The year is 1871 and Queen Victoria is on the throne when fourteen-year-old twin Rose Evering and her twin sister, Lily board the SS Australia set sail with their parents for Egypt. Rose has been longing to go to Egypt for as long as she can remember. Now she’s on her way to the greatest adventure of her life.
From the moment Rose meets Mr Baxter on board the SS Australia, she feels increasingly uneasy. Why is he following them? What does he want? She knows little about him except he’s dangerous. When she’s given a small stone cat her dreams are filled by the unfolding story of Miut, an ancient cat of the Temple of Osiris and Hori, the boy who looks after her.
Now she and Lily must fulfil an ancient quest which takes them through the streets of Cairo, up the Great Pyramid of Giza, and deep under the ancient Step Pyramid of Sakkara. If they fail, Rose is certain of just one thing – the price of that failure will be death“
“A TERRIFIC YOUNG ADULT THRILLER… SET IN ANCIENT AND VICTORIAN EGYPT” Pat Remler, Egyptologist, author of Egyptian Mythology A- Z
“SET IN EGYPT, THIS IS A COMPELLING ADVENTURE STORY FOR YOUNG ADULTS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” The Wishing Shelf Awards Book Review (www.thewsa.co.uk)
There is, I think, a huge market for historical novels for young adults. But finding a good one can be difficult. A lot of them seem rushed to me and the research below par. However, Nile Cat is considerably better than most. For a start, it’s well-written, and has an exciting, adventure-style plot which I think teenagers will very much enjoy. It is also filled with interesting and fun-to-follow characters. Set in Egypt in the 1800s – with a secondary story set way, way, way back in time – this novel will offer young adults many of the things they crave for in a good book.
So, what’s it about ? Well, in a nutshell, the story follows twin girls, Rose and Lily, who embark on an exciting adventure in Egypt involving a carved, stone cat and a sinister fellow by the name of Mr Baxter. There’s also a second story, as Rose is haunted by an ancient Egyptian temple cat and the boy, Hori, who looks after her. What follows is a gripping story involving a number of interesting, well-crafted characters and an Egypt setting which almost jumps off the page.
Now to the important bit. Can I recommend this book? The answer is, yes, very much so. Who to? I suspect most teenagers will find this book enjoyable and, possibly without even knowing it – the best way – educational too. The author has worked so hard to offer the reader a fascinating setting, a complex thriller, and a set of characters you’ll be sad to say goodbye to. I just hope there’s going to be a sequel.’
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review – www.thewsa.co.uk
Nile Cat is a novel for readers of 12-14 yrs, set in Egypt in both Victorian and ancient times. Much of the background detail is drawn from a memoir A Few Egyptian Memories written by my great grandmother, May Tyssen-Amherst concerning her first experiences of Egypt, which she visited when she was just fourteen.
I came across this document while researching for the biography I am writing on the Tyssen-Amhersts. It was an incredibly exciting discovery as it is rare to find a child’s view of Egypt. She writes about pillow fights in a royal hareem, riding ponies by moonlight along the Chubra Road, nights camping beside the Great Pyramid, and much more. Most British girls were not taken to Egypt until after they were ‘out’, and so in their late teens, or early twenties. If you want to know more then maybe read May Tyssen-Amherst and the Crocodile in the Well.
I have come to know May well over the last few years through reading her travel journals. She was a remarkably intrepid traveller, and recorded her journeying with an artist’s eye and a great sense of humour. As I read her memoir describing her early days in Egypt, I realised what a wonderful starting point for an adventure it would make…