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Saturday, March 2, 2013

How the Amazon Queen Fought the Prince of Egypt
(Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award by Tamara Bower)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am always looking for sourcebooks for my research/writing, and I stumbled across this gem while looking for something else. The author's credentials are impeccable - trained at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (one of the foremost sponsors of digs in Egypt) worked with the Brooklyn Museum's Egyptian division... Her bibliography is excellent.

The story itself is based on a Ptolemaic text and concerns Egyptian royalty (the prince and his father) who lived during one of the intermediate periods. The circumstances surroundinng this tale are recounted, explained, set into their proper setting.

Having gotten that out of the way, let me say that this is a charming story, told with humor in the fashion of an ancient (Egyptian) text. The Prince of Egypt has heard of the fighting women and has come to see what they are like. The Queen of the Amazons sends her young sister as a spy and then decides to fight the prince face to face.

They fight, they realize that each is worthy of respect and admiration - and they fall in love. Delightful!

The illustrations are wonderful, whether or not you are familiar with ancient Egyptian art. The notes on the text and the illustrations are interesting, and even a child would be interested to learn that the collection of symbols forms the prince's name, and that the archer running away with his bow over his head and one hand stretched out behind him is trying to surrender.

All in all a delight to own!

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