The King’s Man by Pauline Gedge

(Cover picture courtesy of The Globe and Mail.)

Twelve-year-old Amunhotep III has ascended the throne to become king of the richest empire on earth.  The boy’s mother is regent, and she has brought to court the renowned seer Huy, son of a humble farmer, to act as scribe and counsel to her royal son.  It’s a position of power and responsibility, one that is fraught with intrigue and the lure of corruption.  For it is Huy who controls the treasury, the military, and all construction and taxation—and perhaps most important, it is Huy who chooses the young Pharaoh’s queen.  His actions and premonitions, as well as his legendary past, make him very few friends and a great many enemies…

In The King’s Man, Huy’s rise to power and fame—as chronicled first in The Twice Born and then in Seer of Egypt—reaches its resounding climax.

With her meticulous research and compelling prose, Pauline Gedge transports readers into the ancient and fascinating culture that was Egypt.

I will still like the first book of the King’s Man trilogy the best, but the concluding volume, the aptly named The King’s Man, is still a decent book.  The ending lets readers use their imaginations, but it also gave me a sense of satisfaction because it took the trilogy full circle.  Huy is a confident, powerful old man in this book and that in itself is satisfying because of the drastic change from when he was younger.

The King’s Man is slightly faster paced than the two previous novels, but it is by no means a thriller novel.  If you love long, winding narratives filled with tiny details and political intrigue, you will love this book.  If you will read a book because it has three dimensional characters like I do, you will absolutely love Pauline Gedge’s latest novel.  The characters of Huy, Mutemwia and Amunhotep develop at natural paces that also make sense when you look at what they actually did as historical figures.  The best historical fiction authors are able to assign realistic motivations to historical figures and Pauline Gedge is indeed one of the best.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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