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on 30 September 2001
Fortunately the age old idea of 13 being an unlucky number does not apply to "Lord of the Silent",the 13th book in the Amelia Peabody series.
From the start to the end Elizabeth Peters latest offering doesn't disappoint. Immediately the reader is thrown into the turmoil and uncertainty of 1915, the year in which the book is set. The Emerson-Peabodys including the newly married Rameses and Nefret(and about time too!)are preparing to leave for Egypt despite the dangers involved from lurking German submarines. A bit of danger however has never been known to stop Amelia before and they depart England for a radically different Cairo to what they knew. Encamped in the city are the armies of the Allied powers, enemy agents and of course the infamous tomb robbers. Our heroes are determined to overcome (or in Emerson's case ignore!) the hardships of war and continue with their excavations. Their plans are disrupted by threats on Rameses' life and in responce Amelia and Emerson send Nefret and Rameses to Luxor under the pretense of ensuring the safety of the familys excavations there. What follows is a story that develops along two threads- Amelia and Emerson in Cairo and Rameses and Nefret in Luxor. This book contains all that readers of the Amelia books have come to expect and love- "a ripping good yarn", solid storyline, beloved characters, romance, passion, intrigue, mystery and lashings of humour. 'Lord of the Silent' is well written and develops at a steady pace finally ending in a climactic finale.
Unlike most readers of Amelia I didn't start reading from the first book, I -being the backward person that I am!- read 'Falcon at the Portal' (the 11th in the series) first. I was immediately hooked and now a year later I have finally collected together all 13.The mark of a good writer is his/her ability to make the reader feel for the characters- to care about what happens to them and their families. At the end of'Falcon at the Portal' I threw the book across the room (anyone who has read it will understand!) and at the end of 'Lord of the Silent' I nearly started crying because I knew I would have to wait at least a year for the next book. Obviously I think that Elizabeth Peters is a writer of rare excellance. Read 'Lord of the Silent'and enjoy!
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Elizabeth Peters has been gathering and developing her characters in masterful ways for some time in the wonderful Amelia Peabody series. In Lord of the Silent, Ms. Peters reaps a rich harvest from that preparation in order to provide the richest fabric ever of plot and suspense in the series.
Lord of the Silent is very much part two of a series that Ms. Peters wrote about World War I. I strongly urge you to read He Shall Thunder from the Sky (this book's immediate predecessor) before reading Lord of the Silent. The plots and characters of the two books are so intertwined that you will not appreciate and enjoy Lord of the Silent nearly as much without having read He Shall Thunder from the Sky.
The book opens with vivid scenes from war-time England. Zeppelin raids on London create fear that foreshadows the massive Battle of Britain in World War II. This sets a somber mood of uncontrollable threat for the whole book that is admirably suspenseful. You will wonder when the next bomb might burst. In many ways, the plot's complications are like the effects of a random bombardment . . . bringing danger, fear, discomfort, and damage.
The whole family is in England in 1915. Because of the war, English people cannot cross the continent for travel to Egypt. Ocean-going vessels are the only choice. But submarine warfare is a danger, and neutral liners (like the Lusitania) have been sunk. Should they take the risk and go to Egypt? Who should go? The book opens with these pressing questions. What would you have done?
Part of the family does make it to Egypt, and find a land transformed by the distant war. The hospitals are full of injured soldiers from the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. There are rumors of uprisings among the Bedouins in the desert that are encouraged by the Turks and Germans. Many old friends are missing for the duration because they are from enemy countries. Thieves are opening unprotected sites and taking away priceless archeological relics. Graffiti is appearing in the most unexpected places.
Professor Emerson is focusing his attention on some noble tombs (mastabas) that Amelia finds absolutely boring. She yearns for a pyramid. Soon, events intervene to make life seem rather too exciting. Can she keep her family safe?
The plot is nicely changed by having Ramses and Nefret as husband and wife. Although they still hide things from one another, they do less of that. As a result, you have a better balance between the professor and Amelia keeping secrets from the younger Emersons and vice versa. This makes for a smoother, faster-paced, and more interesting plot.
As usual though, if everyone had told everyone else what they knew, the whole problem could have been resolved in about one-third of the time. But that's the way people really are, so you won't mind it at all. They are just trying to protect their loved ones.
Sennia (aged 6) plays a bigger role in this story. She shows signs of having great potential as a character in the future. Adding a third generation to the story gives the plot much more diversity that you will enjoy.
The classic plot elements of an Amelia Peabody novel are all here: Amelia fighting off attackers, unexpected bodies, hidden treasure, red herrings, Nefret healing people, mysterious manipulations from a distance, Ramses operating in disguise, after-dark trips into the native Egyptian areas, officials complicating matters, nosy females who are attracted to the Emerson men, men who are attracted to the Emerson women, help from Abdullah's family, and a prophetic dream of meeting with Abdullah. Everything you have enjoyed in the past, you will find in this book . . . except more of it.
The book's title is a reference to the description of Amon, king of the gods, who was described as Lord of the Silent. Here are some of his other characteristics:
"who comes at the voice of the poor . . .
who gives bread to him who has none . . .
father of the orphan, husband of the widow . . . ."
Most importantly, "though the servant offends him, he is merciful."
Even more than usual, the Emersons play a role that reflects an Egyptian deity, as they succor all they find.
After you read this wonderful book, I suggest that you discuss with your family the issues raised here about when communication and when silence are the best ways to help one another. By learning from the examples in the book, I suggest that you err on the side of too much communication.
Expand your horizons and your relationships as Amon and Amelia Peabody would . . . especially in dangerous times and places!
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on 24 January 2003
Oh, this is just such FUN ..... The books are not taking themselves quite so seriously as they did and are sending themselves up something rotten. All the characters have ceased being lifelike and are in danger of becoming parodies of themselves but not yet .... Read it and love it (although don't necessarily take the advice offered to Ramses about his marriage !!)
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on 16 June 2001
The war is not yet over (WW1), and after Rhamses earlier heroics he is wanted back again. Forget anything else. Peabody and Emerson need to be back in Egypt. There are a great many surprises here. But the basic response is, if you love Peabody and Emerson you will enjoy this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 February 2014
Ramses is attacked by a character from Thunder In The Sky, which you really have to read first to get the full impact of this book, and that sets them off chasing more villains. This is a masterful romp round Egypt with Nefret and Ramses, the Indiana Jones of his time, taking a more central role and Amelia, as befits her age, turning in to a master schemer. It's all great fun and an easy way to pass a few hours.
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on 13 February 2016
If you follow the Amelia Peabody series then this book is a must to buy. Packed full of action and mystery, whilst enthralling the reader with Egyptian history, it keeps the reader on their toes right to the end.
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on 14 December 2013
I am mad about Egypt and its history and to have such wonderful characters and animals just makes its perfect. I have them all on my Kindle and woud now like tohave the actual books as I would read them again.
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Elizabeth Peters was born and brought up in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Peters was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

The Amelia Peabody books may or may not be an acquired taste, personally I love them. They are set in Victorian times when there were still very strict rules of etiquette and polite behaviour was the norm. Although most of the books are set in Egypt, in the desert under very trying conditions and extremely hot weather the `English' way of life was still expected to be adhered to, sometimes with quite hilarious consequences.

Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' best loved and brilliant creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her no nonsense dress sense and forthright opinions.

Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson are once more in their beloved Egypt. Back among the sand, the heat and the flies, but they would not have it any other way. They still live their lives in a very English way and everything stops for tea. It is unusual if not impossible for a season of excavating to go by without some interruption from a crime or even murder and this one is no exception.

A dead body turns up in the tomb they are excavating, well it would wouldn't it and Amelia vows to protect her family with every bone in her body and at the same time find the killer.
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on 6 January 2015
I love the Amelia Peabody-Emerson stories but I did find this one disappointing compared to earlier books. Despite the author being American she has generally done a pretty good job of recreating the voice of her Victorian adventurer, with only one or two glaring errors. However, in this book, the lack of prepositions & misuse of words (such as "momentarily" to mean "soon" rather than "briefly") was much more obvious, to the extent that I wondered if there was a co-author to this book. It was still an entertaining story & I still like the characters sufficiently to continue with the series but, for me, this was the poorest of the series yet.
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on 10 June 2013
This is my 5th book that i am reading. After reading "The falcon at the portal" I got hooked up not just because the History, talents that writer presents, if not for the way to approach the reader, explaining things, giving background to other adventures that happened during previous books. I love the sardonic and settle the use of sense of humor.
The writer also takes time describing and explaining about the culture which i found it very important if you fully want to understand the reasoning behind.
I am looking forward to my next books.
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