Curse of the Sphinx (reissue)
Tanz, Freya (interior)
June, 2011 (reissue)
0451136284 / 9780451136282
|Length:||185 pages (introductory section plus 44 "pathways")|
|Number of Endings:||21|
|User Summary:||A young page on your way to the Crusades, you are swept overboard in rough seas. Trying to save yourself, you grab the first thing within reach -- an Ankh, mysterious symbol of power in ancient Egypt -- and suddenly you find yourself whirling through time and space, bound for the land and the age of the Pharaohs.|
Most time-travel tales are variations on two themes. Someone traveling from the present to the past or vice versa, or someone traveling from the present to the future or vice versa. The common theme usually involves the present in some sense. This book takes a more interesting track, by having a boy in the time of the crusades (the past) travel further back in time to ancient Egypt. So it allows the author to have the protagonist play fish out of water without any modern contrivances.
That said, she doesn't entirely make the most of that aspect but that was probably due to space limitations.
Overall, it's a fairly fun romp through ancient Egypt (I have always enjoyed stories set in the "real world," even if that world involves magic and gods). It focuses on a war between Egyptian deities, who act as fickle as Greek gods, with fun challenges. Interestingly, it contains the (controversial?) claim that the pyramids of Egypt were not built by slaves but by free labour.
Overall, another fun entry in this series with a different flavour.
This is a great book that stands out in a series I've grown to love. Secret of the Sphinx in my opinion is one of the standout titles in the Dragontales series for a variety of reasons. For starters, this book took a unique twist from the usual settings of this series in that it took place in real world settings rather than those of a fantasy world. With a book of this nature, that can be a hit or miss target to aim for, but luckily, this book pulls it off nicely. Secret of the Sphinx does a nice job of introducing two very different cultures to each other, and while I'd hoped to see a little more confusion on the part of Matthew, the aforementioned young page in question, when dealing with a culture so vastly different than his own, I suppose we'll have to take the rushed atmosphere as part of the ever present limited spacing available in a book of this nature.
Interestingly enough, this book lacked the usually heavy-handed hinting of romantic interests that seemed to dominate this series. There's no real interaction of romantic notions with any members of the fairer sex aside from the antagonist's brief notion of attraction to the Egyptian Goddess Isis, hardly a feasible romantic interest. Though some passages carry on a bit while others come to a far too abrupt and unsatisfying finish, Secret of the Sphinx still manages to stand out as a strong entry and a great book to end the Dragontales series on, though I'd have loved if they managed to produce a few more of these books.
An exciting story, decent gameplay and choices, fairly decent pacing make for a solid read and addition to your collection.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Nomad for the plot summary.|
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