The Twice Born

by Pauline Gedge

Reviewed by Coral


Huy is a spoiled child; not only is he an only child, but his childless aunt and uncle dote on him constantly as well. Thanks to his uncle’s perfume business – he sells to the Pharaoh himself – Huy is able to attend school, where he will be educated as a scribe.
 
It is at this school where an act of violence will change his life forever, awakening within him a gift from the gods: the gift of Sight.
 
I enjoyed this book, but when I was finished I realized very little had actually happened. The book felt more like a prologue to Huy’s actual story.
 
The main problem is that Huy has no goal for a large part of the story. The book is just description of his life as he completes his schooling. I think a lot of it – the book is over 600 pages – could have been cut and still have the same effect.
 
Editing mistakes always drive me crazy; “other” instead of “mother”, “old” instead of “told”. Isn’t someone checking these things?
 
I enjoy Pauline Gedge’s style of writing and get drawn into the worlds she creates. Maybe that’s why I didn’t mind the “gods as actual characters” as much as I did in Helen of Troy. Or maybe it’s because “the gods told me too” isn’t Huy’s only reasoning behind his actions. At some point, he has his own wishes and dreams and doesn’t want to follow the gods plan for him, whereas in Helen of Troy, I got the feeling that without the gods, Helen would never have left Sparta.
 
The book is getting a B, though I still feel it could have been shorter and could have had more of a plot. I hope the next book is better in this regard.

Grade: B