SLAYER OF GODS by Linda S. Robinson
A LORD MEREN MYSTERY
Warner Books, June 2001
The Pharaoh's life is never easy and now the death of Queen Nefertiti weighs heavy on King Tutankhamun's shoulders. The killer may strike again. Even if not, the person of the Pharaoh and his family are sacred, Gods walking on earth. Allowing a murder to go unavenged upsets the nature of the universe. Tutankhamun asks his friend and spy-master, Lord Meren to investigate.
Together with the spy and warrior-woman Anath, Meren travels to the abandoned city Horizon of Aten where the heretic-Pharaoh, Akhenaten had reined with is wife Nefertiti, then on to the southern borders of Egypt searching for clues. Although Meren feels that he is accomplishing nothing, on his return, his daughter is kidnapped with the message that she will be killed if Meren does not abandon his search. Torn between his loyalty to his king and his duty to his king, Meren realizes that he is up against an enemy more powerful and more devious than he had imagined possible.
Author Linda S. Robinson does a beautiful job describing Egypt as it might have been in the reign of Tutankhamun. The terrible split between Pharoah and the traditional gods has been mended, but the royal rule is less stable than it has been in the past. Both Meren and Tutankhamun were damaged by the paranoia and terror that reigned along with Akhenaten. The stakes in the mystery are high indeed as the major civilized power in the world teeters on the brink of disaster. Robinson's style is approachable without being overly simplistic.
Although Robinson provides a lot of history, none of it feels like research being dumped on the reader. Everything is in context as Meren struggles with an unknown enemy and with his own fears. The mystery itself is well done with enough clues to allow the reader to see what is coming, yet keeping us in the dark.
Fans of historical fiction will want to snatch this one up. SLAYER OF GODS is a definite winner.
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