The cat must free Queen Nefertiti from a horrific curse
The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.
The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.
The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.
About the author: Maria Luisa Lang is an Italian author living in New York. Her love for cats and her interest in Egyptology has inspired her to write the “The Pharaoh’s Cat” series. She also enjoys flea markets, thrift shops and her art work has been exhibited in New York.
About the story: Wrappa-Hamen a walking and speaking cat and Gato-Hamen a High Priest of Amun-Ra both from ancient Egypt live with Elena a freelance writer in today’s New York. Gato-Hamen and Elena have a child together which happens to be the reincarnated Pharaoh Wrappa-Hamen’s former owner in ancient Egypt.
An invitation by a mysterious woman to Elena for co-writing a biography sends the family to Bath where both the cat and High Priest get entangled in a curse that Nefertiti haunts since centuries.
That’s Sweet: I was not quite sure what to expect from Maria Luisa Lang’s “The Eye of Nefertiti”. My affinity for cats though and my curiosity about ancient cultures made me choose to review this book.
And Wrappa-Hamen, the speaking and walking cat has not disappointed. He is cheeky, clever and cares a lot about his “family”. He would do anything for Elena and Alexander the little reincarnated Pharaoh. However, his relationship with the High Priest is riddled with annoyance at times. That tension between the two characters gives the story a nice edge. Elena seems to be an exceptional woman who isn’t intimidated at all by a High Priest or a talking cat. I liked her from the beginning.
The story is written from Wrappa-Hamen’s viewpoint which gives many situations that are “normal” for us humans a humorous touch. It also helps a lot to get to know ancient Egypt when he and Gato-Hamen travel there to find out what troubles Nefertiti.
I was spell-bound by the descriptions of the ancient city of Akhetaten which Wrappa-Hamen is forced to discover by himself as he loses Gato-Hamen in a busy market. He experiences a little family life both with a “normal” family and Queen Nefertiti’s even though her family life seems to have been disturbed and fallen apart. I felt all this gives you a good insight into how ancient Egypt might have been.
You gathered it: there is time travel involved and I do not tell you how because I think I have given away enough already. For me that gives the story an interesting turn and teaches you so much about ancient Egypt. I believe though that might be a turn-down for many readers. However, it feeds my curiosity about history and I really liked it.
That Stings: I had a little trouble getting into the story in the beginning but I cannot put my finger exactly on it why. Thinking back on it it felt like Maria Luisa Lang’s descriptions of ancient Egypt were more vibrant and alive than the descriptions of today New York. Also, the beginning of the book is a short recapture of “The Pharaoh’s Cat” the first book in the series which doesn’t fully integrate into the whole story. However, it is a good way to know the necessary facts from book one.
I would have liked to learn a little more about the High Priest but I suspect I would know that “little bit more” if I have read “The Pharaoh’s Cat” first. However, I do not think you need to know “The Pharaoh’s Cat” to enjoy “The Eye of Nefertiti”.
As I said above the many facets of ancient Egypt and ancient Egyptian living are pretty educational and I am not sure all readers would like that. You also learn a lot about Bath and its history.
The Honey of it all? This is a charming time-travel story that teaches you a lot about ancient Egypt and the city of Bath. The characters are easy to connect with and the story surprises at more than one point. I am certainly going to read “The Pharaoh’s Cat” too.
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