Book Reviews: Fiction

Submitted to the Egyptologists' Electronic Forum (EEF).

The Hippopotamus Marsh - a trilogy.
Volume one - Lords of Two Lands
Pauline Gedge

Published by Soho Press Inc.
ISBN 1-56947-191-6 $25

The Hippopotamus Marsh is historical fiction which tells us about the struggles to free Egypt from the "Asiatics" or the "Hyksos" who quietly invaded Egypt in the 17th dynasty B.C. These invaders probably went to Egypt looking for food and shelter when their own countries were in famine. They settled in the Delta and eventually, after they had quietly seized power from the Egyptians they became strong rulers of the North. These people had an advantage over the Egyptians: their military technology was superior to that of the Egyptians.

Pauline Gedge writes about the struggle by the descendants of the last true pharaohs belonging to Upper Egypt and their native princes who joined in the rebellion against the Hyksos. Seqenenra Tao who was a Prince of Weset (Thebes) led this rebellion.

The first book in the trilogy gives us a picture of his life with his wife, sons, daughters and his fearless mother Tetisheri.

Seqenenre Tao decides to rid Egypt of the Hyksos after the Pharaoh Apophis complains that he can hear the noise of the hippopotamus who live in the river Nile at Weset and are keeping him awake at night!

This book takes us to Egypt of the 17th dynasty and we can feel the anxieties of the royal family when they realise their lives are about to change. As always, Pauline Gedge has researched the history of this troubled times with great accuracy and the reader will enter into a very complex world of majesty, intrigue and passions.

I could not put the book down and cannot wait until her next volume is published.

Anne Murray
North Yorkshire Ancient Egypt Group, UK

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