Guardian of the Horizon (Amelia Peabody Series #16)

Guardian of the Horizon (Amelia Peabody Series #16)

4.4 34
by Elizabeth Peters
     
 

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Banned from the Valley of the Kings, Amelia Peabody and her distinguished husband have returned to England with their 19-year-old son Ramses and their foster daughter, Nefret. Ramses is secretly in love with Nefret and plans to flee to Germany to avoid temptation. Then a mysterious visitor changes the plan for the whole family. Set in the Sudan, this is another… See more details below

Overview

Banned from the Valley of the Kings, Amelia Peabody and her distinguished husband have returned to England with their 19-year-old son Ramses and their foster daughter, Nefret. Ramses is secretly in love with Nefret and plans to flee to Germany to avoid temptation. Then a mysterious visitor changes the plan for the whole family. Set in the Sudan, this is another exciting adventure which follows the Peabody family as they confront all the forces against them armed only with a crumbling map and an important letter...

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
If Batman can remain young and frisky from one millennium to the next, why must Amelia Peabody, the intrepid English heroine of Elizabeth Peters's archaeological adventures in Egypt, settle into a passive matriarchal role? Perhaps to stifle such infantile whines, Peters has set Guardian of the Horizon in 1907, predating her previous historical novel by more than a decade. Besides evading the sobering war years and wiping out a generation of beloved cats and distracting grandchildren, the device revitalizes Amelia, allowing the daring explorer and her manly husband, Radcliffe Emerson (honored in Egypt as ''the Father of Curses"), to go tearing across the Sudan desert on a mission fraught with danger. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
Intrepid archeologists Amelia Peabody, husband Emerson and son Ramses have shared numerous exciting adventures, but the 16th volume in MWA Grand Master Peters's bestselling series will have particular appeal for fans. The author fills in a gap in the chronological record (1907-1908) and revisits the hidden city of the Lost Oasis, whose discovery was recounted in The Last Camel Died at Noon (1991). The doughty explorers, including foster daughter Nefret, who is from the Lost Oasis, heed the call of a messenger purportedly from that realm's ruler, Tarek. Peters, as her many accolades would suggest, knows precisely what she is doing as she spins a tale of romance, derring-do, bravery and, of course, deceptions, betrayals and disguises in the classic tradition of H. Rider Haggard, if with tongue often in cheek. Familiar enemies surface (bureaucrats, soldiers of fortunes, despoilers of antiquities, etc.) and dog the group as they travel by ship, boat and camel from their English home to the remote desert location that will test their mettle once again. Peters's knowledge of ancient Egypt and the excavations and desecrations that accompanied early archeological attempts in the region allow her to dress her melodrama with authentic trappings that add greatly to the enjoyment. Agent, Dominick Abel. (One-day laydown Mar. 30) FYI: Peters received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic in 2003. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
During 1907-08, an era unaccounted for in previous Amelia Peabody tales, the redoubtable detective must help Prince Tarek of the Lost Oasis keep his throne. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Entertainment Weekly
“Funny and engaging.”
Entertainment Weekly (A-)
“Funny and engaging.”
Winston-Salem Journal
“One of Peters’ most engaging and exciting installments in the series.”
Book Magazine
“Humor and passion...quick-paced and well-researched.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780334493
Publisher:
Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Series:
Amelia Peabody Series , #16
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
51,188
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Guardian of the Horizon


By Elizabeth Peters

William Morrow

ISBN: 0-06-621471-8


Chapter One

When we left Egypt in the spring of 1907, I felt like a defeated general who has retreated to lick his wounds (if I may be permitted a somewhat inelegant but expressive metaphor). Our archaeological season had experienced the usual ups and downs - kidnapping, murderous attacks, and the like - to which I was well accustomed. But that year disasters of an unprecented scope had befallen us.

The worst was the death of our dear old friend Abdullah, who had been foreman of our excavations for many years. He had died as he would have wished, in a glorious gesture of sacrifice, but that was small consolation to those of us who had learned to love him. It was hard to imagine continuing our work without him.

If we continued it. My spouse, Radcliffe Emerson, is without doubt the preeminent Egyptologist of this or any other era. To say that Emerson (who prefers to be addressed by that name) has the most explosive temper of anyone I know might be a slight exaggeration - but only slight. His passions are most often aroused by incompetent excavators and careless scholarship, and during this past season he had - I admit - been sorely provoked.

We had been excavating in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, my favorite site in all of Egypt. The concession for the Valley was held by an irritating elderly American, Mr. Theodore Davis, who was more interested in finding treasure than in scholarly research; we were there under sufferance, allowed to work only in the lesser, more boring tombs. Still, we were there, and we would be there again in the autumn had it not been for Emerson.

The trouble began when Mr. Davis's crew discovered one of the strangest, most mysterious tombs ever found in the Valley. It was a hodgepodge of miscellaneous funerary equipment, much of it in poor condition, including a mummy and coffin and pieces of a magnificent golden shrine; and if it had been properly investigated, new light would have been shed on a particularly intriguing era of Egyptian history. In vain did we offer Mr. Davis the services of our staff. Abdullah, who was still with us, was the most experienced reis in Egypt, our son Ramses was a skilled linguist and excavator, and his friend David an equally skilled copyist. Not to mention our foster daughter Nefret, to whose excavation experience was added medical training and a thorough acquaintance with mummies. Only an egotistical idiot would have refused. Davis did refuse. He regarded excavation as entertainment, not as a tool in scholarly research, and he was jealous of a better man. He wanted no one to interfere with his toy.

Watching Davis "rip the tomb apart" (I quote Emerson) was trying enough. The denouement came on the day when the mummy fell apart due to careless handling. (It might not have survived anyhow, but Emerson was in no state of mind to admit that.) Face handsomely flushed, blue eyes blazing, impressive form towering over that of the withered old American, Emerson expressed his sentiments in the ringing tones and rich vocabulary that have earned him his sobriquet of Abu Shitaim, Father of Curses. He included in them M. Maspero, the distinguished head of the Service des Antiquités. Maspero really had no choice but to accede to Davis's infuriated demand that we be barred from the Valley altogether.

There are many other sites in Luxor. Maspero offered several of them to Emerson. By that time Emerson was in such a state of fury that he rejected them all, and when we sailed from Port Said we had no idea where we would be working the following season.

It was good to be back at our English home in Kent, and I make it a point to look on the bright side, but as spring turned to summer and summer wore on, my attempts to do so failed miserably. It rained incessantly. The roses developed mildew. Rose, our admirable housekeeper, caught a nasty cold that refused to yield to treatment; she went snuffling drearily around the house, and Gargery, our butler, drove me wild with his incessant prying and his pointed hints that he be allowed to come to Egypt with us in the autumn. Emerson, sulking in his study like a gargoyle, refused to discuss our future plans. He knew he had been in the wrong but would not admit it, and his attempts to get back in my good graces had, I confess, not been well received. As a rule I welcome my husband's attentions. His thick black locks and brilliant blue eyes, his magnificent physique, and - how shall I put it? - the expertise with which he fulfills his marital obligations moved me as they always had; but I resented his efforts to get round me by taking advantage of my feelings instead of throwing himself on my mercy and begging forgiveness.

By the end of July, all our tempers had become strained. It continued to rain, Emerson continued to sulk, Rose continued to snuffle, and Gargery's nagging never stopped. "Oh, madam, you need me, you know you do; only see what happened last year when I was not there to look after you - Mr. Ramses and Mr. David kidnapped and you carried off by that Master Criminal chap, and poor Abdullah murdered and -"

"Do be quiet, Gargery!" I shouted. "I asked you to serve tea. I did not invite a lecture."

Gargery stiffened and looked down his snub nose at me. I am one of the few people who is shorter than he, and he takes full advantage. "Tea will be in shortly, madam," he said, and stalked out.

I seldom shout at the servants - in point of fact, Gargery is the only one I do shout at. As a butler he was something of an anomaly, and his unusual talents, such as his skill at wielding a cudgel, had proved helpful to us in the past ...

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters Excerpted by permission.
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