Ancient Architect

A Fictional Order Out of Chaos

Fiction - Social Issues
300 Pages
Reviewed on 12/29/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Ancient Architect: A Fictional Order Out of Chaos by K.S. Temple pays tribute to omens and the desire to decode their mystery in relation to reality. Emmanuel East Jr. is having frequent hallucinations about a serpent. He tries to find answers on his own and discovers he is suffering from sleep paralysis, yet it eludes him why, of all animals, he would hallucinate about a serpent. He decides to see a shrink, and Dr. Mary Madruga provides him with more information than he wants. He learns that the serpent is a symbol of a new life and that he has an alter-ego that he registers as Immanuel the Beast. As he attempts to better understand his hallucinations by delving into mysticism, he encounters the Checkers Club, a society that studies psychiatry in the light of spirituality. Society tells Emmanuel that he fits the bill of becoming a messiah. But Emmanuel seeks the truth and not that which comforts his mind.

Intelligence doesn’t require validation; it simply reflects. That’s how Ancient Architect reflects on K.S. Temple as a writer. He effectively mixes psychology, philosophy, and esoteric art so that you are more than willing to open your mind to see where it will take you as well as find out how his protagonist will navigate through his ordeals. Temple’s take on the messiah complex gives a new interpretation of the subject and its relation to holy scriptures. Moreover, the story delves with sensitivity into gender issues as well as gives a critical stand on the pernicious caste system in India. Temple has hypnotic prose that immediately lures you into a world filled with intellectuals with ideas that will provoke you to think. If you are looking for fiction with brains, Ancient Architect will not disappoint.

K.C. Finn

Ancient Architect: A Fictional Order Out of Chaos is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama and psychological subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author K.S. Temple. The book follows Emmanuel East Jr as he seeks guidance about a black snake that he keeps seeing in his day-to-day life. Following a consultation, he discovers he has a second personality living within him, learns the mystic wisdom lost to the ages, and becomes a messianic figure to a group trying to change the world. It’s up to Emmanuel to reason with the part of his mind that threatens to lead the world to its end.

This was a fascinating exploration of dissociative identity disorder and the relationship that a person can have with their own mind, as Emmanuel uses ancient wisdom to explore a solution to his problem -- only to discover his alter ego El and the cult following that El starts to gather. Author K.S. Temple tells an engaging story of duality both in the form of Emmanuel and El but also with ancient wisdom and the modern world. The mystery around why Emmanuel has been called to this path and where the path will lead was intriguing, and the author includes plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep readers on their toes all the way until the final page. Overall, Ancient Architect uses its compelling lead character and captivating narrative to ask some serious questions about the world we live in, what we’ve lost throughout our social evolution, and where we could go next with the right ideals to guide us.

Asher Syed

Ancient Architect: A Fictional Order Out of Chaos by K.S. Temple is a speculative novel with a metaphysical theme amplified through the first-person point of view character, Emmanuel, who is having something of an existential identity crisis. He is hearing the voice of Zeus and has an almost obsessive-compulsive need to cross himself both for his own benefit and the sake of others. He's seeing snakes and when he is masturbating, he sees his psychologist, Dr. Mary Madruga, at post-climax. Emmanuel bumbles along and tests the full extent of faith from within the realm of consciousness while enveloped in sentient hallucinations. The lines become blurred when the quest for enlightenment is amplified as Emmanuel and El, his alter ego, have their purpose revealed and what must happen to attain it. “El is just your hallucination, but if you can shape it as your alter, and let that personality take over, then you’d become a deity. You must let go of Emmanuel, your Lower Self, and become El, the Higher Self.”

K.S. Temple does well in blending serious themes with intelligent wit and this is on full display in Ancient Architect. This is not a novel that many will immediately understand, and of those who do, it is a book that might not be liked by some readers. I admit it took a while to get into it just because the writing is intense in the first few dozen pages, but it's entertaining to witness Emmanuel just throw himself completely into faith to a degree that is almost comical in how radicalized he becomes. The balance here is a testament to Temple's skill as a writer. There is a scene that I absolutely could not stop laughing at where Emmanuel seeks enlightenment through outlets such as the Order, wherein he is asked what his alter ego name is and, not yet having one, answers, “The Beast.” The ending is abrupt but also perfectly fitting, and overall I enjoyed the clever prose and am certain others who give it a solid chance will also. Highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Ancient Architect: A Fictional Order Out of Chaos by K.S. Temple follows Emmanuel East Jr., a mixed raced Wall Street man who, upon his arrival in L.A., starts having nightmares involving a black serpent. Determined to delve into its meaning, he seeks the advice of Dr. Mary Madruga, from whom he learns that he has an alter ego called El, with the serpent signifying an ancient symbol of immortality. After an illuminating trip to the east, Emmanuel becomes convinced that the world needs a drastic change to ensure the future of humanity. He joins a secret society and starts working toward engineering a New World Order based on the esoteric wisdom of ancient civilizations, inviting people from diverse backgrounds of beliefs, ethnicities, and cultures to act upon his vision. Nothing comes without sacrifice, and Emmanuel must prepare himself to pay the ultimate price.

A thought-provoking piece of work that you can't help but immerse yourself in, Ancient Architect hooks you from the first page and refuses to let go until the end. K.S. Temple incorporates aspects of philosophy, theology, and science to create a gripping story that explores the human condition through a wide array of lenses. The narrative feels almost surreal at times, with elements of magical realism woven seamlessly into it. This is primarily a theme-driven book, and most characters slot into their roles to provide a viewpoint to the readers of their respective ideologies, except Emmanuel, a complex protagonist who is conflicted about his role as the new messiah. I found myself thoroughly absorbed by the book. Recommended to lovers of literary fiction.