My friends, I have and amazing book to tell you about today.
KIYA: HOPE OF THE PHARAOH
about the book:
When Naomi’s sisters are snatched up to be taken to be wives of the erratic Pharaoh, Akhenaten, she knows they won’t survive the palace, so she offers herself in their place. The fearsome Commander Horemheb sees her courage, and knows she is exactly what he is looking for…
The Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi instantly, and strips her of her Hebrew lineage, including her name, which is changed to Kiya. Kiya allies herself with Horemheb, who pushes her to greatness and encourages her to make the Pharaoh fall in love with her. When Akhenaten declares Kiya will be the mother of his heir, Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Kiya.
Kiya must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. If she does bear an heir, she knows she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood
If you have any interest in Ancient Egyptian history, do yourself a favor and read this book.
Kiya, born a Hebrew named Naomi, is chosen to be the wife of Akhenaten. Chosen to provide him the son he needs to carry on his kingdom. She is a wonderfully strong female lead. You will fall in love with her. She is beloved of Akhenaten and reviled by Nefertiti. She faces everything thrown at her with grace and dignity. I can't stress enough how amazing a character Kiya is.
For those unfamiliar with Ancient Egypt, Kiya is widely believed to be the mother of Tutankhamen. King Tut. Very little is known of her, other than she was a lesser wife of Akhenaten. He was the 'heretic pharaoh'. He literally threw away the Egyptian pantheon, moved the capital city to Ikhaten (currrent day Armana) and ruled as pharaoh. All surviving artwork shows him as an odd shaped, almost feminine individual. Was he enlightened or mad? No one knows for certain.
This book portrays Akhenaten as a kind, generous but somewhat unstable individual. Nefertiti is a jealous, hateful, evil woman. All characters in this book have amazing almost larger than life personalities. I liked Horemheb, but loved Malachi. I found Ay to be as sneaky and rotten as his daughter.
The book focuses on Kiya and her struggle in an Egyptian household. Her many interactions with Nefertiti and Nef's daughters. Kiya becomes beloved not only of Akhenaten but of just about every other character in this well written story.
I absolutely loved this book, and look forward to more by this author. This is a 'can't put it down' book. I couldn't stop reading until I finished, and then wanted to just start over and reread. A 5 star book.
a bit of history
Akhenaten was a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. Son of Amunhotep III, he ruled Egypt for 17 years. He died around 1335 BC. He abandoned Thebes and traditional polytheism and created a new capital and religious center worshipping the ATEN, the sun. He is widely believed to be the father of King Tut.
Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten. She was also heavily involved in the movement to the worship center of Aten (current day Armana). She is believed to have lived from 1370-1330 bc.
canopic jar believed to be the likeness of Kiya (Metropolitan Museum of Art)