Back Cover BlurbEdit
Here at last - the first exciting book in a bold new series of Lara Croft novels tying directly into the popular video games. The Amulet of Power reveals the never-before-shown events that took place between "Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation" and "Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness". Trapped beneath the ruins of an Egyptian tomb, Lara faces certain death... until fate intervenes and sets her on the trail of an ancient talisman of power.
Archaeologist and explorer Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics, forgotten crypts, and lost cities. Highly trained for combat and possessing an insatiable appetite for adventure, she answers to no one and goes wherever the quest takes her - heedless of the danger.
When Lara turns up in the Middle East, despite the rumors of her death, religious fanatics believe she has located the coveted Amulet of Mareish. Lost since the siege of Khartoum, the amulet is said to grant the wearer untold power. Some long to possess it, others want to see it destroyed, and both sides pursue Lara relentlessly. While she fights trained warriors and ruthless mercenaries, and desperately searches for the jewel they all seek, one thing becomes clear: The fate of the world rests in the hands of... Lara Croft Tomb Raider.
The story begins with Lara still trapped in the rubble beneath the Temple of Horus. She is rescued by an unknown man, and passes out. She wakes up, having been taken to Cairo hospital by Kevin Mason Jr., the man who rescued her, and son of the famous archaeologist Kevin Mason. He had been excavating in nearby tombs when he felt the temple collapse.
Two Arabian men attempt to kill Lara with a knife in her hospital bed. Mason saves her again, and the two surreptitiously depart, taking Mason's land rover to safety. It is revealed that the men were part of a group that had been watching the Temple of Horus, but, unable to find what they were attempting to steal, they assumed Lara had it. Mason's land rover is followed and they are shot at. He manages to evade them at a small village between Cairo and Luxor, but doesn't have enough petrol to continue. Lara decides that they should get a felucca down the river to Luxor, and from there a cruise boat South. Lara passes out again.
She awakes on a cruise ship called the Amenhotep a day later. Mason tells her that the men who have been trying to kill her are part of a group called the Mahdists, who seek the Amulet of Mareish, hidden by General Charles Gordon. Gordon had been instrumental in handling a revolt by the Mahdists in Khartoum, Sudan, in the 1880's. He managed to steal and hide the magical amulet of the Madhi, a self-appointed prophet. They believed he had hidden it in the Temple of Horus. Lara and Kevin Mason narrowly avoid a number of attempts on their lives by Mahdists, as well as some mysterious tongueless assassins, as they make their way down the river. They know that they will eventually be killed for the amulet they don't have, so they decide to stay in the Amenhotep to the Sudan, in order to convince the Mahdists that they are still looking for it.
Two men, Hassam and Gafaar, from the Amenhotep, as well as the waiter, Omar, whom Lara had been rather rude to, introduce themselves as members of a group who want to destroy the amulet for the good of the world. Two other men are left on the boat to protect Kevin Mason, as Lara and her three new companions depart on camels for Khartoum, Sudan. They are quickly attacked in the desert by a number of men, who Lara manages to kill by dropping their bag of grenades and having Hassam shoot it as the men reach it. They continue, but find the water supply, an oasis has been poisoned, and kills one of their camels. They head instead to Lake Nasser for water, and travel along it for four days, where they reach a small village- Omar's home. It is revealed that the tongueless assassins come from this village, believing that the amulet should remain unfound, and they depart that night. They continue along the Nile, where Lara finds herself wishing her old mentor, Von Croy, were there to help her. A sandstorm brings a huge humanoid sand creature, which makes a motion which could be a threat or a beckon, and loses form. Lara is washing in the Nile when they are found by a group of Mahdists who take them captive. Lara and Hassam together are able to quickly kill the men as they travel.
They reach a remote bus stop thirty miles outside of Khartoum and take a bus there. Somebody attempts to stab Lara, but she knocks him out, to the applause of the rest of the bus, when Omar shouts that the man attempted to kiss his younger brother (Lara is wearing robes, and passes for a teenage boy). They arrive and go to a hotel, where Lara avoids yet another murder attempt; a scorpion placed in her fruit bowl. She later meets up with Kevin Mason again when the Amenhotep arrives. They agree to find the amulet together, and search for clues in nearby libraries and museums as to where General Gordon may have hidden it. They are attacked, and succeed in killing their attackers, but Gafaar is killed. Outside a library, Lara is attacked by a skeleton, which transforms into a number of dogs, and which transform into crows when Lara strikes them. Eventually Lara works out that General Gordon must have hidden the amulet in the Seychelles Islands, which he believed to have been the biblical Eden. She arranges a flight there which necessitates a stay in Kenya, and heads to the airport, without telling Kevin Mason; she knows he has feelings for her and would attempt to come with her. She wants him to stay in Sudan so that the Mahdists believe she has given up searching and he has continued. After defending herself from yet another attempt on her life by three men at the airport, Lara gets on a plane to Nairobi.
She meets with an old friend, Malcolm Oliver, and stays at the Norfolk hotel, where she is attacked by a planted Black Mamba snake. The two head to Oliver's house for safety. There, Lara is contacted by the amulet itself, which has possessed a leopard. It asks why she isn't yet at the Seychelles, and she tells it that she is making her way there. They go to another restaurant/hotel where Lara finds from a dead bird that her food has been poisoned. Two more attempted murders follow- one from cut brakes on Oliver's Land Rover, and another from a man who uses a water pistol to cover them with blood and leave them for the lions. Lara survives both and finally heads to the airport where a small five person plane is waiting for them. Mid-flight, the pilot cuts off the engines to save the world from the power of the amulet. Lara kills him and restarts the engines before they crash into the sea.
Omar's cousin Ibrahim meets them at the Seychelles, where he works at a hotel. He compliments Lara's guns, and asks their names. Lara says she hasn't named them, but after Ibrahim insists that weapons must have names, she names them "Lara's gun" and "Lara's other gun". Lara visits a brass workman's shop. After dinner, she is contacted again by the amulet, which has taken the form of a robed man with vaguely defined features, made of a cloud of sand. It tempts her with its powers, and encourages her to find it and use them to destroy her enemies. Lara and Oliver find Ibrahim tortured and bleeding, having revealed where they intend to go; the small nearby island of Pralin.
They make their way there by ferry at sunrise the next day, and Lara seemingly opts to take the day off, driving around the Vallee de Mai to sight-see, and sleeping the rest of the day. That night, she waits until the early morning when Oliver will be asleep and drives to an unknown location and back. The next day, before Oliver wakes, she heads to a nearby church, where she holds off an assault from many Mahdists. Finally, Kevin Mason Jr. enters with a gun at her head, and demands that she move aside. He reveals that his name is really Khaled Ahmed Mohammed el-Shakir, and he had killed the real Kevin Mason Jr. to pose as him and gain Lara's trust. He is a Mahdist who wants the amulet for himself. He finds it beneath the stone of the altar and uses it to control Lara; making her kiss him and profess her love. He decides to let her live, and leaves. Lara heads back to Malcolm Oliver, telling him what had transpired; el-Shakir had actually found a fake amulet Lara bought earlier and hidden there last night. They make their way to the only chapel that was present in General Gordon's time, and find the amulet. Malcolm Oliver is driven mad with lust for the real amulet and tries to kill Lara. Sand creatures stop him and pull him apart. Lara almost gives in to the power of the amulet, but thinks of what has already happened to her friend, and utters an incantation Omar taught her, finally destroying it. She is overcome by a sense of world-weariness as she buries Malcolm Oliver, and dwells on the friends she has lost in her years of searching for echoes of the past, which are rarely what they promise to be.
She takes a plane to Paris; the earliest transport to Europe from the local airport. Lara stays in Paris, where she descends into a depression, avoiding her former haunts and friends, and living an "empty life", devoid of adventure or excitement. She eats modestly, and alone, walks the streets alone, and sleeps alone. One day she sees in the newspaper that el-Shakir was shot and killed at an airport where he attempted to use the fake amulet's powers. She also discovers that Werner Von Croy is in Paris, and, feeling uplifted at the thought of her old mentor, resolves to buy him the best meal he has ever eaten, and tell him of her adventures since the Temple of Horus.
- Lara Croft
- Khaled Ahmed Mohammed el-Shakir
- Charles Gordon
- Malcolm Oliver