Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings

A Novel of Tutankhamun

Book - 1997
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Cecelia Holland has written an extraordinary novel that ranges between two eras thousands of years apart and between two cultures as different as can be imagined, yet with striking similarities. Valley of the Kings re-creates an ancient Egypt that for centuries has been shrouded in mystery. It was a time of religious and political upheaval - the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten's religious reforms had been defeated by the power of the Priests of Amun, and the young Boy King, Tutankhamun, had been placed on the throne. There was famine in the land, and ongoing deadly intrigue in the Court, as different factions maneuvered to gain control of Egypt. It ended in the mysterious death of the young king and his hasty, secret burial. Nearly thirty-five hundred years later, in the 1920s, a young British archaeologist, Howard Carter, becomes obsessed with finding Tutankhamun's tomb. In the course of his quest, Carter duels across time with the devious minds of the New Kingdom of Egypt. His experience digging in the Valley of the Kings has given him an insight into how the ancients thought, and he is sure that he can locate the tomb that all Egyptologists know must exist but no one can find. But he must struggle with more than the secretive nature of the ancient Egyptians - his work cannot go on without the approval of the modern Egyptian bureaucracy and the continued financial support of a British peer who is looking for treasure more than knowledge.
Publisher: New York : Forge, c1997.
Edition: 1st Forge ed.
ISBN: 9780312863340
0312863349
Branch Call Number: Fic Holl
Characteristics: 231 p. ; 22 cm.

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DorisWaggoner
Nov 20, 2015

Any Holland fan will recognize in the first half of the book her usual spare style. Howard Carter will give up anything, do anything, to find the tomb of Tutankhamun. Holland's gift as a writer is always to find the voice of her character, and she's got Carter cold. Or "a" Carter, at least, who's totally believable, if not likable. But his methods allow him to find the tomb. The second half of the book's less successful, as Holland goes back to the time of Tut himself, and his contemporaries, historical and fictional, to fill in the backstory. Some of these characters are interesting, but it doesn't speak as the first half of the book does. Given the current research on the possibility that Nefertiti herself may be buried in a hidden room or rooms behind the multiple rooms in Tut's tomb, the subject is even more timely, however.

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