x

Literature

Review: “King’s Shadow” Chronicles Unlikely Treasure Hunter

“The King’s Shadow” by Edmund Richardson (St. Martin’s Press)

Charles Masson isn’t a household name, even for many avid readers of history, but it’s easy to wonder why that’s the case after reading “The King’s Shadow.”

Historian Edmund Richardson’s book on Masson’s search for the lost city Alexandria Beneath the Mountains is less about the treasure hunt and more about the unlikeliest of archeological heroes.

A deserter from the army for the East India Company in the 1800s, Masson wound up in Afghanistan and sought to find the remnants of the famed city that was part of Alexander the Great’s sprawling empire.

That search winds up being the backdrop for Masson’s exploits as he dodges spies from the East India company, rivalling rulers and others. Along the way, Masson unearths archeological treasures that pointed to the city’s existence.

The story of Masson’s life at times can be convoluted, with a massive cast of characters that many writers would die for. But Richardson skillfully weaves the tale of Alexander’s empire with Masson’s adventures, using a novelistic approach rather than dry academic one that focuses on the action without sacrificing key details about the history.

Toward the end of Richardson’s book, he notes that history is not just formed by scholarship. Rather, he writes, “it is also made of stories.” With “The King’s Shadow,” Richardson contributes quite a story to prove that point.

RELATED

NEW YORK (AP) — Marisha Pessl's first novel in six years is a psychological thriller with the kinds of intricate clues and connections she has been known for since her acclaimed debut, “Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Russian Missiles Slam into a Ukraine City and Kill 13 People as the War Approaches a Critical Stage

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Visitors to Disney's California parks could one day walk through the snow-covered hamlet of Arendelle from “Frozen” or the bustling, critter-filled metropolis of “Zootopia” under a park expansion plan approved by the Anaheim City Council.

PARIS (AP) — With the Paris Olympic Games 100 days away, police carried out a large-scale eviction at France's biggest squat in the south of the capital.

NEW YORK (AP) — Four people were shot — one fatally — on a street corner in the Bronx by shooters who were riding on scooters, police said.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats could end the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday before arguments even begin.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.