An accomplished historical novelist tells the story, set in ancient Egypt, of an intelligent, ambitious woman named Thu, who leaves her native village aboard the boat of a prophet and eventually becomes a powerful concubine of Ramses III.
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Like her well-received Child of the Morning, Gedge's atmospheric new historical is a novel of ancient Egypt. Set in the court of Ramses III, it draws considerable narrative energy from the wanton ambitions and unpredictable fortunes of its narrating heroine, Thu. Eschewing the humble life of a peasant girl, Thu persuades her brother to teach her all he learns at the temple school. When Pharaoh's famed seer, the royal physician Hui, anchors in Thu's village of Aswat, the girl steals to his barge hoping to barter herself for a glimpse into the future. Impressed by her courage and innate ability, Hui makes Thu his apprentice physician. Before long, Thu, though not yet 15, is called upon to treat the ailments of Pharaoh himself. Charmed by the aggressively capable and fiercely complicated young physician, the god-king honors her with a place in his harem. But as she luxuriates in Pharaoh's favor, Thu must contend with the treacherous vortex of court intrigue-and with her love for Pharoah's son, and her desire to be his queen. Deft prose, charismatic characters and a vivid, wholly persuasive rendering of ancient days distinguish this multilayered historical, which may tax readers with its plot convolutions and complicated politics but will reward them in equal measure. British, trans., first serial, dramatic rights: Bella Pomer.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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