When Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, accompany their father, an academic, to his homeland of modern Egypt on his research assignment, they become involved in a mystery surrounding an ancient, lost pharaoh a rare queen ruler. Someone has tried to wipe her from the record, to make it appear as if she never existed She needs Talibah to help her and her high priest, Senenmut, reclaim their rightful place in history. Exotic locales, mysterious strangers, and a sinister archaeologist round out an adventure that is full of riddles, old tales, and, most surprisingly of all, a link to Talibah s and Adom s mother, who died mysteriously.
F&P level: W"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
- Review Date: 2009-11-02
- Reviewer: Staff
A spring break trip to Egypt becomes more intriguing when 14-year-old narrator Talibah discovers a mystery regarding Egypt's only female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, which turns out to involve Talibah's family. Not that she's initially thrilled about this turn of events: “My goal for this trip is to lie by the pool and get a great tan, not run errands for some Egyptian ghost, even if that ghost could be my mother,” Talibah quips (her mother died five years earlier). Talking sphinxes and gods, as well as time travel back to Egypt's 18th dynasty set Moss's (the Amelia's Notebook series) thriller in the realm of fantasy, as Talibah attempts to solve the mystery and put souls to rest. The villain, in the guise of a family friend and tour guide, is largely one-dimensional, though Moss fills the Egyptian setting with evocative imagery. The family dynamics between Talibah, her younger brother and her grieving scholarly father prove to be one of the most compelling aspects of the story. Talibah's b&w sketches support the narrative with pen-and-ink images of obelisks, hieroglyphics, maps and family trees. Ages 9–13. (Oct.)