- Release Date
- July 2012
Historical Novel with Romantic Elements
The Darcys get pulled into the Regency craze for Egypt in this romantic and adventurous Pride and Prejudice continuation by bestselling author Amanda Grange and Egyptology expert Jacqueline Webb.
When Elizabeth, Darcy and their lively children go to Egypt with Colonel Fitzwilliam's younger brother, romantic interludes between Darcy and Elizabeth intertwine with the unraveling of a mystery dating back to an ancient Egyptian woman. They find long-hidden treasure, thwart a theft and betrayal by the ever villainous George Wickham, and lay to rest an ancient ghost.
Jul 09, 2012 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
153 people found the following review helpful
Those who think that Mr. and Mrs. Darcy retired to lives of quiet complacency in Pemberley, think again. In this cleverly developed story, there is little doubt that literature's favorite couple have lost anything of their adventurous spirits, or that their charmed expedition to Egypt will be easily forgotten.
Fifteen years after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy are still as happy as the day they married. Surrounded by their growing and rambunctious children, life is certainly not boring, but they still yearn for an adventure. How opportune, then, that Darcy's cousin, Edward, comes to Pemberley expounding on his plans to journey to Egypt as part of an archeological dig, where he is determined to discover a tomb that his father, Darcy's father, and a close friend attempted to locate years earlier. The tomb is supposed to be the final resting place of two young lovers, murdered by the wicked Aahotep, who killed them when the bridegroom rejected her advances. When Margaret, the youngest Darcy child, discovers a doll in Edward's luggage that she claims is Aahotep, eager to return to her home and make amends, it seems that some power from the past is beckoning the family to discover the truth.
The Darcy family and their entourage make quite an expedition. Along with their six children and their servants, there is also Elizabeth's companion, Sophie Lucas, who is recovering from a painful broken engagement, Paul Inkworthy, a poor but supremely talented artist engaged by Darcy to record their adventures, and Elizabeth's mother, the inestimable Mrs. Bennett, who has managed to finagle her way on board the ship in the face of all opposition. Almost at once, the party of explorers are beset by troubles: Margaret, who refuses to leave her doll alone, begins sleepwalking, muttering to herself about punishment and penance. The Egyptian servants whisper of seeing ghosts dancing on the desert sands. Edward, despite his growing affection for Sophie, is unable to focus on anything but the tomb buried in the sands. What is the darkness following the expedition, and will Darcy be able to protect his family from the power of an ancient curse—or the threat of a more modern enemy close at their heels?
The characterizations in this original pastiche are excellently done. Without forgetting the debt owed to Jane Austen's original work, each is fully rounded and deeply engaging. I really appreciated the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship is still growing and developing through the joys and pains of raising children and that they keep their marriage new and exciting despite their many years together. Their relationship is balanced well by Sophie Lucas' story, as she tries to mend her broken heart and decide her true feelings for Edward Fitzwilliam and Paul Inkworthy. Mrs. Bennett appears here in all her wonderfully infuriating glory, and the Darcy children are each unique individuals with their own paths to follow, and provided some wonderful side plots and humorous moments over the course of the story.
I loved the details about Egypt, as well as the other locations our intrepid explorers visited. Though their voyage is a comparatively charmed one, all the glamour and exotic wonder of imperial Egypt is brought to vivid life. This was a great story for armchair adventurers, and the historic details, from the early days of the British Museum to the wonders of the Cairo market are fascinating.
The details on ancient Egypt, from the pyramid excavations to the myths about Aahotep and her crimes, are very interesting, and provide good context for the Darcy's quest. Though they were sometimes presented in a heavy-handed manner, the history and stories, along with the strange presence of Margaret's Aahotep doll, add a dark, sinister element to an otherwise lighthearted tale. I was able to guess at the plot from fairly early on, especially with the liberal use of foreshadowing throughout the story, but still enjoyed the read, and watching the pieces fall into place as they did. Though the contemporary villains didn't have quite the same presence as the ancient spirits, there was a nice blend of the human and the mystical that added a welcome variety to the story, and brought the story to a well-balanced ending.
All in all, this was a very absorbing story that blended well-loved characters with a new and novel adventure. Though I would have liked a bit more plot and mystery elements, I was still engaged with the story from the start and enjoyed my adventure nearly as much as the Darcy family did theirs.
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