A fascinating recreation of the days of the early Pharoache considered gods and all-powerful by their people. The time...

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PHAROAH

A fascinating recreation of the days of the early Pharoache considered gods and all-powerful by their people. The time begins when the power of Egypt had been restored, the Hyksos overthrown and Thutmose I, old and tired, was seeking to restore his manhood through Heb-Sed, a five day ceremonial dedicated to the gods of Egypt. But it was too much for the old Pharoah- and he died, having reluctantly wedded his feeble son to the daughter who should have been a son,- beautiful, aggressive, ambitious and worshipping her father. Queen Hatshepsut seized every chance to dominate the ailing Thutmose II- to ignore his wish that little Thoth, son of his concubine, he recognized as his heir. When first one daughter, then another was born to Hatshepsut she listened to the urgings of her lover, the rogue Senmut, upstart architect, and exiled the boy to distant Babylon. When death was near, the Pharoah demanded to know where he was and sent for him- too late. He died before the boy arrived. Then come the years of conflict, as the Queen usurped the throne, fanatically proclaiming her divine origins, exalting Senmut and sycophants to places of power, building endlessly, to insure her immortality, and letting the enemies on Egypt's borders, was strong. Only then- when war was inevitable, could Thoth, powerless and almost friendless, seize his chance- and with her suicide, set out to become the creator of the vast Egyptian Empire. It is a great story- and is here told with a magic of recreation which makes the reader live the daily life of court and marketplace; get behind the thinking of the times and follow the theme of ambition overreaching itself. Inevitably it will be compared to The Egyptian -- though this deals with a period of history and characters that molded it; while The Egyptian was a mythical adventurer. Those who read The Egyptian for its recapturing of time and place will find this as absorbing.

Pub Date: May 16, 1958

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Coward, McCann

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1958