Ashake, a Nubian princess of the blood, knows that she had a prior existence as black archaeologist Tallahassee Mitford before being pulled bodily through a time warp and into the ancient kingdom of Meroe as it is--or was--in some other continuum. Ashake/Tallahassee's mission is the defeat of Khasti, also a time-space interloper whose science is pitted against the ancestral magic of the ruling Candace Naldamak, and the battle is joined largely in contests of will power--as our heroine resists the mental assaults of Khasti and jousts with wraithlike spirits of unknown provenance. The combination of a with-it young scientist and evocative Egyptian talismans--and the omission of feline beings--get this off to a promising start. However, the plot is opaque even by Andre Norton standards and Tallahassee's willingness to remain permanently in Ashake's body where she feels "real" and "welcomed" carries escapism farther than most will care to follow. Save this for those time-space pockets in which the Norton name itself is a powerful fetish.