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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Hippopotamus Marsh: Lord of the Two Lands: Volume I (Lords of the Two Lands, Volume 1) » User review

Ancient Egypt Comes Alive

  • Jun 28, 2003
  • by
Pauline Gedge again recreates an Egypt long gone in this first book in a wonderfully detailied trilogy about the reclaiming of Egypt's throne by the Taos: Seqenenra, and his three sons, Si-Amun, Kamose and Ahmose from the Hyksos that wear the two crowns. Seqenenra and his family lives in relative peace far from the influence of the usuper's court, yet he seethes within from the indignity of being a true Prince of Egypt that will neve be king. Add to this the Hyksos king, Apepa's fear that Seqenenra symbolizes a threat to his sovereignty and his constant baiting of Seqenenra to commit an act he can define as treasonous. Apepa throws down the final gauntlet when he demands that Seqenenra silence the hippopotami that inhabit Seqenenra's marshland simply because the beasts are disturbing his sleep. What follows is the recounting of a last ditch effort by Seqenenra to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his in the only way he knows how: war. The repercussions of his plans echo throughout his household and Gedge does a fine job of allowing each of the main characters an airing of their point of view as each acts out of his own sense of duty and honor to family and country. Gedge punctuates a simple story with much detail about the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians--the reader can feel the heat, rejoice in the flooding of the Nile, almost smell the scent cones worn on the head and commiserate with the affront to the dignity of these proud people of the bloodline of great kings considered gods. Recommended to all who love Gedges's other works of historical fiction and all those who are fascinated by Egypt and its kings.

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review by . July 14, 2001
Although rather slow and ponderous during its initial 40%, this book paints a full and realistic picture of the world of ancient Egypt and its noble houses. One gets a real feel for the time and place in which these people passed their lives and of the cultural attitudes and values which might have driven them. This is the tale of the gradual awakening of the ancient royal house of Egypt to a "need" to confront the ruling Hyksos who have held power over the land, as the story opens, for the preceding …
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Diana Faillace Von Behren ()
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I like just about anything. My curiosity tends to be insatiable--I love the "finding out" and the "ah-ha" moments.      Usually I review a book or film with the … more
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YA-This first volume in a projected trilogy chronicles the rise of the Eighteenth Dynasty in ancient Egypt. As the story begins, the "Two Lands"-upper and lower Egypt-have been under the rule of the Hyksos, canny invaders from Asia Minor, for 200 years. The Tao family, hereditary kings and queens of Egypt, have long been exiled to a distant part of the kingdom. Subjected to increasing humiliations at the hands of the usurpers, they are finally pushed beyond endurance and begin to rebel through intrigue and open warfare. However, after several generations of Hyksos rule, it is often difficult to discern where true loyalty and wisdom lie. Tragedy results when a key character, acting from good intentions, unwittingly betrays the cause; yet, after a crushing defeat, the Taos and other loyal Egyptian royalists are rising again at the book's end. This novel's unhurried pace may strike some teens as slow, but for those who enjoy a satisfying generational saga, or who like to lose themselves in another world, it succeeds remarkably well in bringing a distant and alien time and place to life. Ancient Egypt's gods, customs, geography, and history become surprisingly accessible as readers come to know the arrogant, loving, devout, and contradictory Tao family members and the world that shaped them.
Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 1569472203
ISBN-13: 978-1569472200
Author: Pauline Gedge
Publisher: Soho Press

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