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The Hippopotamus Marsh (Lords of the Two Lands #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  945 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Seqenenra Tao, Prince of Weset, leads a revolt against the alien Hyksos pharaohs. His provincial aristocratic family is accustomed to a life of straitened gentility. But when the prince decides to rebel they must risk all, even life itself, to restore Egyptians and their gods to glory. The Hippopotamus Marsh begins a trilogy that brings to vivid life the passions and intri ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Press (first published 1998)
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Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle)
Mar 10, 2012 Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle) by: Iset
4.5 stars

Let me state, right off the bat, this is an excellent book. It is truly the standard by which all ancient Egyptian historical fiction novels should be measured...for the most part (I'll explain in a moment). The research is impeccable, thorough without being overwhelming and used appropriately (meaning that Gedge knows when to hold back and let the story take over and when to use her research to enhance/explain a scene). No info dumps here! The story itself moves along a brisk pace, the
My seemingly never ending quest to find a really good historical fiction story set in Ancient Egypt led me to this series. To my disappointment it was another dud.

It did have potential as a story. It is a good period of history and stories of oppression and uprisings make for good reads.
I thought the plot was a little lacking, there was a very long set up period and it could be said that the entire book is a preamble to the real story coming in the rest of the series, which I found to make the
Oct 09, 2009 Cayleigh rated it liked it
I randomly found Pauline Gedge while searching the Goodreads list of Egyptian books. Hippopotamus Marsh was the only book my library had by her. I enjoyed this book, she brings Ancient Egypt alive during the time when the Hyskos are ruling egypt and the Tao family decides they want their birthright as the real Kings of Egypt back. For the first part of the book I didn't know if I was going to like it, then the things started hopping and by the end of the book I became entrenched with the charact ...more
Oh my god.

If you gave me one word, just one, to sum this book up, it would be: epic.

In The Hippopotamus Marsh, Pauline Gedge tackles (with all of her considerable skill and talent) one of the most defining moments of Ancient Egyptian history: the expulsion of the Hyksos, which led to the golden age of the Egyptian empire: the New Kingdom.

It's a period I've long been interested in, but not one I've read a lot about as most of the books I've come across talk about the Hyskos as a short prologue t
Forgotten Realms Queen
I am a fan of Pauline Gedge's book. I am waiting with baited breathe for her last instalment in the King's Man trilogy to come out in mass market, but I must admit I was rather dissapointed in this book, the first of her Lord of the Two Lands trilogy.

Now don't get me wrong I did enjoy it, but it was not my favorite of her works. It was rather dry , and the characters were for the most part whiny. Constantly bemoning their bad luck, disgrace, and fall from grace.

It's a lot of repetition in the ac
Dawn Ang
"The Hippopotamus Marsh" by Pauling Gedge is an engaging historical fiction that raises to life the Ancient Egypt in which it's characters lived. Gedge's prose is on point with the time period she depicts. All aspects of the novel combine to craft a beautiful story.

Set during an Egypt in transition--not at its height nor during its final days as an empire-- "The Hippopotamus Marsh" gives an interesting, unique perspective on the majestic civilization.

Some reviewers have said the novel moved too
Dec 05, 2016 Megan rated it liked it
This was fine, but didn't exactly bring ancient Egypt to life. It did pique my interest enough for me to find out more about the events depicted, but not enough to read the next in the series.
Aug 13, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Excellent book! Historical fiction of Ancient Egypt. This follows the beginnings of the rise of the Tao family, who fought against the Hyksos pharoahs who had usurped the Egyptian throne. Fascinating portraits of life in Ancient Egypt and fully alive characters who drive the story.
Nov 10, 2010 Elaine rated it liked it
1560BC the Egyptians found themselves ruled by a foreign power, the Setiu, more commonly known as the Hyskos (from Asia. Came into the Nile Delta). They had found their way into the fertile Delta region of Egypt and settled there. Over time, they slowly removed all authority from what was already a weak Egyptian government. The entire invasion was achieved through subtle political and economic coercion, and was relatively bloodless. They became known as the Fifteenth Dynasty.
During the mid-Se
Jul 17, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
I returned to Gedge after reading and enjoying the Eagle and the Raven 30 years ago as a teenager. I shouldn't have waited so long. She accomplishes with aplomb what so many authors of historical fiction fail to - present dramatic and engaging characters who are true to their time. The Tao family is rendered carefully and deliberately. We see them through the eyes of the other family members, and often through their own thoughts. Gedge pulls off the difficult trick of rendering their strongest t ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
Th8is is the first book in a trillogy about the end of the seventeenth dynasty when the Egyptian pharaohs have been ruled by the Hyksos, a more advanced asian people, for about 200 years. THe Hyksos have allowed the old royal family to continue to rule the southern part of Egypt in name but the new Hyksos Pharaoh feels threatened by the family and makes ridiculous demands of them. One demand is that they kill all of the hippopotamus and fill in their marsh as their noises are disturbing his slee ...more
Jane Bigelow
Dec 01, 2014 Jane Bigelow rated it really liked it
The language is beautiful and the research is meticulous. My only reason for not giving it five stars is that its characters are always aware of their own importance and the great solemnity of their obligations. There's little humor here.

That's not unreasonable. These are men with huge battles to face, and hard choices to make. First Seqenenra, then his twin sons Si-Amun and Kamose in turn, strive to regain the divine throne that their ancestors lost. This is not mere greed for power. The curre
Carrie Slager
Feb 17, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing
I discovered Pauline Gedge’s writing on a bitterly cold Christmas Day a few years ago, but the first book I read was her latest work at the time, The Twice Born. Now that I’ve read almost all of her work, I definitely prefer her earlier works. They’re much faster paced and the characters are far more interesting. Her earlier works definitely have less of a literary novel feel and more of an epic historical fiction feel.

The Hippopotamus Marsh is the first book in the Lords of the Two Lands trilog
Jill Myles
Apr 09, 2014 Jill Myles rated it really liked it
I suspect that unless you're an Egypt nerd (like me) this book would be boring. It's hard to tell apart the characters sometimes. There's Aahotep, Ahmose, Aahmes-nefertari, Kamose, Ramose, and you get the idea. It's all historically accurate though, so I can't fault the author for that. It's a slow-starter of a book but by the end, I was reading under the covers to find out what happened next.

Of course, this is the first book in a big, epic trilogy, so nothing is wrapped up.

Why only four stars?
Deborah Pickstone
3.5 stars

I love Pauline Gedge's HF but this trilogy is my least favourite of those books. Ruefully I noted that she had dedicated the whole trilogy to Kamose (one of the main characters) who she felt was maligned (and often forgotten) by history; she hoped she had been somewhat instrumental in rehabilitating him. So I am sorry it was my least favourite of her stories; I very well understand finding a historical figure who is represented as bad in some way but whom I can see as merely human or mi
May 29, 2011 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pauline Gedge heeft overduidelijk haar best gedaan om het oude Egypte zo goed mogelijk tot leven te wekken. Ze maakt de rituelen begrijpelijk, de personages levend en de opeenvolgende situaties logisch, ondanks de duizenden jaren en duizenden kilometers afstand tussen ons en het verhaal.

Soms zijn de zinnen echter wel erg lang en klopt de interpunctie niet, waardoor het noodzakelijk is om terug te lezen. Daardoor hapert het verhaal.
Tevens mag de vertaalster haar grammaticale vaardigheden bijspijk
Nov 19, 2015 Kristen rated it liked it
I only have one complaint about this book, but unfortunately it's a big one. It's the first book in a series, and it doesn't stand well on its own. I enjoyed the feeling of being immersed in a culture that I only had known a little about, and I do feel that the author fleshes out her characters well. But the book ended before it ever reached its climax, and to know how the plot turns out I'll need to commit to reading the next book. I don't mind reading series, but I am irritated that this first ...more
Elaine Cougler
Aug 14, 2016 Elaine Cougler rated it it was amazing
The Hippopotamus Marsh by Pauline Gedge demands attention with its personal characterizations and its realistic plot line. One wonders how much of it is true history and how much fiction but the answer doesn't matter. Seqenenra Tao, his true rulership subject to the foreign conqueror Apepa, is goaded into rebelling and thus subjecting his family to war to regain their standing. I look forward to volumes two and three as Kamose moves forward with his destiny. Hurrah for Gedge!
Tracey Alley
Jun 10, 2010 Tracey Alley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've only just discovered Pauline Gedge and I am absolutely thrilled - she writes Egyptian history as though she were an eyewitness. Beautiful, compelling story that is superbly written.
If you haven't yet discovered Pauline Gedge and you enjoy historical novels then I highly recommend beginning with this series - it won't be your last.
Lisa Wang
Jan 11, 2014 Lisa Wang rated it really liked it
Great read. It's one of those books that slowly becomes more and more captivating the more you read. I am glad it did not have the typical plot I expected. Instead I find interesting turn of events, a rounded exploration into the characters. It seems almost obligatory now to find the next two books in the trilogy and continue my exciting literary adventures in the ancient backdrops of the Nile.
Ted Hopkins
An excellent read, gripping and hard to put down. This has to be the best Gedge I have read so far. Real events vitalized by real people well filled out held my attention all through this fast paced narrative. I have got to get the rest of the trilogy.
I didn't think I'd read this until it showed up from my library under "The Hippopotamus Marsh", at which point I recognized the cover. I didn't remember the story very well after the first few pages though, so I was quite content to re-read it.
Jul 18, 2012 Cookie rated it it was amazing
This first book in Pauline Gedge's trilogy has become my all time favorite for this year. I've had characters stay with me before but never quite like this. Great series for those who love anything egyptian.
May 06, 2014 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Evocative and beautifully written. I don't know too much about ancient Egyptian history, but I thought she did a great job bringing it to life and it seems well researched. It's easy to dive right in without getting bogged down by the details.
Jan 31, 2013 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Not a favorite but the book had something that brought you back to it each time. I found it a little confusing to keep track of all the names and titles and how to pronounce things. The Hippopotamus Marsh wouldn't be something I normally would pick but I did enjoy it a little.
Apple Austria
Dec 12, 2015 Apple Austria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i learned to love the characters, even si-amun. excited to find a copy of book 2 and follow kamose's quest (although it's an obvious fact he won the throne), i'd like to find out if that mysterious woman would materialize
Patrick Bättig
Geschichte von Kamose aus der Familie der Tao, der sich anschickt Ägypten von den Hyskos zurückzuerobern
Raechele Wanaka
Jun 16, 2012 Raechele Wanaka rated it it was amazing
This was my first Pauline Gedge book and I loved it. I could not wait for the next books to be published.
Jan 06, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
I felt that it has a slow start, but the story and the characters gradually pulled me into the interesting world of ancient Egypt with passion.
And now I have to read the next in the series.
Debbie Brennan
Sep 21, 2010 Debbie Brennan rated it did not like it
It was so slow I couldn't finish it and I tried for a whole month!!!!So have given up.Doubt I'll try again amytime soon.
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I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 11, 1945, the first of three girls. Six years later my family emigrated to England where my father, an ex-policeman, wanted to study for the Anglican ministry. We lived in an ancient and very dilapidated cottage in the heart of the English Buckinghamshire woodland, and later in a small village in Oxfordshire called Great Haseley. I grew up surrounde ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Lords of the Two Lands (3 books)
  • The Oasis (Lords of the Two Lands, #2)
  • The Horus Road (Lords of the Two Lands, #3)

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