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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

A Fine Depiction of an Ancient World and People

  • Jul 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 200 years.

Sequenenra Tao, the scion of his ancient family, rules as governor in the provincial backwater territory of Weset in Upper Egypt. Although he is descended of a long line of ancient Egyptian kings, he is nevertheless subjected to numerous petty humiliations by his Hyksos overlord, the Pharaoh Apepa. When these grow to be too much for the proud Tao family, Sequenenra feels compelled to act. And yet there is treachery everywhere, and even within his own household, a treachery which will alter the course of events that the governor of Weset reluctantly sets in motion.

This is a fine tale, indeed, and the last 60% of the book is, if not entirely compelling, certainly a very interesting read and will hold the intelligent reader through to the end. The tale promises more in subsequent volumes, too (it's billed as a trilogy and I will be reading the next volume, given the quality of the first). The characters are also vividly drawn and an integral part of this tale which is more than one of mere battles and adventure. A good read and one I have no qualms in recommending . . . or in reading further myself!

SWMThe King of Vinland's Saga

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review by . June 28, 2003
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 …
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Stuart W. Mirsky ()
Ranked #230
I'm a retired bureaucrat (having served, most recently, as an Assistant Commissioner in amunicipal agency in a major Northeastern American city). In 2002 I took an early retirement to pursue a lifelong … 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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