault, David, "Museum of Seraphs in Torment" (2013). Faculty Book Gallery. 104.