How the Amazon Queen Fought the Prince of Egypt

Tamara Bower, Author, Tamara Bower, Illustrator . S&S/Atheneum $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-84434-8

With illustrations styled after ancient Assyrian and Egyptian art, Bower (The Shipwrecked Sailor ) retells the story of Queen Serpot and her Amazon women who "lived free, without men." Serpot receives word of an imminent invasion by Prince Pedikhons and his Egyptian soldiers, and sends her sister, Ashteshyt, disguised as a man, into the Egyptian camp. A two-thirds page illustration depicts a cutaway view of the camp and the daily routines of the soldiers, from praying at the shrine of Khonsu to repairing chariots. The images unfold in spare, scroll-like panels. Ashteshyt returns with the essential information and the Amazons defeat the Egyptians, but when the prince challenges Serpot to single combat, it ends with a twist: "Prince Pedikhons looked at Queen Serpot and saw that she was his equal. And he did not know where on Earth he was, from the great love that entered into him." Serpot feels the same way. Both the literary and artistic styles emphasize this symmetry and equality. Bower provides detailed endnotes about the papyrus scroll from which this story comes, plus information about relevant myths and deities, as well as accessible explanations of the hieroglyphs and artistic symbols used. Because Bowers takes few liberties with translation, the narrative may at times feel stilted to readers; however, this is a strong introduction to ancient Egyptian culture and mythology with a message of equality as modern as they come. Ages 7-11. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/09/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 36 pages - 978-1-4814-2526-1
Show other formats
Discover what to read next