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The War of Horus and Set (Myths and Legends) Paperback – May 21, 2013


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The War of Horus and Set (Myths and Legends) + King Arthur (Myths and Legends) + Dragonslayers: From Beowulf to St. George (Myths and Legends)
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Product Details

  • Series: Myths and Legends (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780969023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780969022
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David A McIntee has written many tie-in novels in such franchises as Dr Who, Star Trek, Final Destination and Space 1999. He has also written comics adapting the work of Ray Harryhausen, William Shatner and John Saul. He has been a regular features contributor to many genre media magazines, and has written academic studies about the Aliens and Predator series, Blakes 7, and others. He has also run re-enactment demos of Ancient Egyptian events. The author lives in Great Britain.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Berkowitz on June 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a brief account of the myth of Osiris and Set put out by the military history publisher Osprey. Like all Opsrey books, it has good illustrations, including photographs of ancient imagery and modern recreations. The version of the myth told in the book is a conglomeration of multiple versions. Unfortunately, the author doesn't make clear exactly how the story evolved over time and which elements appeared in which versions. Overall, the first half of the books is pretty good, though. After that, though, there is a long and fairly irrelevant discussion of the history of Egyptian weaponry (presumably because this is an Osprey book and because the myth mentions warring armies) and a weak and disappointing look at Set, Osiris and popular culture. If you want to read an entertaining version of a myth and admire pretty pictures, go for it, but otherwise you'll likely be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cape Rust on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Osprey does it again. This time they have tackled the war for the Throne of Egypt between Horus and Set. Being a gamer and a person who has an interest in mythology, I have a general idea of Egyptian mythology -- or at least I thought I did until I read this book. I know some of the big names in Egyptian mythology including Horus and Set -- I even know what their portfolios include -- but I had never really delved into their back stories; thank the gods David McIntee did. Having read and reviewed Dragonslayers: From Beowulf to St. George and Jason and the Argonauts, I went into this installment with great expectations, and I was not let down.

I have never delved deeply into ancient Egyptian mythology, but thanks to these 80 pages of useful information, I will be. Egyptian mythology in many ways is similar to most mythologies. You have this set (no pun intended) of gods who, while powerful, still fall into the petty trappings of the meager mortals that worship them. There are universal themes of betrayal, incest, lust, love, power sharing, betrayal you know, ye olde soap opera type stuff. These Mythologies tend to reflect extreme examples, good and bad of the societies that develop them and based on The War of Horus and Set, the Egyptians were no exception.

One thing I found very interesting about McIntee's interoperation of this tale, based on extensive research was his willingness to stray from Grecko-Roman impressions of Set. They say that history is written by the victors and it seems that in normal conquering fashion the Greeks tweaked the traditional Egyptian myths concerning Set and turned him form an OK guy (as far as little g gods go) into the evil villain of Egyptian myths.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The war between Horus and Set is usually depicted as a simple war between good and evil. Most adaptations of this legend in literature, gaming and painting portray this manicheistic view.

And here enters David McIntee! He manages to delve into the ancient origins of the myth and a "new" (old?) Set emerges. He is no pure golden hero, but he isn't a villain either. He is a great warrior that protects Ra on the most perilous journey; he is fair to his subordinates, a general and a ruler. Osiris is also shown has a remarkable character, but contrary to popular belief, he also has a darker vein that the author explores.

Sometimes the author exaggerates the situation, even (with a considerable amount of humor) naming a sub-chapter has Set, the Zombie slayer! But the message is indeed transmitted. The fact that Set was a god of Upper Egypt (initially), of foreigners, of storms, led to an evolution of the way the Egyptians saw the god, especially after foreign domination like the Hycsos, the Nubian dynasty or the Persian domination of Egypt.

The author competently analyses the political environment and their influence to the priestly class (and vice-versa). It's interesting to know, for example, that Cambyses (Persian King) was anointed by priests of Horus AND Set.

The author also writes a short chapter on Egyptian warfare and the influence of this myth in contemporary culture. I believe that the author should have explored other versions of the myth, integrating them in the socio-political regional views (in a summarized form, naturally; the author only had 80 pages) and give less importance to the two above mentioned "extras".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By docmcbride on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fantasy wargamer and found this a useful guide to a lot of Egyptian mythology with emphasis on conflict among the gods and their worshippers. The illustrations are well done, and the book is well written, a fun read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Bookish Owl on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
The War of Horus and Set was a let down compared to King Arthur. I felt that there weren't enough pictures to clearly illustrate what was happening in the book. My mind would often wander at times because the writing style was textbook-y and not really compelling.

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