Read/to-read List

The Shadow Hawk, Andre Norton: a historical adventure set in ancient Egypt. To be precise, it’s set at the reconquest era at the end of the seventeenth dynasty, when the pharaohs of that house go to war against the Hyksos. (Two of them, Seqenenre Tao and his older son Kamose, died in the process, while the third, younger son Ahmose, succeeded and had the distinction of founding his own dynasty.)
It’s told from the POV of Rahotep, a minor nobleman who has left Kush at the Pharaoh’s summons to war. (The alternative is being caught up in politics aka eventually murdered by his half-brother, who schemes for the Kushite throne-in-exile.)Rahotep and his band of Kushite archers report for duty and immediately get sucked into things at a high level–impressing the solemn but fierce prince Kamose, hunting for “lions” with the fiery young Ahmose, getting framed for the Pharaoh’s attempted murder, sneaking into an enemy citadel disguised as a slave…
There’s also a leopard cub the hero takes from the side of its dead mother and starved twin, but it’s still a good kitty and it survives to the end (which I was kind of worried about.)
All in all: not the best book to be reading for four hours while stuck in an auto shop–it’s too exciting and it goes far, far too fast.
Princess of the Nile: this is a 1950s cheesefest starring Debra Paget and Jeffrey Hunter as sheer eye candy. The plot is thin, but the costumes are brilliant, the sets are ostentatious, the cast is sublimely pretty, their performances are assured and effortless.
And, come on. Where else are you going to see a Princess in disguise as a dancing girl, sword fighting mooks in a dance outfit even skimpier than Slave Leia’s? (And winning.)
They just don’t make movies like this anymore.

To read:
The Faithful Executioner, Joel Harrington
The Old Gods Waken, Manly Wade Wellman
Mirror, a History, Sabine Melchior-Bonnet (It’s going to be difficult for Character to commit suicide with a shard of mirror, given that glass mirrors did not appear until the early Renaissance…)
The Sabers of Paradise, Lesley Blanch (A real-life Lady of Adventure, similar to Gertrude Bell. Apparently, this book was one of the inspirations for Dune.)
Pyramids, Terry Pratchett

If and when I get the chance to actually watch the movies I’ve been acquiring, I’m going to start with
Count Three and Pray
Man in the Shadow
The Buccaneer (1938 version…I’m really curious as to how this one will be. The Yul Brynner/Charlton Heston version holds a special place in my heart.)

You’d think that being locked in a cabin devoid of human contact would make this easier, wouldn’t you…

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