GUARDIAN OF THE HORIZON
By: Elizabeth Peters
HarperCollins Publishers, New York
Who among us hasn’t wished we could turn the clock back to relive a
particularly wonderful or exciting or magical time in our lives? Until H.G.
Wells’ time machine becomes a reality, the only people who can
successfully do this are authors—and Elizabeth Peters’ latest offering
in the wonderful Amelia Peabody series does exactly that!
The Peabody series—certainly the most outstanding mystery cum romance
cum archaeology story arcs ever—has followed Amelia, friends,
family and villains through the late decades of the 19th
Century to the dawn of the 20th Century and through the horrors
of the Great War period. Amelia and Emerson & Co. continue to
entertain us, even as their children grow up and have children; but the
dynamic couple (like those of us in the real world) grows older and grayer
and sooner or later loses a step.
But then the intrepid author steps in and turns the pages of time back
ten years when the Emerson-Peabody family was at its most vigorous, and
through the felicitous "discovery" of a lost Peabody journal, we
return to the Lost Oasis, introduced to us in the earlier volume
provocatively entitled, The Last Camel Died at Noon. It’s now
1907, some ten years after the Last Camel adventure, and a strange
young man shows up at the Emerson-Peabody estate in Kent, England, bearing
a message from their old friend Tarek, king of the Lost Oasis. "Come
to me, my friends who once saved me. Danger threatens and only you can
help me now."
Thus begins adventure on a grand scale as Emerson, Peabody, their son
Ramses, and Nefret, whom they rescued from the Lost Oasis ten years
earlier, set out to aid their old ally. The story has everything one could
hope for as it recaptures the Rider Haggard atmosphere of Last Camel,
and includes, much to Emerson’s dismay, Christian missionaries, the
Great White Hunter, obnoxious German tourists, and a "confounded
Egyptologist" linked to the British Museum. The epic also includes
desert marauders, High Priests, palace intrigue, kidnappings, and a
variety of characters, listed above, who may or may not be what they claim
This is, in short, the perfect summer time read—and is one of those
rare books that one truly hates to see come to an end!
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