My rating: 4 of 5 stars (aka 8/10)
This is a book I remember getting from the library in my childhood. Many years later, a friend gave me a second hand ex-library copy and I was delighted to have my own copy, even if I never quite got to reading it again. The Baen released it in ebook as an omnibus with Android at Arms (which I admit I have no desire to read at all) and I bought it. Of course, then it sat on my Kindle for a while.
Now that I’ve made the decision I’m going for rereading old favourites this year, my “Rereads” collection on the Kindle is where I start looking each time I’m choosing a new book and this is the one I decided to pick.
I’m delighted to discover that this is another book that stands the test of time (maybe I’ll track down some more Andre Norton as I read many of her books as a child, although this one is written for a slightly older audience). The strange set up remained mysterious, even though I’d read the book before. Of course, the fact I could remember next to nothing about the plot (contemporary – for 1976 – woman seems to be drawn back in time to ancient Egypt but it’s an alternate reality was about as far as it went) probably helped there.
Tallahasse is a great heroine and I like the way she manages to maintain her own identity and yet also merge parts of Ashake into herself as required. By the end, she is mostly Tally, but not quite the same as before. She has found a place where she fits, perhaps better than before, and that’s a good and satisfying place to end. The only thing I found dated in the text was the way she keeps getting referred to by the author as “the girl” when she was a young woman and I felt should have been named as such.
I do find it rather sad that the hates-women-with-agency-and-authority male villain could fit in a book today was easily as it did almost 40 years ago. Clearly, society still has a long way to go.
The action and adventure of the plot is also fun as Tally tries to understand this world she’s fallen into and work out which bits of it match her reality, which bits don’t and which bits don’t fit either Earth or Amun.
All in all, another good reread and the Suck Fairy so far remains at bay. Long may it continue.
Rereads in 2014 total = 2