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House of Illusions (Lady of the Reeds #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  798 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
For many years, Thu has lived in exile, writing the tragic history of her life as the favourite concubine of Ramses III—and her role in the conspiracy to kill him. A young soldier, Kamen, has read her words and believes her testimony that she was not acting alone. When Kamen shows Thu’s manuscript to his general, he unknowingly sets in motion a stirring drama of revenge an ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Penguin Canada (first published 1996)
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This sequel to House of Dreams, also known as Lady of the Reeds, was actually written as a response to the overwhelming reader popularity of the character of Thu in the previous book. Gedge herself wrote that she had thought Thu’s story finished, but Thu proved so popular with readers that she decided to bring her back. Since in the previous book Thu unhistorically survives, the door was left open for a sequel, and here it is.

Since in real life Ramesses III, Thu and Pentaweres were all actually
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Pauline Gedge is becoming one of my favorite authors. 5+ stars!
Francoise McKay
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pauline Gedge, as usual, is probably the best writer of "Egyptian Fiction". Her characters and scenes are equisitely detailed, whether she writes in the third or first person. House of Illusions continues the story of Thu, and her son, who were separated under edict of Rameses III. The ending and events, although near the end were rather fantastical and almost predictable. If you have not read Lady of the Reeds, then you probably would not enjoy this book as much, but as sequels go, it is quite ...more
Katie Tillwick
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
A thrilling historical novel, the follow up to 'House of Dreams'. The characters in the version were much more likeable, one of the main issues with the first book. Thu redeems herself in this page turning finale. The only downside was a sense of disbelief at the ending.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-bought
Call me cold-hearted, but I actually liked the tragic ending of House of Dreams. It was realistic and stayed true to the less than happy tone of the novel. But I guess Pauline Gedge just couldn’t let it end there and wrote House of Illusions to give Thu her revenge.

There is only one word to describe this sequel: cliché. The plot is more like that of a Hollywood movie and Pauline Gedge had to do some serious fact-changing to write this novel. After all, the real Thu and her grown son (he was not
Kathy Filardo
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This a superb conclusion to the book Lady of the Reeds which I read over a decade ago. I never knew there was a sequel to it until I happened to be looking up this author on my Nook and discovered the sequel. I bought it and found it to be as amazing and rich in detail as the first novel. Gedge brings ancient Egypt and all the people in it--from noble to peasant, merchant to concubine--to a living breathing reality. Unlike the first book, which was told from the POV of Thu--a woman midwife, phys ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent sequel to the first "Lady of the Reeds" by Gedge. Obviously, read the first book in order for this book to make any difference. Quick and interesting, it will occasionally surprise you. It's also nearly impossible to read in multiple sittings--I was nearly unable to drag myself away from it, because when the story is put in motion, it's pretty much a nonstop course of events with little disconnect or break. You'll be holding your water in anticipation for a stopping point or pause t ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book as much as I did "House of Dreams." I saw where one reviewer said he or she (sorry, I cannot remember which) didn't particularly like how the story switched narrators. I really thought about that a lot while I was reading this novel, and I came to the conclusion there really wasn't a way to tell this particular story in first person and have enough to fill a whole novel. Also, I think having the those other perspectives help lend some depth to the story.

I don't think this no
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A follow up to House of Dreams and every bit as good. I thought I had read this some years ago but if I did it was in my Dreams because I simply did not remember it. So I have read it now and sorted out my lists for this year.

Set in Egypt at the time of Ramses it finishes the story of Thu a concubine of the great Ramses accused of trying to poison him. She is banished and made to serve 17 long years of hard labour to the priests. A very good story of retribution and discovery.

Pauline Gedge write
Paul Burnette
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Gedge! Sequel to Gedge's House of Dreams provides closure for most of heroine Thu's issues left over from that book: her son, her pharaoh, her passion, her craft, and her own survival. High levels of poetic prose provide pleasure to literary readers and general alike. Historical base seems accurate, and cultural details were as amazing as in House of Dreams. A real treat with a believable Egyptian woman of the time period who acts always to win and to survive among the powers that surround ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Just loved it to the very last page! Great and consistent style of narration made this book just one of a kind. Lots of twists and turns to the last moment made it so interesting for me. Whole story was intriguing and totally thought out so nothing was left unanswered, everything had its closure. I loved the ending, I really did. Maybe a good opening for the third book? :)
Elaine Cougler
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
House of Illusions by Pauline Gedge is the sequel to House of Dreams. Thu's story progresses through finding her son to escaping her drudgery life as she heads back to the seat of power. The denouement is exciting, satisfying and intriguing! A must-read pair of books.
Anyès Pelaez Vedel
This is the sequel of “House of dreams”.
The characters are full of humanity and yes full of flaws which make this novel a very interesting story.
It helps to know a little bit of Ancient Egypt history but even without this knowledge Ms Gedge is a wonderful story teller.
She is far more known in Europe and Canada than the United States.
She has a rare ability as a classical author to make all her characters become alive.
Ms Gedge’s main character is Tuy who is a peasant and becomes a concubine of the
Esperaba más intriga pero en general está bien hecho. La parte de Kamen a veces se me hizo pesada
Harlieu Katz
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to try one of Godge's Egyptian novels and chose this for the intriguing title. I didn't realize it was a sequel until I started. I liked the book. Although it started strong with the young officer Kamen looking for his true lineage and finding it, it started falling apart. The first person voices of the three different people telling the story--Kamen, the scribe, Kaha, and Thu helped propel the story forward from a different viewpoint each time. There was too much repetition of past eve ...more
Carrie Kellenberger
This was not one of my favorite Pauline Gedge novels. I loved Thu's story, but I didn't like how it was told from so many different perspectives. I found parts of the story a bit hard to follow because of this. The conclusion really ticked me off when they brought Thu and Hui back together. I didn't feel that it meshed with the rest of the story.
I'd be interested in learning more about Kamen and his betrothed, however. I think that could make for an interesting continuation to this series.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-ancient
The very last chapter knocked my original review down to three stars, but the quality of the writing leading up to that was just at lush and gripping as every other Gedge novel, so I added that star back. This book read as if Gedge had time to really working on the first 3/4 of it, but the very end was a cop out. Still, I don't regret reading it. I'd give it a 3.5.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Love it as much as the first book "House of Dreams". I find it rare that a sequel can ever live up to the first book but this one sure did. I loved the continuation of the story, I wanted to see Thu get her revenge. I think everything in the end fell into place and there were no loose ends that kept me wondering.
The Book Voucher
While it most certainly was an enjoyable reading experience, one I was very excited to embark upon between my warm blankets, it sadly did not live up to House of Dreams, a superb example of evocative effort to revive the splendors and intrigues of Ancient Egypt.

Read my review on The Book Voucher.
Dec 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vielleicht lag es daran dass ich das Vorgänger-Buch nicht gelesen habe, aber ich fand vieles sehr vorhersehbar. Oft schrie ich dem Helden, Kamen, zu NEIN aber er hörte mich nicht und lief sehenden Auges in sein Unglück.

Naja sei es wie es sei ich habe es mit 142 Seiten bei-seite gelegt. Möge es einen anderen Leser erfreuen...mich nicht.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this follow up on THU's story. Some people think its not realistic how it ended but I'm tired of very sad endings. I loved it and she left room for a third book if she hasn't already written one.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Evocative prose and interesting characters, although you will not like this book if you want your protagonist to be thoroughly likable. Thu is a sympathetic protagonist, but not always likable. She's a schemer.
Azade jafari
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
"خانه ارزوها"
اثر پولین گج نویسنده کانادایی داستانی است که در مصر باستان و در زمان فراعنه اتفاق می افتد
Mar 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Required a total suspension of disbelief. So many coincidences. Ending was too much. And it was boring.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a little stale at times but overall pretty decent
Serdar KIZIL
"Sözcükleri topraktan daha çok sevdiğim için özür dilerim."
Tsunami Z
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hoping for a small novella with thu and hui... ^_^
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as the House of Reeds, but it is interesting to know 'how the story ends'. She does such a good job of portraying ancient Egypt that it is a pleasure to read.
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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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