The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

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?

My Review: 

I am a huge fan of Biblical fiction novels so I am always on the lookout for new authors. So, having heard fabulous things about Mesu Andrews, I saw that The Pharaoh’s Daughter was available for review, and I thought I’d give it a shot.

Starting off, Andrews’ writing style is beautiful and I love the way that her book is outlined as well as how it flows. All of the Egyptian history and how the story focuses on the Egyptians’ way of living, as well as the Hebrews, is definitely interesting and there was much to learn. The fact that there is a “hero” on both sides is also neat.

The characters are wonderfully developed and I couldn’t put the book down for the better part of the week, however, there were a few things that I didn’t care for.

Annipe’s wedding night with her husband is a tad bit too detailed for me to comfortably recommend this novel to other Christian readers, as well as is the night before he leaves. I would have enjoyed the book better had the author simply hinted at what they were doing (like we didn’t know….) rather than actually showing the scene. Now, as a disclaimer, neither scene was explicit but still, both scenes being so close together and so equally detailed actually caused me to put the book down and not read on.

Having said this, I can only rate The Pharaoh’s Daughter 2 out of 5 stars and will be extra cautious of this author in the future.

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A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

I received this book form the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

My Review:

A.D 30 has something that very few other fictional books have, an intimate experience that brings you closer to God and opens your eyes to see Jesus for who He is, and to see yourself for who you are, His child. All the while reading a story full of adventure, betrayal, action, romance, and everything a good fictional book needs.

Just in case you do not know, “Yeshua” is the Jewish name for “Jesus”, thus, the main (fictional) character, Maviah, meets Jesus and many of the great historians of the Bible. At first I was slightly hesitant on reading a book that was so courageously published, for fear that it may not live up to its full potential or would possibly be incorrect, however it exceeded my expectations by far.

I loved that Dekker did not fictionalize anything about Jesus to bring Him to Maviah, instead, he wove Maviah’s story around Jesus. “Yeshua” never said anything that was not written in the Bible first, He was not apart of a miracle that was not mentioned in the Bible, and He did not have a personality different from what is said about Him in the Bible. Dekker did an AMAZING job at this, I can’t even begin to explain that. Dekker also brought understanding to some of Jesus’ parables, by way of Maviah reflecting on them herself, or by her speaking to someone else.

A.D 30 is written in first person by Maviah, giving the book the necessary emotional affects, as well as giving those who read, a chance to relate to her. Maviah would be considered the “gentile” of the story, I think I place Saba as a “gentile” as well, as he did not believe in any god (Maviah believed in them all). Judah however is the Jew, and Dekker did a great job of making him earnest in meeting “Yeshua”, yet gave him the mindset of most Jews during Jesus’ time on the earth, expecting Him to rise up against the Romans in war.

There is one cuss word that sincerely took me by surprise, as none of the other books I have read by Ted have had any whatsoever. The word is b*****d and it is said roughly 3 times. Judah also swears his allegiance more than once on many different things and Maviah curses everything she knows in one scene. There is also lots of fighting (maiming) and kissing, however no sex scenes whatsoever.

So in conclusion, Christians, you will love this book! This is the book that Dekker has been waiting for, the one that will have influence beyond any of his other books, I can only imagine the power it holds should it be made into a movie! I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

Rated: * * * * *

Series: A.D series, book #1