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The Twelfth Transforming Paperback – 1 Dec 1998

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Paperback, 1 Dec 1998
£42.38 £17.70

Product details

  • Paperback: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell Ltd ,U.S. (1 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559212594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559212595
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,642,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The reign of Pharaoh Akhenaton is troubled by a struggle for power involving the pharaoh's proud mother, his uncle, the leader of Egypt's army, and the beautiful Nefertiti.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jun 1998
Format: Paperback
Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoah Amunhotep III is the focus of this very complex historical novel. Pauline Gedge gives a new interpretation of some of the known historical and archaelogical facts about the entire Amarna Royal Family including Akhenaton, Nefertiti, Smenhkara, Ay,Tutanhamon and Horemheb. Her portrayals of Queens' Tiye and Nefertiti are masterful in showing their struggles to govern and hold on to power for the former and to attain power for the latter. Each were women who had husbands who were Pharaohs, but had other agendas which were to the detriment of Egypt. However, these women wanted power and to govern. Gedge's new spin sees Tiye and Nefertiti as rivals with Ay and Horemheb forming a quadrangle of deadly machinations, murder and political intrigue which resulted from Akhenaten's religious revolution during the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ancient Egyptian buffs will be intrigued by Gedge's use of known facts and figures and the weaving of these into a fascinating portrait of an Egyptian Queen fighting the decline of her empire. The rich historical details and the incorporation of stories, myths and facts about the opulent lifestyles,descriptions of palaces and of the cities of Karnak, Akhetaten shows Miss Gedge's thorough knowledge of or research of the period.
Unfortunately this is also a handicap, because the need to weave facts and create fiction to make a workable story had me questioning certain elements crucial to the story. An example would be Nefertiti's desire to becoming a Great Royal Wife This is known to have been attained; however, she did not wear the disk and two-feathers crown which Tiye wore, wearing her own distintive Blue Crown. Although, this crown was known previously or used later, Nefertiti was a Great Royal Wife.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By gilly8 on 11 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
I love all of Pauline Gedge's novels about ancient Egypt. She seems to know how to make that era come back to life, and to be able to inhabit the minds of the people and bring them to to us as they were in their own time. She also does real research, every aspect of her novels on ancient Egypt are based on what is known now.
Akhenaten is one of the most mysterious figures of the very distant past, and she attempts to recreate him. She takes great risks in doing so. She doesn't make him lovable, he is truly an unusual person, and whether insane or a great mystic, we will never truly know.
It is difficult to create a believable Akhenaten, but I feel Gedge pulled it off. Even the Egyptian experts argue over whether he was mad, a megalomaniac, suffering from a genetic disease, or all of the above. Read this together with an excellent and very readable non-fiction book, Nicholas Reeves' "Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet" which has really beautiful photographs and illustrations, explains the history and mindset of the time, and does, despite what some people do not wish to hear, agree there is proof that he fathered children on his older daughters. (As did other pharaohs--the idea being to keep the bloodline pure and the family separate from outsiders.)
What the major point is about this Pharaoh was not anything pruriant, but that he caused so much turmoil and plunged his nation into chaos by suppressing all worship of the old gods and insisting on the worship of the Aten (sun disc) which could be worshipped only by worshipping him--- so it was not really true monotheism, or the "first monotheism" as history books used to say.
He tried almost overnight to create a new religion and destroy one milleniums old.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Iset TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The combination of heretical scandal as well as disastrous rulership is what crucially provides our fascination with Akhenaten's motivations, and the desire to find out what those motivations were is what drives the main plot of the book. We do care about what happens to Tiye and the few other characters who try to cling to sanity, and whether or not they'll survive under Akhenaten's reign, but with each event we hope to observe Akhenaten's actions and make some kind of sense of just what his "deal" is. Naturally, in her faithfully historical style, Gedge's storyline tries to follow what we know about actual historical events, so as such it cannot truly be said to have an engineered arc to it, but has a more natural, realistic turn to it, which of course naturally incorporates such character growth and arcs in its storyline. Despite harbouring such an obviously disturbed family, the plot is believable, and there is room for plot twists that are not entirely obvious despite possessing my prior knowledge of the historical background.

What is most striking, I noticed by the time I reached the "aftermath" phase of the novel, is the all-pervading sense of corruption. I completely expected, with the death of the disturbed Akhenaten, that the focus would turn to the dawn of hope once more in Egypt, but the book takes an entirely different turn. Akhenaten's dark perversions and heresy, perpetrated most deeply upon his own family, feel like they have not only traumatised his family, but infected them with his corruption. That continuing sense of the taint that pervaded his family and country even after Akhenaten's death really sends the message that not only was Akhenaten disastrous as a king, he left a legacy that ran deep, and there was not in fact an instant return to hope and happier times.
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