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Guardian of the Horizon [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Peters
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 30 2004 Peters, Elizabeth

A hitherto lost journal of the indomitable Amelia Peabody has been miraculously recovered: a chronicle from one of the "missing years" -- 1907–1908 -- shedding new light on an already exceptional career, a remarkable family . . . and an unexpected terror.

Ousted from their most recent archaeological dig and banned forever from the Valley of the Kings, the Emersons are spending a quiet summer at home in Kent, England, when a mysterious messenger arrives. Claiming to be the teenage brother of their dear friend Tarek, prince of the mysterious Lost Oasis, the charismatic herald brings troubling news of a strange malady that has struck down Tarek's heir and conveys his brother's urgent need for help only the Emersons can provide.

Driven by loyalty -- and a fear that the evil forces opposing Tarek's rule will now exploit the royal heir's grave illness -- the family sets off in secret for the land time forgot -- a mountain fortress from which they narrowly escaped ten years before. Braving the treacherous desert climate on a trek fraught with danger at every turning, guided only by a crumbling map, the Emersons are unaware that deception is leading them onward into a nest of vipers -- where a dreadful fate may await. For young Ramses, forced to keep his growing love for the beautiful Nefret secret, temptation along the way may prove his ultimate undoing. And a dark past and grim obligation have ensnared Nefret once again, as she is helpless to save those she loves most from the prison of the Lost Oasis.

Guardian of the Horizon is rich with suspense, surprises, unforgettable characters, and the intoxicating atmosphere that has earned its author the coveted title of Grand Master two times over. The remarkable Elizabeth Peters proves once again that, in the world of historical adventure fiction, she is truly without peer.

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Product Description

From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In an appealing change of pace, "the Grand Dame of the Historical Mystery" steps further back in the life of parasol-wielding Amelia Peabody and her family--a time long before Ramses and Nefret got hitched and Setho's real identity was revealed. It's a mere 10 years since Emerson, Peabody, and Ramses fled the opulent City of the Holy Mountain with 13-year-old Nefret, paving the way for young Tarek to become king. Now it appears that Tarek needs their help once again, and the family, Ramses and Nefret both grown, returns to the remote "Lost Oasis," where they have long been revered--only to find themselves victims of a ruse designed to help a usurper legitimize his shaky hold on the kingdom. As usual, the Emersons, who "attract farcical situations the way sugar draws flies," have plenty of intrigue to contend with, but "proper" Amelia rises to the occasion, exercising her unusual vocabulary (rampageous, sequestrian), her clever stratagems, and her talent for reining in her vociferous husband and her impetuous son in time to set things straight. A highly entertaining entry in a series that continues to delight. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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First Sentence
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). Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Renewing Old Acquaintances June 14 2004
By A Customer
I must put The Guardian of the Horizon among my favorite of the Amelia Peabody series. I was delighted to find out what had happened to the denizens of the Holy Mountain introduced in The Last Camel Died at Noon. I was strongly attracted to them when reading Camel and have wondered over the years how they faired.
For me the characters of Nephret and Ramses became more understandable in this book. I must admit that I had been puzzled by the length of time it took Nephret to recognize the romantic and sexual nature of her feelings for Ramses. And, I was puzzled by Ramses extreme reticence to push her in this area. This book gives some explanation for this phenomenom. I know some readers were disturbed by Ramses relationship with Daria. But, to me it seemed perfectly in character for a romatic and frustrated young man such as Ramses.
The only slightly false note in the book for me was that Amelia seemed a little too at ease with Sethos for this point in their history.
But, all and all, a grand read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars if this is the best you can do... June 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I was very disappointed in this book. For the last several books, she's been getting farther and farther away from the flavor of the Emerson books that appealed to me: they were clever, funny, light, and rather innocent- even the villains had scruples. The world she created was an alter universe that was very appealing. It's not real life, but if I wanted that I'd read the newspaper.
I've been tired of the references to Ramses' sex appeal and prowress for a while, and now she's fleshed him out as a full-blown, immoral tramp. The Emersons failed miserably in their parenting, and Nefret probably had trouble conceiving because of what they called at the time a "social disease" given her by Ramses, picked up from his consorting with various prostitutes (although he didn't have to pay for it!)At least now we know why she didn't trust him in "Falcon at the Portal!"
Peters has taken her characters in all the wrong directions, as far as I'm concerned. Her last great book was "He Shall Thunder in the Sky." After having read the customer reviews for this one, I wasn't thrilled to read it, but I did for the same reason I saw "Jaws 4- The Revenge": I wanted to see just how bad it was. I don't think I'll bother with the next Emerson book. Peters is a great writer, but maybe she should write a new type of book, and freshen up her idea fountain. She can just do much better than she's been doing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good Amelia Peabody June 8 2004
I thougt this was a good book in general in the Amelia Peabody series. I've read all except for the middle three in the series. This book while it left some unanswered questions, and brought up others also left me with the feeling that I want another story from Peters. The author does a great job with character developement and though I felt that Nefret and Ramses where a little on the whinning side of things where still interesting to read. I would have like more of a romance thing with Amelia and Emerson- after all really she is the main or should be the main character in these books. That seems to be the only thing I would like to see more off in this book and the series in general is more Amelia and less of Nefret and Ramses - give them there own series if you must but please leave Amelia.
I did like this book because it seemed to visualize more of the Egypt that I like - mysterious and interesting. But this book had passages and places that I wonder if I would have found more interesting if I had read the one where they got Nefret (that is one of the three I've yet to read).
Anyway- if you like Peters works then you should enjoy this book, but don't be to critical on certain things as the author did leave a lot of holes and questions. Just sit back and enjoy the read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm torn on this one June 1 2004
Usually, when I finish a new Amelia Peabody novel, it either leaves me horribly depressed or giddy as a 5-year-old. This one definitely left me feeling depressed.
Overall, I liked this book. It was great fun to read, especially the sections dealing with Amelia and Emerson's antics. The two of them are absolutely priceless in this story, having fallen once more into the role of "magicians" fighting for the common good.
The problem I have, like others, is with the character of Ramses. The affair with Daria just seemed so out of character for him that it made me uncomfortable to read it. Maybe it's a little too idealistic to entertain the notion that he was still a virgin when he finally won Nefret. But it's like being married to someone for ten years or so and suddenly finding out that they were married once before, but had neglected to tell you. It just doesn't fit.
First, I can't imagine him sleeping with a woman he barely knows, much less claiming to love her; and even if it's as simple as a case of transference, it'd be as bad as hiring a prostitute in order to vent some of his frustration, something we know he'd never do.
Second, the whole affair begins and ends too easily. Just think, if Nefret had come to the window instead, perhaps he would have run off with her. (Or hell, one of the other handmaidens, perhaps? If he can sleep with Daria, then it would seem he doesn't need to know more than her name and that she's easy.) And the end of the affair isn't nearly traumatic enough for someone who believes they're in love. I want him to throw the flowers at her. I want him to rail and rage and break down and cry, not just kiss her and walk away.
Third, why wouldn't there be any other mention of her? Unless E.P.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My first one
It was my first one from this author and I liked it alot! I recommend it. I was always wondering what will happen next. Really good adventure. :)
Published on April 16 2009 by Jojos
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her better efforts
I get the impression that EP wrote this book(and set it in the past) because the Amelia Peabody series may be losing some of its appeal. Read more
Published on June 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic
What is most controversial about this book? Ramses: In my opinion his relationship with Daria was the best part of this book! Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Lrp
4.0 out of 5 stars "Conquer by confusion, I always say"
There comes a time in every series that covers a large number of years when it isn't possible to go further without the main characters discovering the secret of eternal life. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Marc Ruby™
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best effort by far
As a fan of this series, I found this work extremely disappointing. It reads more like a short story than a novel; barest outlines of events and characters, some outright errors in... Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Jessicathecat
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite disappointiung with regard to Ramses
Especially after having recerntly re-read Children of the Storm, the characters in this book all seem so flat compared with their usual panache. Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by J. Mullally
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from her best effort.
I was looking forward to this book, as I do with all of EP's works. I was so disappointed with this book, I had to read it again just to make sure I hadn't imagined it. Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Valerie in FL
5.0 out of 5 stars I did not want it to end!
Absolutely wonderful, with all the elements that makes this series special: adventure; strong female characters; droll humor; ancient Egypt, mystery, and dashing male protagonists. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by Shelley Rothschild
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Expedition with the Emersons
I am an unabashed Elizabeth Peters fan, so like most rabid fans I just like this book. GUARDIAN OF THE HORIZON is another excellent expedition with Emerson, Peabody and the whole... Read more
Published on May 7 2004 by St. Winnie-the-Pooh the Parkness
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