“The Pharaoh’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews
Book One in Treasures of the Nile series
My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
“Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.”
“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug.
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back.
Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.
Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?
I was eager to jump into this beautiful book. I’ve been reading several things on or relating to the Biblical account of Moses, so this was a nice addition. And while “The Pharaoh’s Daughter” felt more like fiction-fiction than Biblical fiction, I still enjoyed it. The story was quite alive.
There were some parts that I did not care for, and some that made me feel quite uncomfortable because of the…graphic nature of the scenes. There was a part of torture that really made me uncomfortable – I get that we’re to understand that the Egyptians could be ruthless, but for me personally, I think this particular scene was just too much/too far.
It was interesting to get to see from the perspective of Egypt’s side, particularly the family of ‘The Pharaoh’s Daughter’, herself most importantly included. When reading the account, we so often can glance past this side of history and think the Egyptians utterly evil, but I’m sure even they had some soft parts, misled as they were. This perspective was indeed very interesting, and I enjoyed being able to get a glimpse into it. For me, my interpretation of the Biblical account is different, but that doesn’t mean that this book’s was wrong – only God knows what all happened back then! And that’s okay. I do know that God was involved in this writing, especially since I know Mesu to be a very godly person. :)
I liked the Hebrew’s aspect in this story a lot. I enjoyed Miriam especially and am greatly looking forward to her story in the next book of this series! I liked Anippe as a character. Her representation of being the Pharaoh’s daughter mentioned in Exodus, I’m not quite sure I shared, but as I said, her as a character I liked. Her deception was a hard thing, and I would get frustrated with her for it, but in this tale for her, you kind of understood why she did what she did. We all have fears – great fears – and without God (and sometimes even as we know Him; we still struggle!) they can cause us to do some very not-great things. So yes, Anippe was a well-built up character.
There of course was a faith-strand, since it’s the account of Moses and such, and for the most part, it was good. There were some great quotes from it, which I will share at the end of this review.
I was rather disappointed though that we didn’t get to see more of Anippe’s transition in her faith. There were some parts that had great opportunities to open up into a deeper discussion of the truth of the One True God and the lies of all the Egyptians gods, but then it would skip to another scene or jump to a different conversation, leaving the faith discussion wanting.
There was also a great deal of marriage sensitive issues. I would definitely recommend readers to be at least 18 years old and use caution because of delicate issues such as this and the graphic torture scenes.
But yes, I really love Mesu Andrews – her note before the story and afterwards were both so good and heartfelt. I loved her note of asking for grace and forgiveness for any discrepancies etc. in the novel. We are only humans and can do what God gives us strength for – and I think Mesu does an excellent job.
I think that, as with all Biblical fiction, we need to keep in mind that everyone has their own interpretation of things, which makes each story unique. :)
As a fiction piece, I liked this read. As a Biblical fiction piece, it just didn’t hit me as much. That doesn’t mean it won’t for you though. :)
“Blame and Guilt serve no purpose” – Chapter 35
“If fear robs us of truth, faith never has a chance to grow” Chapter 37
“A god could never fill the longing for your one true love.” “No, Bithiah. A man can never fill the longing for my one true God.”
“Hope can’t be lost or stolen. Hope is a choice we embrace for ourselves each day”
(I did not make this image)
I received a free gift copy of this book – I was not required to write a review. All thoughts are my own, unbiased and honest.