Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review Friday -- The Eyes of Pharaoh

This week I had the pleasure of reading a historical mystery by Chris Eboch, The Eyes of Pharaoh, set in ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramses the Third.  This is a fast-paced adventure, with historical details that plunge you into the era, engaging characters that feel realistic, and tension that never lets up.

Thirteen-year-old Seshta is one of the young temple dancers in the Temple of Hathor.  Her dream is to eventually leave the temple and become a renowned performer.  Her two best friends are thirteen-year-old Horus, son of her family's former maid and apprentice to a toymaker, and sixteen-year-old Reya, a conscript in Egypt's army.

When the story opens, Seshta is focused on the coming dancing contest for the temple dancers.  The Pharoah himself will see the contest, and winning could ensure Seshta's future as a performer.  Then Reya meets up with her and Horus, saying that he has information about a threat from the Libu (a tribe from what is  present day Libya).  Reya is on his way to inform the general, but wants Seshta and Horus to know something first, in case something goes wrong.   Then Reya disappears.

Since Reya is a soldier, his family assumes he is on a mission.  But Horus's blind sister dreams of Reya being trapped in a small place, alone and scared.  Seshta, too, has ominous dreams of danger, and she decides it is up to her and Horus to find and rescue their friend.  The two become spies, asking questions in the marketplace that lead them to the army garrison, a merchant's wealthy grounds, and a prince's estate, as they uncover clues about a plot to overthrow Pharaoh Ramses the Third.  Even the head of the Eyes of Horus, the secret police, seems to be involved.

This book sparkles with drama, historical accuracy, and lively characters today's young people can relate to. I wish I'd had Eboch's book when I was teaching sixth grade.  The unit on ancient Egypt is always a favorite with students, and her book brings the era to life.

For information about how to contact Chris Eboch and how to order her book, visit her website (click on her name).  You'll find other good reads by this author (including the Haunted series), information on writing, and lesson plans for her historical books.  For my own part, I want to read her Haunted books next, since I love a good ghost story!  Then again, the Mayan book looks intriguing as well . . .

Happy reading!


Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, there are so many good books to read! I love historical mysteries. And I love MG books (and YA). They're some of the best written. I'm going to bookmark your post here for future reference, so I can look up this author.
Ann Best, Memoir Author

Rosi said...

I love historical fiction. How will I ever get to read all the good ones out there? Not enough time! But I will definitely put these on my list. They sound great. Thanks for the review.

Michelle Fayard said...

You've used all the right buzz words to get me to add this title to my reading list. Thank you very much for this excellent review!


Victoria Dixon said...

Hey, Elizabeth. This sounds wonderful. I love historical fantasies. Especially ones in unusual settings. Thanks for dropping by!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Elizabeth....I am sure I will love this book. It sounds just like a book I can read, not just once but many times. I have started enjoying historical fiction a lot nowadays. The book cover looks awesome.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Ann, I agree that YAs and MGs are some of the best writing around. You will really enjoy this one.

Rosi, yes, isn't it true:so many books, so little time!

Michelle, it's a title worth adding! I hope she goes on to do Greece and China; she's already done a good book based in Mayan culture.

Victoria, I agree: historical fantasies are so rich in so many ways. Thanks for following me, BTW.

Rachna, this is a book I want to read again, too. She makes it look so...effortless. We all know that means a lot of thought and work! :-)

J.L. Campbell said...

Elizabeth, I like reading about anything set in Egypt. The book sounds like a good read. I've added it to the list of books I want to read.

I've had a crazy week, so I didn't email to let you know that you won my book release contest. Please let me know which of the book you would like to read and then based on that I'll contact the other winner and so on. I've already sent your name on to the publisher.

Hope you like whichever you choose.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

J. L. Thanks, so much! I can hardly wait to read it. Dissolution is my choice. Thanks again, and you will enjoy The Eyes of Pharaoh when you get to it.

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

This sounds like a good read I enjoy the Egyptian setting. Thanks for the visit I look forward to reading more on your blog.

Carrie said...

These sound WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing :)