Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, Katie Hamstead

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. Goodreads

Kiya was quite a bit different than the books I've been reading lately, and I enjoyed the change. As far as historical accuracy, I know the author took several liberties, but to me, that is all part of the fun. Taking an unknown from history and telling how the story could have happened takes a great imagination.

The plot is pretty straightforward. Naomi/Kiya is tossed into a world she doesn't understand and has to survive court intrigue from every angle, while risking her life and trying to keep her faith.

Kiya herself is a very complex character. I loved her strength, and the dedication to her family. There were times I felt she was a little too reckless, or should have picked up on some obvious signs, but overall, she was a brave, loving, and very believable character. Her relationships are as surprising as they are complex, and her emotions seem very real, even if they are confusing at times.

While I can't recommend this book for young adults, due to the sexual content, I really did enjoy the story and intrigue it presented.

Rating 3.5/5 stars
YA notes: sexual content

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

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