The Horus Road

Written by Pauline Gedge
Review by Elizabeth Garner

The concluding volume in the Lords of the Two Lands trilogy, this novel is Gedge’s fictional recreation of the times and struggles of the Tao family of the ancient Egyptian city of Weset (called Thebes by the ancient Greeks, and Luxor by the modern world).

In volume one, Seqenenre Tao, a prince of Weset, began a rebellion against King Apepa, one of the Hyksos outsiders who had ruled Egypt for more than a century from their stronghold, Het-Uart, in the northern part of the country. In volume two, Seqenenre’s son Kamose continued the uprising, and in The Horus Road, Kamose’s brother, Ahmose, leaves his capable wife to govern the southern part of Egypt while he takes the fight to Apepa in Het-Uart.

Unfortunately, Gedge does not have an ear for dialogue, and she often recites what happened instead of drawing a verbal picture. Also, only King Ahmose (and to a lesser extent Aahmes-nefertari, his wife) is a three-dimensional character. As always, though, Gedge’s research is meticulous, and she populates her story with people who are known to have lived then, though they probably did not experience all the plot twists she incorporates. Her recreation of scenes, such as the pomp of a royal coronation, is well thought out, and her story is well paced.

Ahmose is a shadowy character in Egyptian history, but Gedge brings him to life so that we can see why this man was loved by his soldiers and revered by his people for centuries after his lifetime.