The Eye of Horus

Set largely during the reign of King Tutankhamen, this treasure-filled mystery will have other writers regretfully murmuring, “Tut, tut.” The third novel by Austin’s Carol Thurston, it brims with mummies, gods, and pharaohs, providing a mega-fix for Egyptophiles and a great read for everyone else. The Eye of Horus begins in a present-day museum, as illustrator Kate McKinnon recreates, in crayon, the appearance of the highborn lady Tashat, a resident mummy who lived 33 centuries before. Kate immediately unwraps a mystery: Tashat’s ribs and hand are broken, and between her legs lies a man’s skull. Here the author begins neatly interweaving Kate’s story with that of the physician Senakhtenre, whom we meet when he delivers the seventh daughter of Nefertiti. Are the child and Tashat one and the same? Thurston’s knowledge of Egypt is wonderfully detailed, and a budding romance keeps the newer adventures lively too. The writing isn’t perfect—the dialogue can be a bit awkward and the pacing choppy—but overall it’s a most satisfying way to fritter away a few grains of the sands of time.

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