When the Hawk, his father, died, Rahotep left his border patrol to attend the funeral. But these were troubled times in ancient Egypt, and he could not quite trust his older brother.
With nowhere else to go, Rahotep and some of his Nubian archers sailed north along the Nile to enter the service of Pharaoh. This was a weak pharaoh, almost a shadow pharaoh just as Rahotep was a shadow hawk, but he had enough courage to consider rebelling against the mighty Hyksos rulers. Not everyone agreed with his plan and Rahotep and his men were tangled in intrigue, fighting, and near disaster, not once but several times.
Would Pharaoh and his Egyptian forces be able to overcome the invincible Hyksos as well as the traitors in their ranks? Would Rahotep and his men be accepted by Pharaoh?
This well-written story is very hard to put down. Full of action, courage, fighting, and suspense, it portrays good as good and evil as evil, unlike much modern teen fiction. The main character is a tough yet teachable young man with good values, strong muscles, and steady nerves. Of course, being about war, the book is extremely violent. Not gruesome, but violent.
Shadow Hawk is written at a relatively high reading level (7.3). Miss 12, who is an avid reader, found it difficult to understand even though she had previously learned about Egyptian mythology and culture. But it was exciting enough that she gladly read it twice. I enjoyed it as well, and consider that the reading level is higher than that of much adult material published these days.
Suitable for action-oriented young men as well as avid readers of both genders, Shadow Hawk is an excellent, fast-paced book that provides a detailed picture of ancient Egyptian life. It would be best read after the student has some understanding of the culture and mythology.
This book is recommended for teens or adults studying ancient Egypt, as well as for anyone interested in a good war story.
Note that, according to the publishers, not all of Andre Norton’s writing would be considered acceptable by many parents due to alternative spirituality and mysticism. That is not a problem with Shadow Hawk.
Disclosure: We purchased Shadow Hawk for Miss 12’s homeschool work this year. I am not compensated in any way for this review, and all opinions expressed are mine or Miss 12’s.