Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “He Shall Thunder in the Sky (Amelia Peabody, #12)” as Want to Read:
He Shall Thunder in the Sky (Amelia Peabody, #12)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

He Shall Thunder in the Sky

(Amelia Peabody #12)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  8,823 ratings  ·  358 reviews
1914 finds archaelogists Amelia Peabody, narrator, and husband Radcliffe Emerson back in Egypt for another dig, despite civil unrest. Defiantly pacifist son Ramses hides his spy activity with cousin David. He rescues Molly 12ish, and his dazzling smile conquers yet another female. An artifact from Giza confirms the return of archnemesis Sethos.
Hardcover, William Morrow First Edition, 400 pages
Published June 2000 by Harper Collins (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about He Shall Thunder in the Sky, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about He Shall Thunder in the Sky

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,823 ratings  ·  358 reviews

Sort order
Jun 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Book 12
This book deserves 6 stars
Left me in a daze of joy. Ramses is the hottest thing ever put in print. Damn.
Jamie Collins
This is my favorite Amelia Peabody adventure so far - but I've said that about the last several books. They keep getting better. The early books were amusing enough, but they were light, frivolous reads. Peters has gradually increased the drama and the emotional intensity. After I finished the previous book, The Falcon at the Portal, I was so caught up in the story that I immediately started this one.

It's set in 1914, during the Great War. Peabody and Emerson have been granted permission to exca
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-11
Skip River in the Sky and read this one right now.
You can go back later if you want to, but I am *telling* you, go read it right now. I'll wait.

Okay, not really. I have to wonder if Elizabeth Peters thought this was going to be her last novel, because just a large number of stories get resolved here. (It took me forever to read this. I stayed up late. You have NO idea how much I like to sleep, and I GAVE IT UP to finish this book.)

I won't give away spoilers, because you'll just get mad at me. Bu
*Much* better than book #11 in terms of plot, though also enjoyable because of the way the Emersons interact. This is the most caring I've ever seen them toward each other, and it's adorable. Amelia and Ramses have some especially lovely moments, but there are some nice Emerson-Ramses and Emerson-Amelia moments, as well.
Of course, there are lots of things to chuckle at, too.
The plot was deliciously complicated, and several things that seemed extraneous at first ended up being important. There
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Peabody Emersons are back two years after the shocking events of the previous novel. Ignoring the more recently published The Painted Queen, this story sheds light on what happens after the horrible cliffhanger. It's now 1914-1915 and the winter excavation season is complicated by world events. Britain has officially declared Egypt a protectorate and is at war with Germany. The Ottoman Turks threaten to join Germany in a war that will span in the globe and leave no family untouched. The nati ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nora Hood
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
Holy fuck this book is amazing.
Elizabeth Nixon
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far my favorite Amelia Peabody mystery yet. I am absolutely floored.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-audio, series
Excellent, my Dear!
Christiana Martin
***Update: This re-read was just as fantastic as every other time I've read this book. Now that I'm (slowly) completing a chronological re-read of the series, I was dancing around shouting "Yes! Finally!" and reveling in the revelations of this book. In terms of series progression, it is as satisfying as its predecessor is angst-inducing. I'll likely return to it many more times over the years, it's simply one of those beloved books you circle back to again and again.***

I basically can't write a
Finally! Finally Finally Finally Finally!! :D

I won't leave it at that, though. There were parts of this book that were hard to read because they were too real. War is hard, and painful, and sometimes seems pointless to those involved in it. I agree with much that Ramses had to say about the pagentry of war, especially at the time and place they were. Also, my overwhelming hatred for Percy really made some parts hard to stomach, but the end more than made up for those, to be honest. So, what did
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
Whew, this book is intense! The Emersons spend the epic winter of 1914-1915 in Egypt, while Britain is at war with Austro-Hungary and Germany. Although nobody has a clue what they’re fighting about, brave young men (including two of Walter and Evelyn’s sons) are flocking to the muddy trenches of France, willing to die for their respective countries.

Meanwhile, the Emersons are fighting their own battle in the back streets of Cairo, undercover, in true Emerson style.

“[Ramses is] walking a tightrop
4.25 stars because the last 75 pages are so tense.

This is the last of the handful of books I own in this series, and it's probably the one I've reread the most. There's less humour in it than others in the series, but considering it's set during World War I, it's only appropriate that the humour be dialled back.

Where the previous Amelia Peabody books have been pretty much straight up murder mysteries with a side of archaeology, this one is far more political. It's tense and fast paced and full
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth-peters
I have read all the Amelia Peabody series many times and I still enjoy them with each reading. This book is not a stand alone and earlier books will help you understand the family. I feel this is one of her best book as she brings the faimily together.It 1912 and the world is at war and the Emersons are in Egypt to work at the archeology site. This time it is good one given to Emersom by a French archeologist. All the characters are present including Abdullah. The are funny scenes and emotionall ...more
Leonide Martin
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amelia Peabody fans, Egypt fiction, mystery-adventure readers
Another marvelous Elizabeth Peters tale weaving mystery, adventure and humor in early 20th century Egypt, seen through the discerning eyes of Amelia Peabody. Just after WWI breaks out, Amelia and Emerson's son Ramses becomes enmeshed in counter-intelligence work for the British involving an insurgent militant group in Cairo. While Emerson grumbles and curses while pursuing mastaba excavations, Amelia ferrets out dangerous information while trying to keep everything from their adopted daughter, N ...more
I'm having to think about this review. I love this series because they're good stories with interesting historical details and they're fun. This book wasn't fun. Perhaps that's only right, as it's about the build up to WWI, which wasn't funny at all. But I really missed the sense of humor and joy that I usually get from reading about Amelia and her family. I also missed the incredibly unlikely events that the earlier books were filled with.

I rated what I thought it deserved as a book, but it rea
Lynne Tull
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ms. Peters has reached the pinnacle with this installment of the Amelia Peabody journals. I love the continuing characters and the introduction of new ones. I am also intrigued by the resolution of old mysteries that keep popping up to get in the way of their excavations. It has always puzzled me that Amelia is so intuitive about solving mysteries, but doesn't intuit what is going on in her own family. Not to be a spoiler, because you know he will appear...even Sethos remarks upon it.

I did have
elizabeth • paper ghosts
I don't really have anything else to say except that these books are flawless. It's been a while since I visited this series, and this one immediately made my Elizabeth Peters fever flare up again. I want to reread all the previous books, I want the next one in my hands immediately. I can't even contemplate reading another book by another author right now.

Elizabeth Peters represents an epitome of talent to me. She knows how to balance humor, romance, and danger in a way that no other author I'v
John Frankham
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Listened to this again on long car journeys, and the review below holds!

"For aficionados of this crime series about Amelia and Radcliffe Emerson's escapades in Egypt either side of the Great War while 'archaeologing', this is a key plot and character development and resolution novel, taking place during the war itself.

Undercover activity, spies and traitors involved in plots for local revolution linked to German and Turkish threats to the Suez Canal.

Perhaps the plot develops a bit turgidly in th
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, bard
There has been an increase in the profanity. Still love the series, but could do without the profanity. Loved the ending.
An Odd1
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The 1914 journal of feisty Amelia Peabody with her sharp umbrella and belt of accoutrements is supplemented by other family letters. Her son, chameleon Ramses is tall, strong, with black curls, "dazzling smile", "bright blue eyes". To protect peace, he and married cousin David spy against Nazis in Cairo during their archaelogical digs. (view spoiler)

The whole family is bra
Kerry & naomi
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper
What does one get by adding together an overprotective mother with a knack for crime, her vile-tempered husband, their master-of-disguise son, an adopted daughter who’s also a doctor, an exiled foster son, a Master Criminal, an Egyptian rebel, a vindictive nephew, a cat, an archaeological dig, the Suez Canal and 1914? An Amelia Peabody mystery.

Unfortunately, when I stumbled across my first Amelia Peabody mystery (Seeing a Large Cat), I did not start in chronological order with the first book in
Ed Mestre
The last time I read a book in this series I thought it was my last because of rubber stamp formula had left me bored. I went ahead & grabbed this one off my shelf for another go with Emerson, Amelia, Ramses, & Nefret. After all I had paid for the darn thing already. Well, the formula was there, but the start of WWI brought a new dimension & opportunities for characters. Yes, the dry British wit weaving about the melodramatic late 19th/early 20th century theatrics continue the formul ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, finally .... this one of the Amelia Peabody series has thrill after exciting thrill as the Emersons become involved in the mess that was World War I in the Middle East. True to form, Ms. Peters has done her research, with the real events of that time interwoven with the fictional adventures of this family. Espionage, traitors, plots for revenge and uprising all interweave with developing romance among the younger Emersons, while Amelia and Radcliffe try their best to protect those they love ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's now 1914 and WWI has begun. It's also two years after the shocking ending of the previous book, The Falcon at the Portal. The plot of this one, involving a possible insurrection in Cairo didn't grab me as much as previous books (hence the 4 stars instead of 5). However, the interaction of the characters was excellent and it wrapped up fabulously.

I have loved listening to this series on audiobooks and am horrified to see that for some unknown reason, the next three books are unavailable on a
Zoe and the Edge
Ramses - “You used to sing me to sleep. When I was small. Do you remember?”
Amelia - “I remember.” I had to clear my throat before I went on. “I always suspected you pretended to sleep so you wouldn’t have to listen to me sing. It is not one of my greatest talents.”
“I liked it.”

Agh! So adorable! Amelia and Emerson have truly raised a remarkable child. Ramses is such an incredible young man. I just melted whenever he was sweet to his mother. Even though throughout the series Amelia seems to be
Susan in NC
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, favorites
Still a four- star read for me. Great fun with Amelia Peabody and family in Egypt as WWI breaks out. I was hooked on this series 20 years ago and decided to try to reread some of them when I saw Joan Hess was finishing an unfinished manuscript by Peters (the very enjoyable "Painted Queen").

That new novel was set in 1912, so I decided to pick up with the next in the original series order with this novel, set in 1914. Still recommended to historical mystery buffs who enjoy a healthy dose of humor
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Re-read. Can't recapture the joy I felt in this book after the last (Falcon at the Portal) was such a cliffhanger, but this holds up pretty well with lots of interconnected plots and Peters poking fun at her own series. Ah, that Ramses! especially as voiced by Barbara Rosenblat...
Vanessa Kelly
My favorite Amelia Peabody to date - I love Amelia's voice, but the addition of Ramses story, in the form of manuscript H, really made the book for me. The setting during WWI and the more serious plot and themes also took the series to a new level. And I'm so happy to see the fraught and painful relationship between Ramses and Nefret finally reach a satisfactory resolution. Ramses = best hero, ever!
This was another terrific book in this highly engaging series. After the emotional roller-coaster of the previous book this one served to wrap up three ongoing plot arcs and also dealt with aspects of the opening months of the Great War including its impact on the Emerson family. I found that I became rather tearful at the end as Amelia quotes from the Egyptian text containing the title as a tribute.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #69 - He Shall Thunder in the Sky 1 4 Mar 22, 2016 11:39AM  
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • Slayer of Gods (Lord Meren, #6)
  • A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2)
  • Prince of Darkness
  • The Hermit of Eyton Forest (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #14)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (Mrs. Pollifax, #9)
  • Death at Rottingdean (Kathryn Ardleigh, #5)
Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Frede ...more

Other books in the series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
  • The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)
  • Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
  • The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
  • The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8)
  • Seeing a Large Cat (Amelia Peabody, #9)
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)
“As Ramses did the same for his mother, he saw that her eyes were fixed on him. She had been unusually silent. She had not needed his father's tactless comment to understand the full implications of Farouk's death. As he met her unblinking gaze he was reminded of one of Nefret's more vivid descriptions. 'When she's angry, her eyes look like polished steel balls.' That's done it, he thought. She's made up her mind to get David and me out of this if she has to take on every German and Turkish agent in the Middle East.” 13 likes
“He hesitated for a moment. Then he said softly, 'I love you, Mother.' He took my hand and kissed it, and folded my fingers round the stem of the rose. He had stripped it of its thorns.
I was too moved to speak. But maternal affection was not the only emotion that prevented utterance; as I watched him walk away, his head high and his step firm, anger boiled within me. I knew I had to conquer it before I saw Nefret again, or I would take her by the shoulders and shake her, and demand that she love my son!”
More quotes…