Friday, 21 August 2009

The Twelfth Transforming -- Review

When I want to turn to literature for pure escapism I often look for Canadian historical fiction writer, Pauline Gedge. Primarily her books are about ancient Egypt, rich tales searing with the heat of the desert, heady with fragrance, passion, plots.

So it is this summer, after several rather unsatisfying obligatory reads, I decided to treat myself and delve into The Twelfth Transforming.

The novel explores the life of one of Egypt's more colourful and disastrous Pharaohs, Akhenaten, complete with all the court intrigue and insouciant power one would expect, tracking his rise to power from the time he was a boy and his powerful, if decadent father, Amunhotep, ruled, through to Akhenaten's murder, and then the brief reigns of Smenhkhara and Tutenkhamen. It is a good read. But I could not help but feel this wasn't up to Gedge's usual writing standard, in that the point of view often shifted mid-scene, and the pacing was often drawn out to the point I wondered what was the point.

Still, perfect for a sultry summer read.

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