The Falcon at the Portal

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Falcon at the Portal: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense by Elizabeth Peters.

Elizabeth Peters The Falcon at the Portal

There is criminal mystery and egyptological discovery in this book, as in all of the Amelia Peabody novels. But in this 1911-1912 volume, those elements really have to take a back seat to the evolving family drama, especially the difficulties involved in the amorous affections among the younger generation.

The documentary conceit of this series continues to be stretched across the Ameila Peabody journal/memoirs, the third-person self-accounts of her son Ramses Emerson (“Manuscript H”), and the correspondence of Nefret Forth, providing various perspectives and opportunities for dramatic irony. (In the early volumes of the series, Peabody’s solo voice could create such irony in abidingly amusing ways.)

[Spoiler! Hover over to see . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .] While it is very entertaining and tense, of all the Amelia Peabody books I have read, this one would probably stand on its own the worst. It is very much a serial installment, and a decidedly engaging one. [via]