Shadow Hawk

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
After years as captain of desert scouts, Rahotep is called home to pay his respects to his dying father, the Viceroy of Nubia. Upon arriving, the second son discovers that his father is already being mourned and—as the offspring of a lesser wife—Rahotep has essentially been banned from his country by his powerful older half brother. Finding asylum with his noble band of archers in neighboring Egypt, Rahotep attempts to prove his loyalty to the Pharaoh and his two sons. However, fate strikes again, and the once honored desert captain—unjustly accused of an assassination attempt—is severely beaten and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Escape offers more adventure, and finally, the twice-maligned officer is honored for his ingenuity, bravery, and loyalty. Set in 1500 B.C, this historical novel provides the adolescent reader with an intimate view of the court intrigue that naturally stemmed from warring factions, both internal and external. Vivid battle scenes realistically depict the frantic efforts of small tribes to survive the crushing rule of the Hyksos Empire. Reference to varying deities and their vastly different demands enlightens the audience as to the influence of spirituality and its power over worshippers of the era. 2001 (orig. 1960), Bethlehem Books, Ages 12 to 18.
—Janice DeLong
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883937676
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Pages: 246
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    great adjunct to a study of ancient Egyptian history

    In Egypt during the 1500s B. C., the Hyksos, a mysterious Asiatic people who had conquered the native Egyptians, have ruled for a couple of generations especially in the north with their capital at Avaris. Some scholars believe that the Hyksos were in power when Joseph and his family came into Egypt and were friendly to them because they were of similar origins, but that after the Hyksos were driven out the native Egyptians who returned to power were the ones who enslaved the Israelites. The reason that we know so little about this period is that the Egyptians erased nearly all the records about the Hyksos rule. It was Sekenenre, who was proclaimed Pharaoh at the ancient capital of Thebes in southern Egypt, and his sons Kamose and Ahmose, who ignited the revolt against the Hyksos from the south. It is in this milieu that Andre Norton sets her Egyptian historical fiction.
    Rahotep is the younger son by his second wife of Ptahotep, Viceroy of Nubia which had been added to Egypt many years before, and grandson through his mother of the Nomarch of the Hawk, but since his territory is now controlled by others he is known as the "Shadow Hawk." Nominally under the control of the Hyksos, Nubia is practically independent. Rahotep is a leader of Nubian guards who patrol the border with Kush to the south. Just as Ptahotep receives an invitation to join Sekenenre in his planned revolt, the Viceroy mysteriously dies and his older son Unis, an ally of Prince Teti who wishes to rule Nubia as an independent nation, takes over. Therefore, Rahotep and his men go to Thebes to join with the Pharaoh. However, not everyone in Thebes supports the revolt and after they are appointed to Pharaoh's guard, an attempt is made on Sekenenre's life. When Rahotep rushes in to help the Pharaoh and is discovered there alone with a knife in Sekenenre's back, he is accused of the crime. What will happen to the young Egyptian soldier? And will the Hyksos be overthrown?
    This book is filled with mystery and intrigue with the plot on the Pharaoh's life as well as adventure and excitement with the war against the Hyksos. Some on the younger end of the reading age range might find the plot a little confusing with all the different people involved, but the introduction with a list of the principle characters should help with that. There are a few references to drinking wine or beer, but they are minimal, and there is no immorality. The only objection that I can hear is that "there are references to Egyptian gods." Well, what do you expect? Would you think a book creditable which has Egyptians in 1590 B. C. holding a communion service in memory of the death of Christ? No, one would rightly assume that historical fiction set in ancient Egypt would mention the deities worshipped by the ancient Egyptians. That does not give these idols any credence or honor but simply records their worship as a part of history. My conclusion is that this very readable book would make a great adjunct to a study of ancient Egyptian history.

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