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First Person • Fiction • 384 Pages
About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
You Don’t Know Her Name. The World Remembers Only Her Greatest Friend: Cleopatra.
Raised together in the Alexandrian palace, Chava, the Hebrew daughter of the royal tutor, and Urbi, an Egyptian princess, become as close as sisters–and rivals with their dreams of greatness. When Urbi unexpectedly ascends the throne as Queen Cleopatra, Chava believes their bond is strong enough to survive. But absolute power has a way of changing everything.
The ultimate betrayal rips Chava from everything she’s ever known and sends her to the lowest rung of Roman society where she must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life, if she hopes to rise again.
Why I Choose this Book:
Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and this is a time period I’ve rarely read anything about. Therefore, whenever I get the opportunity to review a historical fiction book that doesn’t appear to be overly romantic, I jump at the chance.
What I Thought about this Book:
Can we just take a moment to bask in the wonder of authors who are able to create such totally amazing books like Egypt’s Sister? This book. Ah, how do I describe it? The world building was so complete and real and well-done that I felt like I’d been catapulted into Alexandria and the ancient world of power struggles and slaves and not being able to trust anyone, and all from the perspective of a naive little girl who danced through life with unbelievably drawn conclusions to life.
Chava was a brilliant narrator, because as the reader we could see the truth staring us in the face, but she was so blinded to it. I wanted to shake some sense into her, and wondered at the wisdom of her father for not doing so.
The first half of the book was by far my favorite. Everything about it was amazing. I realized later that I never actually connected with the characters, I never had the urge to laugh or cry. That’s rather surprising to me because I liked this book such a huge amount. I think what it all boils down to though is that the world building was so fantastically well done that I was intrigued beyond what most books have the power to accomplish. I went to the library when I was about halfway done with reading Egypt’s Sister and got all the nonfiction books they had on ancient Egypt. (Okay, it’s a small library and we had a grand total of four books on ancient Egypt, but still….)
This book made me want to study that era in history and take it all in and learn more, more, more.
One thing I greatly appreciated was the lack of sordid details regarding the debauchery and wicked lifestyles that took place in Alexandria and Rome at that time in history. It does mention it, and it’s certainly present, but I thought the author did a phenomenal job of not dwelling on it.
The second half of the book was still really well written and interesting, but I thought it lacked the undeniable pull of the first half of the book.
Another element of the book I greatly enjoyed was seeing how Chava’s Jewish heritage and faith influenced her decisions. There was a lot of good faith content in this book, although it’s obviously way different looking at the Bible through the eyes of life before the coming of Christ. It was so cool to see what life might have been like for Jews during that long gap of time that takes place between the Old and New Testament.
Although it doesn’t go into details, there are still enough mentions of the wickedness from that time period the I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone under the age of 17 or 18.
I’m giving Egypt’s Sister 4 out of 5 stars and 8 out of 10.