An Evil Spirit Out of the West Paperback – Apr 5 2004
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'Doherty has typically woven a delightfully dark tale around what must have been the most remarkable period of Egyptian history...So stoke up the fire, draw the curtains and put your feet up in order to enjoy this delightfully spooky and robust tale of demons, death and disease in old Egypt. Great stuff!' Historical Novels Review Nov 2003 Historical Novels Review 'Doherty has typically woven a delightfully dark tale around what must have been the most remarkable period of Egyptian history...So stoke up the fire, draw the curtains and put your feet up in order to enjoy this delightfully spooky and robust tale of demons, death and disease in old Egypt. Great stuff!' Historical Novels Review Nov 2003 Historical Novels Review
About the Author
Paul Doherty is the author of several mystery series, including the Ancient Egypt Trilogy, the Ancient Roman Mysteries series, and The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan series.
Top Customer Reviews
Young Mahu, the son of a soldier, is left with his aunt (but they despise each other), and later he is essentially dumped into the Royal "Kap" (nursery), which turns out to be comprised of a small group of boys who are treated harshly and taught how to be soldiers, leaders, politicians, diplomats, scribes. Life-long friends (and enemies) are made here. Mahu is a sensitive child, but has to learn to be tough and ruthless in order to survive.This fact-based trilogy is sometimes hard to read, but it has a lot of twists and turns.
Mahu watches others claw at each other for power, but he doesn't share their ambitions or drive. All he wants is a happy, quiet life, but he's drawn into the most peculiar and outrageous plots and missions as his lack of ambition and good heart make him the favourite of Queens, Princes, Pharaohs, and Generals. They require Mahu to do their bidding, and often despite his better judgement, he keeps his promise or solemn vow of obedience and gets the job done.
The real Mahu re-copied his diaries as an old man (and left his manuscripts for the future) thousands of years ago, and I came to respect and like this man, whose fortunes changed with the wind (and the current ruler). He lived in a remarkable time, and saw the end times of one of the most magnificent periods in ancient Egypt (some would argue ancient Egypt's heyday). Mahu may have been dead for millennia, but his thoughts, philosophies, concerns, honest doubts, points of view, choices, agonies, and decisions are as relevant and timely now as they were then.
I pictured Christopher Gorham (Henry from TV's Harper's Island) as Mahu, and the movie I saw (in my mind) while reading this book blew my mind.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book has as its main character, Akenhaten, perhaps one of the most written about Pharaoh's of Ancient Egypt. Known as the Veiled One he had a turbulent and at times astounding reign. Akenhaten is thrust to the forefront of the political stage after the death of his elder brother. It is then that the ambitious and ruthless Mahu realises his own chance for fame and wealth, by becoming the protector of the young prince. He knows that by becoming the Akenhaten's protector and confidant he can rapidly increase his own status and power at the Egyptian court.
Another reviewer has attacked Doherty for historical inaccuracies, but there is no such thing as an historical novel that can escape them completely. It's always easy and fun to play the "gotcha" game -- for example, when you sail from Thebes to Tel el Amarna, you're going downriver, not up, and you certainly would not have sailed past fields of maize 3000 years before Columbus discovered the Americas. Maize is a new-world plant. And yes, I agree that Akhenaten was probably not deformed. It's possible, if we can take his portraits literally, that he had Marphan's Syndrome, but if he had it, then so did "beautiful" Nefertiti, whose portraits are stylized in exactly the same manner. The elongated hands, feet and faces in Amarna-period art might simply be a new artistic convention, possibly an exaggeration of personal features in the manner of a political cartoon, although obviously with a more serious intent. Artists who were suddenly encouraged to pursue realism might have gone to the opposite extreme from the idealized representations of earlier kings. But I'm willing to give Doherty his artistic license, and accept in the context of the novel that Akhenaten was grotesque while Nefertiti was beautiful. It is, after all, called "historical fiction" for a reason.