House of Illusionsby Pauline Gedge
For many years, Thu has lived in exile, writing the tragic history of her life as the favourite concubine of Ramses III—and her role in the conspiracy to kill him. A young soldier, Kamen, has read her words and believes her testimony that she was not acting alone. When Kamen shows Thu’s manuscript to his general, he unknowingly sets in motion a stirring drama of revenge and punishment, miraculous disclosures, and unexpected vindication.
House of Illusions is the stunning sequel to the bestselling House of Dreams, and brings Thu’s story to its surprising and dramatic conclusion.
Like its predecessors, this fifth in a series is set at the height of ancient Egypt's influence. Gedge excels at setting the scene and subtly evoking a sense of the period as she tells a timeless story of greed, love, and revengea story that picks up 17 years after Thu has been banished to her native village of Aswat for her part in a plot to murder the Pharaoh Ramses. Kamen, a young soldier and the adopted son of a merchant, now on his way back from Nubia, spends the night in Aswat and is accosted by a blue-eyed woman who asks him to deliver an intricately bound package to the pharaoh. Kamen's companions dismiss the woman as mad, but he himself, not entirely convinced of her madness, agrees to take it. Back in the capital, he hands it over to his commanding general Paiis, and when Paiis realizes what the package containsThu's account of the role Paiis and others played in the plot to murder Ramseshe and his co-conspirators act quickly. Kamen is commanded to bring the woman to the city, and so, once again in Aswat, he and Thu narrowly escape an assassin. As Thu seeks a hearing in the capital, she and Kamen are ruthlessly hunted down by the former plotters. Only the intervention of the dying Ramses and his heir saves them. Justice is done, and Thu is not only reunited with her long-lost son but meets up again with the only man she's ever lovedthe man who used, deserted, but never forgot her.
Thu is larger than life, and coincidences abound, but Gedge is so splendid a teller of tales that all is forgiven. First-class historical fiction.
- Penguin Canada
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Meet the Author
PAULINE GEDGE is the award-winning and bestselling author of thirteen previous novels, ten of which are inspired by Egyptian history. Her first, Child of the Morning, won the Alberta Search-for-a-New-Novelist Competition. In France, her second novel, The Eagle and the Raven, received the Jean Boujassy award from the Société des Gens des Lettres, and The Twelfth Transforming, the second of her Egyptian novels, won the Writers Guild of Alberta Best Novel of the Year Award. Her books have sold more than 250,000 copies in Canada alone; worldwide, they have sold more than six million copies and have been translated into eighteen languages. Pauline Gedge lives in Alberta.
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Lady of the Reeds and House of Illusions are two fantastic books. House of Illusions was a book I could hardly stand to put down. I can not wait for another Pauline Gedge book to be published.