Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: The Pharaoh's Daughter

Title: The Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Amazon rating: 4.7

 From the editor:

“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug. 
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back. 
Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.
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?

 My thoughts:

I'll start by saying that this is by far the best book I have read through the "Blogging for Books" program. Andrews did her research well, and I was impressed and fascinated with how she intertwined biblical and secular history. It's books like these, enriched with the ins and outs of daily of the time, that help to bring a vividness and deeper understanding of scriptural events. Naturally, the story is fictional, but Andrews seemed to remain true to the biblical events, while opening our imaginations to what might have occurred between the lines and behind the scenes. Writing a book like this is most certainly a lot of work as you are burdened with the responsibility of portraying some of history's most renowned characters and events, and our author did not take her responsibility lightly. I found the book easy to read despite the sometimes heavy dialogue (which only made the book feel more true to its time), but most of all it was the story itself that kept me turning page after page after page.

This was my first read from Mesu Andrews, but it won't be my last.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Garden of Madness

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

My rating; 3.5 stars rating: 4.5 stars

"The Untold Story of King Nebuchadnezzar's Daughter"...

Despite the luxurious life of privilege afforded a daughter of Babylon, Tiamat yearns for more-- adventure, the chance to make a real difference, not simply to be a bartering piece in her mother's games of manipulation and deceit.

As the king roams the hanging gardens of Babylon like a mad beast, a dark plot is underway in the shadows of the palace, and Tiamat may be the only thing standing between her family and utter downfall, but is she willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of the ones she loves? And what of this One God her deceased husband's brother speaks of, and the claims of the Prophet Belteshazzar that "The time of the prophecy is upon us"? Are the God's Tia has always trusted truly demons in disguise?

Garden of Madness is a rich story that transports the reader to a time nearly forgotten, the time of Babylon the Great. The story is steeped in mystery and dark plots, crafty magi and brutal murder. The pace was a bit sluggish and I had a very difficult time liking the male protagonist, even after his change of heart, and I felt that not everything pertaining to the Jewish faith was theologically sound, but I did enjoy this book, and appreciated that it was clean, if somewhat violent.