Thursday, February 7, 2013

Out of the Black Land-Kerry Greenwood

Out of the Black Land

Kerry Greenwood

Poisoned Pen, Feb 5 2013, $24.95

ISBN 9781464200403

In circa 1335 B.C.E. Egypt has flourished under the rule of Pharaohs Amenhotep III and his successor son Amenhotep IV. However, Amenhotep IV begins to suffer from terrifying nightmares and changes his name to Akhnaten while also proclaiming there is one god instead of a pantheon of deities and bans their worship. Egyptians are stunned by their ruler’s heresy fearing the wrath of the Gods their Pharaoh chooses to ignore and anger.

He further angers the inner circle of leaders when he selects young peasant Ptah-hotep to the critical oversight position of the Great Royal Scribe; a job the lad does not want as he prefers to remain with his beloved Kheperren (General Horemheb’s scribe) and their dog Wolf. Meanwhile the Pharaoh marries Nefertiti, whose sister Mutnodjme and other ladies devise a scheme to have their Queen birth the heir in spite of Akhnaten being impotent. At the same time, the Dynasty’s leaders conclude their lunatic leader threatens the well-being of the nation.

The first Ancient Egypt Eighteenth Dynasty thriller is a terrific historical that brings to life the tumultuous reign of the “Heretic Pharaoh” as fans will believe they are visiting the “Black Land”. Action-packed with newcomers at court like Ptah-hotep, Nefertiti and Mutnodjme leaning survival methods amidst those who prefer them to go home or die, fans will enjoy Kerry Greenwood’s strong tale as the author’s Australian leads (Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman) take respites.

Harriet Klausner

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