Published 2001, 2002
!!!! I am nearing the end of the Amelia Peabody series, and I’m actually super sad about it. The character progression in these books has been excellent, and I have grown quite attached to the Emerson family. But with only three more volumes left, I am rapidly nearing the end of my time in early-20th-century Egypt with these eminent archaeologists/detectives.
For those who have been following along, the two books prior to these held some major plot twists. With the background of World War I, and the reintroduction of Amelia’s truly diabolical nephew, Percy, the books were also a bit darker than the rest of the series. With The Lord of the Silent, however, Peters returns to her somewhat lighterhearted stories. With a startling revelation about arch-nemesis (and apparently impossible-to-kill) Sethos at the end of He Shall Thunder in the Sky, his involvement in these next books was even more entertaining, exciting, and intriguing.
Ramses and Nefret are finally married. As a side note, that was a love story that has gone on through multiple volumes, yet really didn’t seem to drag (except, possibly, in Guardian of the Horizon, but that could be because that book was not published until after the last volume chronologically; for that particular character-development line, Peters had already rather confined her characters). Now that they are married, everything is perfect. Peters writes about their love and about learning to be married perfectly. She also really develops the relationships between the two couples (Emerson + Amelia and Ramses + Nefret) as they all learn to relate together as adults – a lesson that was hard-learned in the previous two books.
Peters tells us that, after their marriage, Nefret assists Ramses in writing his third-person narrative (“Manuscript H”) which makes up a good portion of the books. Previously, Nefret’s voice was heard through her letters to her cousin Lia; now both she and Ramses tell their part of the story through the Manuscript. Especially in Lord of the Silent, the two couples actually spend a decent amount of time apart. By using two voices, Peters is able to tell two separate stories that (of course) turn out to be one.
These books are great fun; despite their length, I have trouble putting them down. I think that part of the reason I love them so much is because Amelia and Emerson are so devoted to each other and to their family. In the introduction of one of these books (I can’t remember which, and they’ve already gone back to the library), Peters tells us that she is proud to present more material from “Amelia Peabody Emerson – Egyptologist, wife, and mother” (or something like that) and goes on to say that she believes that Amelia wouldn’t argue with the order. However, I think that she would. While the Emersons are completely committed to archaeology, and are ardent in their attempts to preserve and record Egyptian history, both Emerson and Amelia frequently show through their actions that nothing is more precious to them than their family, and that they are willing to make any sacrifice in order to keep them safe.
Throughout these two books, especially, they work together as a united front, with that sort of “one for all and all for one” spirit. This family loyalty and love is a huge part of what makes these books so very enjoyable – the laughter, tears, sorrows, and joys shared within this family are what make them so realistic.