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review 2018-01-16 19:47
Tales of Ancient Egypt / Roger Lancelyn Green
Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics) - Heather Copley,Roger Lancelyn Green

These stories include the great myths - of Amen-Ra, who created all the creatures in the world; of Isis, seaching the waters for her dead husband Osiris; of the Bennu Bird and the Book of Thoth. But there are also tales told for pleasure about magic, treasure and adventure - even the first ever Cinderella story.

 

  If I have ever read a book of Egyptian myths before, I don’t remember it. This little volume was a very pleasant introduction to the Egyptian mythos—something that I’ve learned by osmosis while reading books about the land’s history and art and reading fiction set in Ancient Egypt. As in most mythologies, there are unexpected treasures.

The man who polished these little tales was a friend of C.S. Lewis and seems to have made his reputation on rewriting myths and legends for the children’s market. I realize now that the vocabulary of this volume was probably suitable for children, but it did not detract from my enjoyment as an adult reader. He blends history and myth to make both clearer for the reader.

I have always found the Ancient Egyptians to be fascinating—this volume merely reinforced my obsession.

 

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text 2018-01-12 15:39
TBR Friday
Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics) - Heather Copley,Roger Lancelyn Green
The Birdwatcher - William Shaw
Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language - Arika Okrent
Walls: Resisting the Third Reich: One Woman's Story - Hiltgunt Zassenhaus

How did I miss that yesterday was Thursday?  Oops!

 

I'm actually almost finished Tales of Ancient Egypt.  And I've also begun reading The Knife of Never Letting Go.  With any luck, I will finish the former this evening and be able to return it to the library tomorrow.

 

Next up, The Birdwatcher.  Because you know that I'm a bird watcher, plus who can resist a murder mystery investigated by a policeman with murder in his background.  I'm thinking this one will go quickly!

 

Then to Two Boys Kissing.  It's for my February book club meeting, which I will be missing.  I should feel bad, I guess, but I'll be bird watching in Taiwan, so not too bad.

 

Two non-fiction offerings as well, In the Land of Invented Languages (because I've always secretly wanted to speak Klingon) and Walls : resisting the Third Reich

 

I must have these finished before January 28th, when I fly to Taipei.  Fingers crossed!

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review 2017-06-25 18:06
The White Lotus and Persian Rose by Libbie Hawker
Persian Rose: A Novel of Egypt's Fall (White Lotus Book 2) - Libbie Hawker

As with many of Libbie Hawker's other books, I am enjoying this series, but I do have to mention that there are many spelling and grammatical errors which could put off some readers. It didn't bother me so much because the storyline really drew my attention, but I did take away one star because of it. However, there were so many intrigues going on and I just had to know what was going to happen, so I kept reading.

 

This is the story of Rhodopis, one of only two known hetaerae mentioned by name by Herodotus, the other being Archidike, who is also in the book. From being plucked off the streets by essentially selling herself so her family wouldn't starve, to her training by her masters right hand man, Aesop...yes the very one who wrote all those lovely fables we know of today. I wasn't even aware that he existed that long ago.

 

Anyway we go from her training to her introduction as a hetaerae into society at the time of Pharaoh Amasis, who is none too popular, because his love of anything Greek is brewing tension in Memphis. Too many Egyptians feel that the Greek people and culture is doing away with their identity as a people. So it is in this time that Rhodopis finds herself, at the center of a crisis that is about to boil over. That is all I will say about it, because I don't want to give anything else away.

 

 

Book three is supposed to be released this fall, so I am looking forward to the conclusion of her story.
Recommended (if you can overlook the grammatical errors). This review is for both books currently in the series, The White Lotus and Persian Gold.

 

 

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review 2017-01-27 19:12
Thebes of the Hundred Gates
Thebes of the Hundred Gates - Robert Silverberg

 A short novel – 30,000 words or so, hardly more than a novella – by one of the grand masters of the genre.

 

In Thebes of the Hundred Gates, the Time Service in Home Era (like NOW) sends a young "volunteer" (none of the more experienced operatives will touch it) back to ancient Egypt in search of two of their own who overshot the mark and got lost in time a year and a half earlier. Now Service investigators have managed to pinpoint them in Thebes – Thebes at the height of its splendour, under Amenhotep III. That's the pharaoh whose son, Amenhotep IV, is better known as the great heretic Akhenaten, husband of Nefertiti. (I have a couple of books about those two I want to review here some time.)

 

Edward Davis materialises in the heat and dirt of a secluded back alley and immediately falls ill. Not because of the filth ...

 

Two donkeys stood just in front of him, chewing on straw, studying him with no great curiosity. A dozen yards or so behind him was some sort of rubble-heap, filling the alley almost completely. His sandal-clad left foot was inches from a row of warm green turds that one of the donkeys must have laid down not very long before. To the right flowed a thin runnel of brownish water so foul that it seemed to him he could make out the movements of giant microorganisms in it, huge amoebas and paramecia, grim predatory rotifers swimming amgrily against the tide.

 

But he had been innoculated against anything Thebes might come up with. No, it was temporal shock – it's like "a parachute jump without the parachute", they had told him, jumping so far uptime, "but if you live through the first five minutes you'll be okay." He had been back 600 years before, but never anything like this.

 

He loses consciousness, and when he wakes up, finds himself in a temple, and in the capable hands of Nefret, Priestess of Isis. However, she seems only to want to be rid of him. As soon as he recovers, she arranges for him to live and work among the embalmers, the mummifiers, in the necropolis on the other side of the Nile.

 

A refuge, yes. But he is little more than a slave there, and he has only thirty days – twenty-eight left now – before his rendez-vous for pick-up at exactly midday back in that alley. How can he hope to track down the missing time travellers from there, on the wrong side of the river?

 

A wonderful glimpse, not only of the world of the future where people travel uptime and back downtime – it is still, obviously, the early days of time travel – but also of the past, of Thebes of the Hundred Gates, teeming with people, all of them, in the childhood of the world, concerned with only one thing: death, and the afterlife; and reincarnation.

 

This little book is perfect.

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text 2016-09-27 06:03
The Reed Fields by Brandon Campbell - DNF at 15%
The Reed Fields: An Egyptian Tragedy - Brandon Campbell

I have read many fantastic historical fiction books set in ancient Egypt, but unfortunately this was not one of them. I don't think the writer did any research and if he did, it was cursory at best. Granted, I only read about 15% of this book, but that was too much. Simplistic writing that seemed done by an elementary school student, dialogue that was unrealistic for the time, bland characters...it was a mess. I just couldn't take it anymore.

 

Not recommended at all!!

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