Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Water Brooke
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Review:“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?
In the last couple of years, I have plunged head first into Biblical fiction. Years ago, there wasn't as big as a selection as there is today. A part of that growth is in part to Mesu Andrews' books. And what books they are!
Mesu Andrews has traveled around in the Old Testament from Dinah to Jezebel's Granddaughter. The range of research that she puts into her books is phenomenal and even though her work is Biblical fiction, she does her best to stay as true to the original story as presented in the Bible, but with added fiction to fill in and make the story more relateable and with a little more adventure.
I have always loved ancient Egypt. It was one of my favorite eras to study in history class. There is just so much there and it all hasn't been discovered yet, which was just proven this past week with some archeological digs going on. Mesu Andrews just brought her beautiful writing, to my favorite time and my goodness how they mesh!
I think it is safe to say, most people know the story of Moses, whether through Sunday school or Cecil B. Demil's classic that is a tradition in my house every Easter. We know Moses was raised in a palace and by Pharaoh's daughter. Mesu takes this story deeper and connects us more with a very thought out and possible timeline (one we may never know for certain, but this one was great!) and one that you didn't know where it would fully lead you after what is known.
I wasn't sure how I would feel reading about Anippe, when we are first really introduced to her, she comes off as a bit spoiled, which I can get being with her a princess, but as you get to know her through the constant shifting time of life, I grew to care for her as her character opened up. I applauded her for standing up for her sister, who in all honesty, got so many second chances from her. Anippe had a deep love for Ankhe, even with Ankhe's firmly planted bitterness. I was back and forth on my feelings for Anippe's sister. How she was treated was heartbreaking by all of those who should have been closest to her, but her response was harsh and at times cruel.
In comparison, Anippe faced her struggles with grace and she grew and learned from them. She had a deep love for her son, Mehy and in her way cared for his birth family. It was the connection that helped her to grow and be saved in so many ways. It opened her up to new possibilities.
It was also in this story, that we get to meet Miriam. We are introduced to her as a young girl among the rushes, as she watched after her baby brother to being a midwife in the skilled labor slave camp where she and her family lived. After reading these parts about her, I can't wait for Miriam's story! Miriam was a gentle soul who cared and loved all those around her. I can't wait see how Miriam's story is expanded on.
Mered was a wonderful character to read about. He has such love and dedication to his family, along with a strong friendship to Sebak, his master. Mered was honorable and he was valued for the work and dedication he offered. Despite everything that was going on and that he and his family were enslaved, he tried to keep positive for his family and those around him and also watching after to protect everyone.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I'm so glad I closed out 2014 on such a high note.
5 out of 5
About the Author:
Thank you to the author and to Mesu's BFF Group, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.