Hock G. Tjoa
on May 25, 2017 :
This is a historical romance with the intriguing premise that there was a connection between the last Pharoah of the 18th Dynasty, Tutankhamun, and the great Rameses II of the 19th Dynasty. This tale is told through the adventures of Ida(ten) who had grown up as a playmate of Tutankh and his queen Ankhe.
To persuade the reader of the historical bearings, dates are introduced and references scattered that mention Egypt, the Hittites, "gypsy witches," and "Syria." The author then supplies slight commentary about the scenes and characters. I found these details somewhat scarce, amounting to not much more than the captions on postcards or museum exhibits.
Of the main character, we are told that she found true love in the Pharoah. "She looked into his eyes. They were so wise, so intense, so wistful." In turn, he says to her, "There is something about you, Ida, that makes me feel free, as if I can tell you anything, can share anything with you."
Ida hesitated, for "she wanted to make him understand that there was no going back for her if she made love with him; that her heart was greedy and it would never be able to go on as it had been if she gave in to it."
There follow many scene shifts and, it seems, time rifts as well. We are transported from Thebes to Syria to Hattusas. Ay, Horem, and Mursilis, along with characters with longer names deploy in and out. This reader did not feel any sense that the story at any point actually leaves the same "set" - no sense of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings, the hills around the Hittite capital (present day Turkey), or the pleasant countryside of "Syria" (Palestine).
When the adventures are almost at an end, Ida is said to be unrecognizable" because of "the Bedouin dress, her blonde locks and her carriage." By that time, this reader had lost any interest in the characters or in the story. To the premise and the possibilities of all kinds of middle eastern scenes, cultural themes, and characters, the author seems to have contributed not much more than the perfunctory remarks of an overworked and rushed tour guide. A great pity, indeed.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
Ash P Reads
on July 12, 2014 :
I won this ebook along with 2 others from the same author from LibraryThing Members Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. And boy am I glad that I did. I am hooked! An ancient story written in a contemporary style but captivating all the same. Amarna Book 1: Book of Ida, follows the trials of Idaten, a slave girl, a childhood playmate and sweetheart of two well known characters from ancient Egyptian history. The book's language may be modern but the story is as ancient as time itself, conspiracy, murder, spying and plotting and in all this betrayal, love still manages to survive. So glad I won this book and eagerly awaiting the next in this series.
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)