Sol Invictus (The Eye of Ra Book 2)

Book 2 coming 2.2.21.

⭐️ Gold Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up.

Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever. An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

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“Once again, Gartner deftly weaves real-life history into a compelling adventure, offering high-stakes, realistic danger and vivid scene-setting…A dynamic and informative time-travel fantasy with relatable young characters.” -Kirkus Reviews. Read the full review here.


Gartner has a knack for action and creating compelling historical personalities . . . The book’s energetic writing captures the growing pains of both protagonists . . . This spirited story will appeal to eager young historians. Middle [grade] readers who treasure ancient history with a side of adventure will welcome this fantasy story.” -BookLife Reviews by Publisher’s Weekly. Read the full review here.

*****

Fans of The Eye of Ra will love the quick return to history Sarah and John experience in this story. Diligently researched, Sol Invictus recounts historical events in a way that is captivating and engaging while simultaneously educating readers of all ages…The writing is richly detailed and fast-paced, placing readers in the middle of the narrative and giving the story the feel of an action film…Middle grade readers with a love of adventure and history are sure to connect with John and Sarah in this dynamic series.” —Mary Lanni, librarian and writer for School Library JournalFull review here. Or just watch this awesome video!

*****

This brings me joy! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars from avid reader and video reviewer at Harriet’s Book Reviews. Subscribe to her channel to show your support!

*****

Fans of Ben Gartner’s first book will gobble this up!” -Caroline Lawrence, author of 17-book series The Roman Mysteries

*****

“Ben Gartner does it again in this second book! Readers will be turning pages quickly to find out where John and Sarah’s adventure takes them in ancient Rome. The story was full of action, mystery and great historical information! My middle grade readers are going to be waiting for a turn to read this!” -Stacy A., 5th grade teacher

*****

“I was so excited to read this second book in the Eye of Ra series and was not disappointed! It’s a thrilling ride from start to finish as the brother and sister MCs travel back in time again, this time to ancient Rome where they have to accomplish a seemingly impossible task or be stuck in time. With tons of action, humor, excellent character development, and historical details that will make you feel like you’ve been swept back in time too, this is sure to be a winner for middle grade readers.” -Sam Subity, author of The Last Shadow Warrior

*****

Must read 🏆
Middle grade readers with a love of adventure and history are sure to connect with John and Sarah in this dynamic story.
Diligently researched, Sol Invictus recounts historical events in a way that is captivating and engaging while simultaneously educating readers of all ages.” –Reedsy Discovery

*****

I really enjoyed this book! I got a big Magic Treehouse vibe from the whole concept, and I think this is a story that would fall between that and the Kane Chronicles.” -Peggy P, Teacher

*****

“Sol Invictus by Ben Gartner is a fantastic follow-up that delivers! Keeping true to the spirit of the first book and its lovable heroes, this sequel to Eye of Ra ramps up the action, character growth, and overall stakes. Sol Invictus delivers a fun, page-turning adventure with sword fights, wolf pups, narrow escapes, and even ancient cheesecake! A fun time-traveling sibling adventure story with heart and heart-pounding action. I can’t wait to read what comes next for John and Sarah!” -Kerelyn Smith, author of Mulrox and the Malcognitos

*****

“Drawing inspiration from history and taking advantage of gaps to take creative excursions, this middle grade novel’s high action and adventure plot makes a fun entry point into ancient history…This middle grade novel, the follow-up to Gartner’s The Eye of Ra, was a pleasure to read. Engaging and sensitively written, it would make a great addition to late elementary and middle school classrooms.” -Eirini Allen, PhD in Teaching and Learning and the Director of the non-profit Institute for Classics Education. Read the full review here.

*****

An action-packed and educational story with well-developed characters that middle grade readers will love.” -Nikki B.

*****

A polished entry in the series.” -M.D. DeCillis

*****

“I really enjoyed the story. I like that you chose a part of Roman history not talked about a lot in the traditional Latin class and that brought it alive for me.” -Andrew C., Latin Teacher

*****

“I genuinely enjoyed this story. I think it would be great for middle-grade readers, and I’d definitely recommend it. It would appeal to any gender, in my opinion, and John and Sarah are both sympathetic enough that readers of different ages would find someone to relate to.” -Michelle F.

*****

I really enjoyed this book! As a history lover, I really appreciated the amount of research that must have been involved in creating this story, and the little details that you added really bring the world to life. This is the second book in this series, but this book doesn’t rely on the reader having read the first book. Sarah actually reminds me of myself when I was a preteen. For preteen and young teen readers, she will feel very familiar, and might even help them with learning how to process negative emotions. The plot has lots of adventure and compelling events, and we get to see many historical places and peoples without feeling like we’re on a sightseeing tour of ancient Rome. It’s definitely educational, but it feels almost inadvertently so, with the historical facts and ideas helping to develop and build up the plot rather than the other way around. The story is primary, education is almost a sneaky secondary. The tone is at times lighthearted, but once they get to the past there is an overarching feeling of purpose and tension. It doesn’t talk down to the reader. The book is very well written and will appeal to kids that like history and those that just want an interesting book to read. I very rarely find a children’s book this respectful of the intellect of its readers and with a story that’s compelling and educational.” -Samantha G.

*****

“I thought I was immune to everything new in middle grade novels, but Sol Invictus surprised me with the riveting tale of John and Sarah’s adventures to Ancient Rome. This book could be read as a standalone and was excellently done. The climax was one of those scenes that while reading, you forget to breathe and the twist—I didn’t see that one coming! A brilliant work of historical adventure that I know my middle grade students will love.” -Dimitra M, English tutor

*****

“I thoroughly enjoyed Sol Invictus and quickly endeared to both John and Sarah. There were plenty of action-packed sequences, a little humor sprinkled in, and a great history lesson that was informative but not overbearing.” -Jeff D., beta reader

*****

More to come…