Saturday, June 05, 2010

Stone Tables

Stone Tables is a work of fiction, postulating on the family life of Moses. The focus is on Moses's childhood and early relations with the Pharaoh in Egypt. The fictionalization takes as its basis a very literal interpretation of the Bible. Any disconnections with recorded history are explained. (Pharaoh hated Moses and the Israelites, and thus removed all historical records of them.)

Moses is portrayed as a strong military leader who was next in line to become leader of Egypt. However, the royal family also had plenty of other pretenders to the throne who would love to see him out of the way. In an attempt to understand prejudice towards Israelites, he goes peasant, kills an Egyptian and thus loses everything as he heads out to Midian.

The woman in this story are given a much more prominent role. Moses sister Miriam is a key player of the "revolution". The Pharaoh of Moses' youth is a kind woman, while the "bad" Pharaoh was put in place throw some machinations of his mother. This Pharaoh was actually taught by Moses (thus explaining some of his reluctance to give in to Moses in spite of the plagues.)

The plagues and exodus happen quickly at the last part of the book. Most of the story covers Moses "unknown" youth. Joshua's family history also gets some coverage in order to relate him to the tale of Moses. The ten commandments and Moses death happen in quick succession at the book's end.

Card makes the characters alive, though they still seem somewhat similar to other Card characters.

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