In this exciting tale of ancient Egyptian mystery and intrigue, a young Egyptian boy named Ranofer has lost both his parents. His father Thutra, was a master goldsmith who had all but promised to apprentice him to Zau, the greatest goldsmith in Thebes, but now his evil half-brother Gebu, a stonecutter who has taken control of their father’s estate and beats the boy frequently, has hired him out to be just a servant in the goldsmith shop of the kindly Rekh.
Another servant in the shop, the oily Babylonian Ibni, gives him a wineskin every week or so to take to Gebu, but Gebu always just pours the wine out. One day Rekh announces that some bits of gold have been turning up missing, and Ranofer begins to put two and to together and questions his brother. Then Gebu suddenly removes him from the goldsmith’s and puts him to work in his own stonecutting shop.
Ranofer struggles to reveal a terrible crime involving a priceless golden goblet that he finds in Gebu’s room, thwart the sinister plottings of Gebu, and reshape his own destiny so that he can become master goldsmith like his father. But will he survive a trip to the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings? And if so, will he end up being accused of the crime? This was a 1962 Newbery Honor Book and is a very suspenseful story that is fun to read.