Chakana is a historical romance novel filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue.
In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.
But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.
If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.
When I first read the description for this book, it reminded me of how I felt as a child when I was watching the Indiana Jones movies. I always wanted to be an explorer and archaeologist, so these kinds of pieces of literature are always something I look forward to reading. What I couldn’t have known from the description is that this book held no resemblance to Indiana Jones, with the exception of a few basic core plots. For example the budding war with the Nazi’s, seeking a lost treasure and having to battle a group of men who want to steal the treasure for themselves.
Instead, this a story that is fantastic in its own merit. This is the kind of adventure I would have dreamt of as a child. While my interest in archaeology has always been geared more towards Ancient Egypt or even the Jurassic era, this book opened up an entire new world of history for me. Sure, I knew the same basic spiel about the Incas that every American child is briefly taught in one of their history classes. But W.E. Lawrence’s book has shed a light on the mystic and inventive side to this ancient culture that I’m curious to see if it truly exists. I think the author’s choice of the Incas over another ancient civilization was smart and I even found myself wondering if it was a way to bring to life the myth of El Dorado. Either way, I really enjoyed each time the duo uncovered another piece of the secret mechanism, because you never knew what they would have to overcome. Each situation is completely different from the other and yet, seemed realistic.
So you already know I really enjoyed the adventure aspect of this story. But I suppose I should take a few moments to explain my thoughts on the characters.
I found the introduction to the two main characters, Kate and James to be charming. Taking place six years prior to the main plot line of the book, Kate is fortunate enough to find James stranded and in great peril in an Ohio bog. Though they only knew each other for that one day, it’s clear there is chemistry between the two. One of my favorite parts about this pairing is the fact that James isn’t always the one saving Kate. In truth, as many times as he helps her, she’s able to return the favor. She’s a strong female character, in a time, when the belief was a woman should be meek, mild and looking for a husband. She doesn’t think twice about going to help out her brother in Peru, even before she knows he’s in danger. Even the one scene where you see her as a cop, she has no problems keeping her calm and doing what needs to be done to protect the people of her town from being murdered by a group of bank robbers. At no time did I feel like she was just tagging along to be the nagging sidekick, who always winds up needing saving. This was such a fantastic choice by the author.
If you love historical fiction, adventure or historical romance novels, then I would highly recommend you immediately add this book to your TBR. There are so many great and interesting things going on in this book and for the sake of not spoiling, I’ve really had to hold back my excitement and enthusiasm in this review. I just hope if you do get a chance to check it out, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.