THE TALISMAN OF SET by Sara Hylton

THE TALISMAN OF SET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Turn-of-the-century romance from the author of Jacintha and Caprice--this time with a heavy sprinkling of reincarnation/occult echoes, Egyptian-style. The novel begins 3000 years back, when Princess Tuia is commanded to prepare for marriage with a Hittite prince; but she loves only the new Pharaoh, who's betrothed to Tuia's half-sister Asnefer. What to do? Well, Tuia's wily maid Ipey brings her news of a talisman, an amulet dedicated to the death-god Set, which could eradicate Asnefer and Set things to rights. But things go badly awry, with an amulet-theft and several deaths. Then: jump ahead to circa 1900, where the heroine is Kathryn St. Clare--an archaeologist's daughter who's been having a remarkable dream life, merging in her mind with the trials of Princess Tuia. And Kathryn's English love-life parallels that of the Egyptian princess, of course. She falls for off-limits David Laurenson, fiancÉ of nice cousin Serena. There are passionate trysts in the meadows. Then, after Egyptologist godfather Mark Ensor gives Kathryn an unsettling talisman, Serena falls off a horse and into a near-fatal coma. (Did Kathryn wish for Serena's death?) So Kathryn eagerly heads off on a dig--to Egypt's Valley of Kings, where shell try to trace the paths of her dream life: she meets understanding archaeologist Ahmed Sadek, who guides her to the City of the Dead; she catches a glimpse of a talented scholar driven to drink apparently because of a discovery of a priest's mummy in the Theban hills; there are strong hints that there may be another tomb nearby--maybe that of the Princess Tuia! And, during Kathryn's search, she'll have a narrow escape from being buried alive and fall in love with a fellow archaeologist, Mike O'Hara. . . with whom she will atmospherically rendezvous for a Karnak fadeout. Pretty panoramas of Egyptian scenery behind a squishy romance: an inoffensive, hard-working hybrid.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's