I’m so glad I agreed to review this book! In full disclosure, Katie Hamstead is my publishing sister at Curiosity Quills, although not someone I’ve come to know through the blogosphere yet (but I hope to!).
So, Hamstead started right in the action. The story begins with Naomi, a Jew, who offers herself instead of her sisters to be taken as the Pharaoh’s concubine. From there, the plot unfolds. Danger, desire, decision . . . KIYA (the new name Naomi is forced to take) has it all! And it was nice to read about another young heroine with moral standards who stuck to her guns, no matter what the cost, in order to protect those around her.
The only thing I didn’t like about the story was the villain, Nefertiti . . . she was too unlikable for my taste. I like to have the bad guy, or girl, to have at least one redeeming quality, and I didn’t see one in this evil queen.
Just FYI, I don’t typically pick up historical novels . . . but I know some people complained about the historical accuracy of this book. Well, I’m no History-Nazi. To me, obsessing over history details (especially ones that can’t be proven) take the magic out of a book . . . kind of like when you become an author and it ruins the magic of writing (because when I finally signed my publishing contract, being chained to my laptop for fifteen hours a day and not even making enough money to keep a child in Africa alive for the month wasn’t what I pictured in my mind . . . but that’s a rant for another time). Ooh, squirrel! Now where was I? Oh yeah–I don’t like to sweat the small stuff. If you’ve ever read a book published by CQ, you know that we’re often into breaking a rule or two . . . or four hundred seventy-two 🙂 And that our authors are prone to rants 🙂 Anyway, I get enough of that educational crap at the school where I teach. HA!
The real crux of the matter was . . . did this book entertain me? YESSS!
Maybe the dialogue wasn’t always convincing for the time. Doesn’t change the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kiya’s voice. The novel was beautifully written, with the combo of dialogue and narrative woven effortlessly within the story, compelling me to turn the page well past my bedtime! I really can’t wait for the sequel!! Bravo, Katie!!!
Blurb: Nefertiti has forced Naomi to flee Amarna with Malachi and the three children. But even under the protection of Naomi’s family in Thebes, Nefertiti still hunts her and Tut. Nefertiti sends assassins to kill them, and while Naomi fights to protect the children, Malachi fights to keep her safe.
With three children in tow, one of which isn’t her own, she is labeled the harlot outcast wife of the pharaoh and is shunned. She isn’t safe among her own people, and flees from being stoned to death. Although her family protects her, she must find a way to survive.
While Naomi struggles to keep herself and Tut alive, old adversaries return as Smenkhkare takes advantage of Akhenaten’s ailing health. Naomi must rely on Horemheb’s promise to protect Tut’s birthright, but her feelings for Malachi could cause more problems with Horemheb than she expects.
You can stalk Hamstead at these fine establishments: