Egypt is split into two parts following the defeat of the Egyptians by the Hyskos. The Egyptians have the lower half of the country, but there are limitations. They have no access to the Mediterranean for trade or defense. Taita, a counselor to Pharaoh, dreams of reclaiming the northern half of the country, but for that they need allies. He conceives a plan whereby they can destroy the accord between the Hyskos and their Cretans allies and make the Cretans, who have a substantial navy, allies of lower Egypt.
The book starts with military adventures, but there is also romance involving the young Egyptian princesses Taita brought up. The scenes of ancient Egypt and Crete are beautifully described. Smith has a way of transporting you to an ancient land and making you feel part of the action.
Taita is a fascinating character. He is not at all shy about claiming his prowess in inventing all manner of things, planning military campaigns, and acting as a primary counselor to Pharaoh. The princesses are young and rather insipid. The romance, primarily youthful infatuation, works in the novel, but if you're looking for serious romance this doesn't make it.
The book long and primarily made up of journeys. After the first third, I found them rather tedious. However, if you like stories of Ancient Egypt with a good dose if military action, you may enjoy this book.
I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.