One of the most fascinating eras of history to me is Ancient Egypt. Their history is still partly mysterious, they were so powerful and they played such a major part in Old Testament history. Plus, as mentioned probably one too many times on this blog, I love the Mummy movies. Any opportunity to read about ancient Egypt, I’m in. In Mesu Andrews latest, we’re taken to the time of Moses.
Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?
While many dates and details remain a mystery to the modern day world, Andrews did an excellent job bringing to life King Tut and the politics of the day (I also appreciated the author’s intro and end notes. My history lovin heart always loves more history fun facts!). The details of everyday life, how the Israelites lived, how the Egyptians worshipped and lived with the Hebrews as their slaves, down to how linen was made opened up the world of ancient Egypt.
I admit I was weary in the beginning of several characters and how much time would pass between parts of the story, but after several chapters, characters grew and changed and I was hooked on the storyline. Some characters I’d still like to slap (if you’ve read it y’all KNOW who I’m talking about) and it was frustrating to see the character keep up with their antics. Yet, I imagine royalty in any world could have been like that. The plot also went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and that kept me turning the pages.
I’m glad I stuck with the story and got to experience ancient Egypt through the pen of the talented Mesu Andrews!
What’s an ancient era that intrigues you?
(Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)