About a decade ago, I read a fantasy/sf book about an ordinary boy in a dystopian world (after some sort of worldwar or worldwide breakdown), who stumbles across an ancient artifact buried in a mound of rubble or rubbish due to his job, as he had to search for anything valuable in the heap. This artifact either connects him or fills him with the powers of an ancient Egyptian god (Maybe Ra or Osiris or Horus). Near the end of the book he is to battle against the dark brother of this very god (who is also a god - maybe Anubis or Thoth or another of the more sinister egyptian gods), as well as leading an army into battle. As far as I remember the boy was twelve years old. I do not remember the boy's name or how he was described, if he was an orphan or not. Same goes for the artifact, how he communicated with the god, etc.

Along the way of the story he meets a slighly older male sidekick who is later killed in the battle. I do not remember the name of the sidekick. It might have been the case that this sidekick is changing alliance in the storyline, but I am not sure.

If I remember correctly it has a short significant title, but it seems a quite uncommon book as my research showed quite often books of Rick Riordan, who is definitely not the author. The author was male, but he is not one of the big names in book writing. The book itself was standalone ten years ago, meaning it had no prequel or sequel.

The storyline itself does not happen in Egypt and as I said, it is set in the nearer future. Unfortunately I do not remember, which entity empowered the main character.

While reading the book about ten years ago (give or take two more years,) it was published quite recently, so it is now probably 12 - 13 years since first print. It was a paperback edition written by a native English speaker. As for the cover, I somehow think it had red as a prominent colour, but I might be wrong here. Other than that, I have to pass for the time being.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you recall which god powered the hero? Osiris? Ra? Thoth? I guess the antagonist was probably powered by Set?
    – DavidW
    Dec 23, 2023 at 12:03
  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Dec 23, 2023 at 12:45
  • Hmm. Is there anything else you can add? In what way was the setting dystopian? How did he commune with this god? What kind of artifact was it? Why was he looking in the rubbish? What was his name? Who was his sidekick? What was their name? Were they younger or older than him? Was there a love interest? How far into the future was it? Was the artefact explicitly referred to as Egyptian? How old was the boy? What did he look like? Did he have living parents? Where did he live? What did the book cover look like?
    – Valorum
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:02
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    Finally I have found it. The book is called Kaï-ro by Graham Marks. I was unaware of his work, so I can only excuse if my information has lead to false clues. As this question is solved (by myself) you can close my query.
    – Julian
    Dec 24, 2023 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


As I just stated in the comments, the book is called Kaï-ro and is by Graham Marks.

In the year 2499, a strange new city has risen, hot and dusty, dotted with half-built pyramids and ruled over by a dark army. Beneath it all, forgotten statues of ancient gods lie waiting to wreak their power on an unsuspecting world. One boy will stand up and become a hero.

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    Glad you found it. We'd be grateful if you'd mark your answer as accepted by clicking on the check mark beneath the voting buttons on the left side of the answer. It's this site's way of formally indicating that a query has been solved to the querent's satisfaction. However, as this is a self-answer, you'll need to wait until 48 hours after the question was first posted before the site will let you do that. Dec 24, 2023 at 18:50

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