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review 2017-08-25 13:51
40 DAYS AND 1001 NIGHTS by Tamalyn Dallal
40 Days And 1001 Nights, One Woman's Dance Through Life In The Islamic World - Tamalyn Dallal

Living 40 days in a different culture helps you understand the culture.  These are small vignettes of Tamalyn Dallal living in five countries that are with large Islamic populations.  Within each culture, Islam has been changed to take in the local customs that existed when Islam came into the area.  I thought she would live with one family for the whole 40 days but she lived in hotels, apartments, rented rooms, etc. instead of spending all her time with one family.  She met many different people.  I learned much about the cultures and countries, such as where some are and where they are near.  It is interesting and worth reading.  I just wish she had lived with one family 40 days and immersed herself in their daily lives.  

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review 2017-07-24 20:03
Soleri / Michael Johnston
Soleri - Michael Johnston

I am a big fan of anything Ancient Egyptian and of King Lear, so when I heard this book described as inspired by both of those things, I knew I had to give it a try. The environment and the architecture were definitely reminiscent of Ancient Egypt, as were the names and some of the religious observances, but the author definitely gave his world its own traditions and quirks.

I didn’t really see the King Lear comparison—unlike Shakespearean tragedy, there were survivors! I guess the Harkan king, Arko Hark-Wadi could have been somewhat equivalent to Lear, but he is not nearly passionate enough to truly do justice to that monarch. However, that does not mean that it was a disappointing book.

All the members of Arko’s family, in fact, seem rather cold and calculating, even when they are supposedly in love with someone. There are manipulations and misunderstandings galore! If you enjoy back-stabbing and elaborate plots to sabotage rivals, this is the book for you.

I suspect there will be a sequel—there were enough loose ends left hanging to justify one. Probably sales of this volume will determine whether the sequel sees the light of day. I, for one, like messy endings, so I am okay with Soleri’s final pages, but if you need things wrapped up neatly, you may find it frustrating.

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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 2017-06-21 21:51
The Curse of the Pharoahs / Elizabeth Peters
The Curse of the Pharaohs - Elizabeth Peters

Victorian Amelia Peabody continues to journal her Egypt adventures, toddler Ramses left in England. Husband Radcliffe Emerson's old friend Lady Baskerville fears a curse killed her husband Sir Henry, and soon engages the attentions of American Cyrus. The will funds continued excavation. But a lady dressed in white floats, flutters, spreads fear, and more death.

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

It’s official—I adore Amelia Peabody-Emerson! Modern feminist sensibilities injected into a Victorian heroine. She loves her husband and her son, but she needs some mental stimulation and some physical labour to keep her occupied.

I loved that Radcliffe and Amelia have nicknamed their precocious son Ramses after the demanding and flamboyant Pharaoh. He takes after both of his parents, needless to say, in his intelligence and his firm opinions! I appreciate Amelia’s (sometimes unwarranted) self-confidence and her delight at being able to escape the boredom of motherhood and running a household. What could possibly be better than returning to Egypt to explore a newly discovered tomb with her beloved husband? Well, achieving that task while still having cooling baths at days end and tea whenever necessary, that’s what!

Peters manages to give us plenty of potential murderers and lots of unusual characters to provide intrigue and comedy. Amelia brandishes her parasol with abandon and barges her way to a solution with panache!

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review 2017-05-15 17:19
Crocodile on the Sandbank / Elizabeth Peters
Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters

Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help -- or so he thinks.

 

If Jane Eyre starred in an H. Rider Haggard novel written by Agatha Christie….you would get Crocodile on the Sandbank. First published in 1975, Peters overlays feminism over the gothic romance (which usually had mysterious goings-on too) and produces this engaging mystery. Extra points for using an Egyptian setting and getting the archaeology right. Amelia Peabody is a bit of a bossy bones, but you get enough of her history to see the why of it. (I’m probably more like her than I care to admit.)

If you enjoy a good mystery set among pyramids and ancient tombs, this book is for you.

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