THE HOUR OF THE COBRA by Maiya Williams

THE HOUR OF THE COBRA

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

History mini-lectures and character development shoulder aside plot in this sequel to The Golden Hour (2004). Rivalrous African-American twins Xanthe and Xavier, along with new friends Rowan and his precocious little sister Nina, go back to Ancient Egypt on a mission to filch manuscripts from the Library of Alexandria. Impelled largely by spite for her pushy brother, Xanthe defiantly befriends the young and frightened Cleopatra—then discovers that by changing the past, she’s created a changed future too. So focused is Williams on following Xanthe as she wrestles with her guilt and her conflicting feelings for Xavier, that meetings with Julius Caesar and even an expedition into the bowels of the Great Pyramid to rescue Caesar’s kidnapped young heir Octavian seem just distractions. The consequences of Xanthe’s meddling are erased without much difficulty on the way to a neat, shiny ending. Displaying a preference for telling rather than showing, the author takes nearly 70 pages just to activate the time machine and closes with a heavy-handed analysis of why her young characters make a good team. By that time, few readers will care. (afterwords) (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8109-5970-4
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2006




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