Item description for City of the Horizon (Huy the Scribe Mysteries) by Anton Gill...
Palace intrigues, the deaths of one-time royal favorites...it may sound like Tudor England, but it's Egypt during the 18th Dynasty, about 1350 B.C. Akhenaten, the "reformist" pharaoh, has died, and his successor, the child pharaoh Tutankhamun, is effectively controlled by political schemers with no love for Akhenaten's old supporters, now deemed heretics. Many of these have lost their lives, but Huy, once a scribe in Akhnaten's court, is luckier: He's lost merely his home and the right to practice his trade. In desperation, Huy becomes a sort of traveling troubleshooter, the world's first private eye. City of the Horizon marks his first case, bringing him up against both Egypt's powerful priesthood and a brutal gang of tomb-robbers, all while he's trying to evade the clutches of the secret police. The modern world, it seems, has no monopoly on duplicity and corruption. First U.S. publication
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.25" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2005
Publisher Felony & Mayhem Press
ISBN 193339711X ISBN13 9781933397115
Availability 0 units.
More About Anton Gill
Anton Gill worked for the English Stage Company, the Arts Council of Great Britain, and the BBC before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. He has written more than twenty books, mainly in the field of contemporary history, including The Journey Back from Hell: Conversations with Concentration Camp Survivors (winner of the H. H. Wingate Award), A Dance Between Flames: Berlin Between the Wars, and An Honourable Defeat: A History of the German Resistance to Hitler.
Reviews - What do customers think about City of the Horizon (Huy the Scribe Mysteries)?
A Good Start Mar 13, 2008
This is the first of what seem to be three books about the adventures of Huy, a "defrocked" scribe during the reign of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It's a slim volume, but the story is interesting, and the ending was a surprise.
Huy had been a follower of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who believed in a single god, rejecting the huge collection of ancient Egyptian dieties and the power of their priests, and moving his capital to a new city (the City of the Horizon). With the death of Akhenaten's successor Smenkhkare, after a very short reign, and the return to the old gods, Huy is allowed to live but banned from practising his trade by General Horemheb, the power behind the throne of the child Tutankhamun and later to serve as the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.
Huy becomes a sort of private investigator, returning from the declining city of the old pharaoh to the old capital of Thebes (referred to in this book as the Southern Capital, with Memphis in the Delta presumably the Northern Capital).
The depiction of the ideals of Akhenaten's revolution conjures memories of the Summer of Love in the late 60's, and one can see how Huy was caught up in it, and finds it hard to accept that all those noble ideals have been swept away. The imposition of the Old Order is vividly described.
Gill creates a suspenseful series Aug 26, 2007
"City of the Horizon" is the first in a three-book series by Anton Gill. For Ancient Egyptologist whodunit fans, Gill's Huy the Scribe mysteries are first rate. Set in the immediate aftermath of Akhenaten the Heretic's death at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, when the whole civilized world seems to be crumbling at the speed of light, "City of the Horizon" introduces us to an out-of-work scribe named Huy, discredited due to his allegiance to Akhenaten.
Down on his luck and with few choices (none of them admirable), a dispirited Huy is literally plucked off the banks of the Nile by a school mate friend Amotju, who has a problem. Knowing Huy's traits from childhood, Amotju convinces the despairing Huy to help him: it's the ages-old story of jealousy and romance. Amotju is an incredibly wealthy man who has some of the eyes and ears of the power structure of the time.
Still, the story goes much deeper as soon Huy finds himself in that tangled web we weave Sir Walter Scott so clearly wrote about: a murder here, a robbery there, thefts, political and religious intrigues,the secret police, and more murders, just as the new boy pharoah Tutankhamun comes into power. Amotju seems to be a saving grace for Huy, who literally seems to be brought back to life with these opportunities to help his love-stricken friend.
It is no surprise that Gill creates a well-written, well-thought out storyline and he especially triumphs with the character of Huy. The author's penchant for landscape and atmosphere seems to capture the time and place, at least as perhaps lay readers of the period might imagine them. His plot development moves repidly and surely to a convincing climax and ending. Readers will readily want to move on to the next episode, "City of Dreams" and then the last "City of the Dead." All are excellent reads.
At last! Jul 25, 2007
This great series was orginally published by Bloomsbury Publishing in England in the early 1990s. The only fault is that the author leaves you wanting more stories. And in fact, I understand that there are at least 2 or 3 more books beyond the first three, but where? I hope the new publisher will coax the remaining books out the author. This is just too good an author not to have all the books available.
Concept excellent, wish it were lengthier May 18, 2007
The author Anton Gill has so far written three rather short books in this series about Huy the ex-Scribe. I wish they were lengthier, meatier, and perhaps the 3 were 2 books? The three are the equivilent of three long short stories or short novellas. But enjoyable and I love the concept. Huy was once a true believer in the era of Akhenaten, who, at the start of City of the Horizon has died, and with him all his radical beliefs in one god, the sun disc the Aten. Now, the old gods are being brought back (if they were ever really gone) by the suppressed priesthood and the old guard leadership, including former followers of Akhenaten, his father-in-law, Ay, and his general Horemheb. They know what the people want and how devestating Akhenaten's reign was on Egypt's economy, world status and how he lost part of the empire through his passivity. Therefore true followers like Huy are being put to death or exiled if they were high enough in the government, or, in his case, forbidden to ever again practice the only skill he knows, that of the scribe. He will always be watched and marked by the government as an untrustworthy person, and at any time could be "taken away". The atmosphere Mr Gill paints is one that is reminiscent of Stalinist Russia or Maoist China, where everyone is turning in their "friends" and denying they ever "believed" in the former god-king Akhenaten and his great heresy. It is also like the days of the Reformation in England when it went back and forth from Protestantism to Catholicism and people on both sides persecuted the others and burned them at the stake, depending on who was in power. When in power Akhenaten had been ruthless, killing people who worshipped the old gods, driving out the priests of the old gods into hiding, and now his followers are paid back. Huy, a small time functionary,confused now about what he believes and why he was ever caught up in the Akhenaten mania as a young man, is in the middle of all this, but a minor meaningless person, unimportant, not worth killing or exilling, but left no longer earn a living. His wife has taken his son and has left him due to his situation, his life is destroyed due to events far above him. I don't want to spoil the plot, but after this great setting of the scene, the actual "mystery" isn't too memorable. I wish, again, Mr Gill had carried on this basic situtatin, Huy finding his way in the chaos that Egypt was in for the decades after Akhenaten fell, and written one great book, or if a series, then something more fulfilling than this. To jump ahead, they are worth sticking with. #3,City of the Dead, was excellent.