Excerpt from Guardian of The Horizon by Elizabeth Peters, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Guardian of The Horizon

By Elizabeth Peters

Guardian of The Horizon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Mar 2004,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2005,
    416 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


David, his best friend, closely resembled him, with his bronzed complexion, curly black hair, and long-fringed dark eyes. We were not certain of David’s precise age; he was Abdullah’s grandson, but his mother and father had been estranged from the old man and David had worked for a notorious forger of antiquities in Luxor until we freed him from virtual slavery. He was, I thought, a year or two older than Ramses.

Nefret, our adopted daughter, was the third member of the youthful triumvirate. Golden fair instead of dark, open and candid instead of secretive, she and her foster brother could not have been more unlike. Her upbringing had been even more extraordinary than his or David’s, for she had been raised from birth to the age of thirteen in a remote oasis in the Western Desert,where the old religion of Egypt was still practiced. We had gone there a decade ago, at considerable risk to ourselves, in search of her parents, who had vanished into the desert, and we had no idea she existed until that unforgettable night when she appeared before us in the robes of a high priestess of Isis, her gold-red hair and rose-white complexion unmistakable evidence of her ancestry. I often wondered if she ever thought of those strange days, and of Tarek, prince of the Holy Mountain, who had risked his life and throne to help us get her back to England. She never spoke of him. Perhaps I ought to be worrying about her too.

I knew why David’s dark eyes were so sad and his face so somber; he had become engaged this past winter to Emerson’s niece Lia and saw less of her than a lover’s heart desired. Lia’s parents had been won over to the match with some difficulty, for David was a purebred Egyptian, and narrow-minded English society frowned on such alliances. I was thinking seriously of going to Yorkshire for a time, to visit Walter and Evelyn, Lia’s parents, and have one of my little talks with them.

Nefret’s cat, Horus, did his best to trip Ramses up when they came into the room together, but since Ramses was familiar with the cat’s nasty tricks, he was nimble enough to avoid him. Horus detested everybody except Nefret, and everybody except Nefret detested him. It was impossible to discipline the evil-minded beast, however, since Nefret always took his part. After an insolent survey of the room, Horus settled down at her feet.

Emerson was the last to join us. He had been working on his excavation report, as his ink-speckled shirt and stained fingers testified. "Where is tea?" he demanded.

"It will be in shortly. Come and sit down," Nefret said, taking his arm. She was the brightest spot in the room, with the lights shining on her golden head and smiling face. Emerson loved to have her fuss over him (goodness knows he got little fussing from me these days), and his dour face softened as she settled him in a comfortable chair and pulled up a hassock for his feet. Ramses watched the pretty scene with a particularly blank expression; he waited until Nefret had settled onto the arm of Emerson’s chair before joining David on the settee, where they sat like matching painted statues. Was it perhaps the uncertainty of our future plans that made my son look as gloomy as his love-struck friend?

I determined to make one more effort to break through Emerson’s stubbornness.

"I was in receipt today of a letter from Annie Quibell," I began. "She and James are returning to Cairo shortly to resume their duties at the Museum."

Emerson said, "Hmph," and stirred sugar into his tea.

I continued. "She asked when we are setting out for Egypt, and what are our plans for this season. James wished her to remind you that the most interesting sites will all be taken if you don’t make your application soon."

"I never apply in advance," Emerson growled. "You know that. So does Quibell."

From Guardian of the Horizon, pages 1-8, by Elizabeth Peters. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...
  • Book Jacket: Complicit
    Complicit
    by Stephanie Kuehn
    When seventeen year-old Jamie Henry receives word that his older sister Cate, is being released from...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  27Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Who Said...

From the moment I picked your book up...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O O T F P, Into T F

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.