Lords of the Nile

Written by Jonathan Spencer
Review by Clare Lehovsky

Mata, 1798. This is a tale filled with tension, spurred on by the violence, tragedy and love of the times. In this second book in a series, the story follows Marine Lieutenant William Hazzard, who is desperately trying to prevent Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquest of Egypt and the eventual invasion of India. Thousands of years of culture and history, as well as the lives of innocent citizens, hang in the balance as the French fight against the Mamluk cavalry. Meanwhile, the everlasting ancient monuments observe all, as a constant reminder that they will always remain.

Spencer’s plot is breathtakingly paced, although he has time for character development too. The rivalry between Hazzard and nemesis, Derrien, is particularly good in this novel as it creates an effective story arc. Despite the tensions of the plot, Spencer is able to weave in aspects of ancient and modern Egyptian, Mamluk, French and even English culture using wonderful descriptive techniques and different points of view. By the end of this novel, you are invested in all of the characters, even the antagonists Bonaparte and Derrien, and the heart-wrenching ending of this novel puts the whole story into perspective and leaves you wanting to read more.