A Great War has ended, but evil still casts a long shadow over a violence-scarred land. One woman -- an adventurer and archaeologist with a brilliant mind -- must now confront a dreadful adversary more fiendish and formidable than any she has ever encountered. But by doing so, she may be feeding the flames of a devastating firestorm that threatens the fragile lives of the tender and innocent.
A fast-moving, intrigue-filled plot propels MWA Grand Master Peters's 15th novel (after 2002's The Golden One) to feature beloved archeologist and amateur sleuth Amelia Peabody Emerson. The end of WWI offers Amelia, now a grandmother, and her family little respite when mysterious events start to plague friends, allies and coworkers. One person dies after suddenly turning to religion, while others fall victim to sabotage. Valuable artifacts go missing, and Amelia's son Ramses is lured into a bizarre encounter with a woman who appears to be the living embodiment of the goddess Hathor. Given the growing unrest against British rule in Egypt, Amelia has to wonder if politics are behind the strange occurrences. In addition, the clan has made many enemies over the course of their adventures. While the preface does a good job of outlining the characters and their complicated connections, the previous 14 novels covered a lot of ground that new readers will find challenging to master. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable read in its own right, powered by evocative depictions of 1919 Egypt and the engaging voice of Amelia herself-a bright, independent woman, who relishes her role as family matriarch. Her affectionate, give-and-take relationship with her Egyptologist husband, Emerson, continues to enchant. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Apr. 1) Forecast: To honor Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters), the publisher will kick off the publicity campaign with a party at "Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo" (aka New York City's Plaza Hotel). Expect another run up bestseller lists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 12, 2009
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Excerpt from Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters
The encrimsoned sun sank slowly toward the crest of the Theban mountains. Another glorious Egyptian sunset burned against the horizon like fire in the heavens.
In fact, I did not at that moment behold it, since I was facing east. I had seen hundreds of sunsets, however, and my excellent imagination supplied a suitable mental picture. As the sky over Luxor darkened, the shadows of the bars covering doors and windows lengthened and blurred, lying like a tiger's stripes across the two forms squatting on the floor. One of them said, "Spoceeva."
"Russian," Ramses muttered. scribbling on his notepad. "Yesterday it was Amharic. The day before it sounded like -- "
"Gibberish," said his wife.
"No," Ramses insisted. "It has to mean something. They use root words from a dozen languages, and they obviously understand one another. See? He's nodding. They are standing up. They are going ... " His voice rose. "Leave the cat alone!"
The Great Cat of Re, stretched out along the back of the settee behind him, rose in haste and climbed to the top of his head, from which position it launched itself onto a shelf. Ramses put his notepad aside and looked severely at the two figures who stood before him. "Die Katze ist ganz verboten. Kedi, hayir. Em nedjeroo pa meeoo."
The Great Cat of Re grumbled in agreement. He had been a small, miserable-looking kitten when we acquired him, but Sennia had insisted on giving him that resounding appellation and, against all my expectations, he had grown into his name. His appearance was quite different from those of our other cats: longhaired, with an enormous plume of a tail, and a coat of spotted black on gray. With characteristic feline obstinacy he insisted on joining us for tea, though he knew he would have to go to some lengths to elude his juvenile admirers, who now burst into a melodious babble of protest, or, perhaps, explanation.
"Darling, let's stick to one language, shall we?" Nefret said. She was smiling, but I thought there was a certain edge to her voice. "They'll never learn to talk if you address them in ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon."
"They know how to talk," Ramses said loudly, over the duet. "Recognizable human speech, however -- "
"Say Papa," Nefret coaxed. She leaned forward. "Say it for Mama."
"Bap," said the one whose eyes were the same shade of cornflower-blue.
"Perverse little beggars," said Ramses. The other child climbed onto his knee and buried her head against his chest. I suspected she was trying to get closer to the cat, but she made an engaging picture as she clung to her father. They were affectionate little creatures, much given to hugging and kissing, especially of each other.