258 pages / 1226 KB
This is Historical FICTION. If you want it to follow history, shop elsewhere. If you want a fun read set in a long ago space, enjoy!
Yes, there were/are historical inaccuracies, BUT IT'S FICTION! Yes, there were a few places where modern words and phrases jolted, but over all, it was a fun and light read.
There isn't a great deal known about Kiya, but there is some. If you're a stickler for accuracy in fiction, well, wander on down the aisle, my friend. If you can suspend your disbelief, you just might be pleasantly surprised at the tale. Hamstead makes Kiya a Hebrew woman named Naomi, for starters, rather than the more or less accepted Nubian. This gives her a lot of room for culture clashes and storyline. (Being Hebrew also makes her, in this instance, a slave. Yes, I know, that's been pretty well debunked by historians, but it plays well in the story.)
If you're looking for an historical romance, I think you might be a tad disappointed in the book. There is love in the book, and hate, and jealousy, but I don't think it would qualify as a romance. (If it had, you probably wouldn't be reading my review, because I probably wouldn't have finished it.)
Naomi is the favored daughter of her father, and is educated as his son is educated. When Horemheb comes to Thebes to choose a virgin to marry the Pharaoh, he chooses her sisters. Naomi volunteers to go. Akhenaton wants a Hebrew wife because his God, Aten, has said that Hebrew women are pure, and that a Hebrew wife will give him a son and heir—Tutankhaten.
Naomi is given a new name, Kiya, and made a wife of Akhenaton, a man she has been raised to view as evil, a man who is ill and deformed (possibly Marfanes disease), and a man she learns to love and respect. All is not peaches and cream in the royal palace, though, and Kiya must tread lightly and with cunning if she and her son are to survive. None of Pharaoh's sons survive their first night, but young Tut does.
Given the time and cultures in which she was born and raised, Kiya's behavior is not altogether unbelievable. The Hebrews did not treat their women any better than the Egyptians treated theirs, especially in harem situations. Women were property, and were to produce heirs. Period. If they were intelligent and educated that was fine, as long as they knew their place, and did not become a threat to their husband/owner.
Kiya is intelligent, educated, and strong-willed. She will do anything for her husband, and for her children.