Monday, September 22, 2008

The Twice Born by Pauline Gedge


The Twice Born by Pauline Gedge

Fiction, Trade paperback, 554 pgs.

Penguin Books

The Twice Born is Pauline Gedge's twelfth novel, eight of which were inspired by Egyptian history. It's another of her richly detailed portrayals of the lives of farmers, slaves, nobility and priestly classes of ancient Egypt. Several of her novels have won awards so it's no surprise that her books have sold over six million copies worldwide and been translated into 18 languages. The Twice Born is the first of a new trilogy about Huy, son of Hapu. Known in history as Amunhotep, he was a real and significant figure in Egypt whose achievements were inscribed and survive to this day. But his personal life and origins remain unknown. Pauline Gedge has imaginatively created this story of his early years and development into a seer. The story begins when Huy, son of Hapu, is barely four years old. We follow him through school with nobles' children and friendship with the governor's son Thothmes, and his sisters. Well-written and full of fascinating details of the daily life and customs about food, drink, clothing, jewelry, oils and perfumes, medicines, games, funeral customs and much more, the story keeps us engrossed. Then a shocking transformation occurs following a fatal accident while he is still a boy that will determine his future fate. Some family and friends fear the changes in him while many of the common people and priests will revere him for his new powers of insight. Huy is a likeable person who longs for the simple life even while he knows he's been chosen to serve Egypt in a much greater capacity than the farmer's son he is. He will experience love and disappointment, struggling in the final years of his youth to accept his own destiny as Seer of Egypt. The readers in this family are waiting intently for the continuation of the story. No one does ancient Egypt like Pauline Gedge. Treat yourself and read it, I recommend it highly. Four and a half stars out of five.

The second book of the trilogy is entitled Seer of Egypt and will be released in November 2008. Watch for my review.

Pauline Gedge's homepage:http://www.paulinegedge.ca/

Thank you to Melissa Robson of Penguin Group for the reviewer's copy.

8 comments:

  1. This sounds really good. Great review.

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  2. I LOVE Egyptian historical fiction, but had never heard of this author before. Off to add more books to my wish list! Thanks so much for the great review.

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  3. Thanks for joining the Canadian Book Challenge! Have fun!

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  4. Welcome to the Saturday Review at Semicolon. I have a question. If I were to start reading some of Ms. Gedge's books, which books would you recommend reading first? I don't want to start on a series that is still in the midst of being published. I already have some of those I couldn't resist, and I'm not fond of waiting year or more to complete the story.

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  5. Sherry: Re your question about Pauline Gedge: The best is probably House of Dreams. There is a continuation of the story in House of Illusions but House of Dreams was the better of the two in our opinion and is quite satisfying to read alone. The trilogy called The Lord of the Two Lands is very good also. It consists of The Hippopotamus Marsh,The Oasis, and The Horus Road, in that order. I'm so glad you asked, I'm sure you will enjoy them.

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  6. This does sound interesting, Sandra. Thanks again for the heads up.
    kaye

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  7. Another author I've never heard of to check into. Thanks for the detailed revie.

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