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?
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.