from the dust jacket of the 1958 Crown first edition
Moses, Prince of Egypt
In a novel stunning in its impact and inspiration, Howard Fast has portrayed magnificently the little-known early years of one of history's great figures. From the moment when the young Prince of Egypt stands before Ramses II, god-king of all Egypt, the reader is swept into the world of the foremost power of the day. In this world young Moses was one apart: the doubly royal son of Ramses and his sister, he was openly spoken of as the Prince of Egypt; yet if stories about him were true, he was lower-born than the commonest palace slave.
Mr. Fast's Moses is an enormously appealing young man -- at one moment arrogant, at the next bewildered by things he does not understand: the attractions and strains between himself and other young men and women, the scheming of court politics, the prohibition in polytheistic Egypt against worshipping the one God, Aton. As Moses grows toward manhood, his way is that of a stranger, a wanderer seeking to find his identity.
Mr. Fast invests Moses' search with scope and drama. In the pages of this engrossing novel appear a wealth of towering creations -- the Bedouin slave, Nun, tamed from a snarling animal on the block to become Moses' companion in battle and eventual spokesman for the Levites, Nun's people; Moses' teachers who prepare him for his great role in history: the priest Amon-Teph, who believes in Aton at the risk of his life, and Ramses' engineer, the bitter and brilliant Neph, whose heart is won by the young prince. There are unforgettable scenes -- the turbulent battle against the black men of Kush; the Utopian idyll in the lush lands at the source of the Nile; Moses' youthful love in the white house by the First Cataract.
But above all, MOSES, PRINCE OF EGYPT is an evocation of Moses himself. As the young prince turns his back on the might of Egypt, embracing at first the forbidden worship of Aton and then becoming one with the slave people of Levi, the foundation of his leadership is excitingly laid.
Mr. Fast is the author of more than 22 books, including Citizen Tom Paine, Freedom Road, and The Unvanquished. One of the most popular authors in the world today, his works have been translated into 82 languages. MOSES, PRINCE OF EGYPT is perhaps his greatest single achievement.