Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

    So I have a real thing for reading about Ancient Egypt (as evidenced by all the Joseph books I’ve collected). I’m not sure why I like reading about it, because I’m 99% sure I don’t ever want to visit Egypt (too much heat and sand, I’ve visited Texas and that’s as close to Egypt as I want to get).
Anywho, such thoughts aside, a friend gave this to me when she came to visit (I-thought-you’d-like-it, out of the blue gifts are the best, aren’t they?). 🙂
Brief summary:
Mara is an Egyptian slave who longs for freedom. To attain such, she becomes a spy for the Pharoah. Inadvertently, she is trapped into becoming a spy against the Pharoah. As a double agent she is constantly on the alert, wary of revealing her secret. Just when she devotes herself to Sheftu’s cause her treachery is discovered by both parties. Now she must fight to regain their trust without losing her life (she isn’t too terribly successful, in case you’re wondering). And there’s a bit of a love story intertwined.
Reasons I like it:
#1. Spy stories are quite captivating. 🙂
#2. Mara is extremely smart.
#3. Nekonkh is funny. Especially during his rage against the Queen.
#4. Sheftu. Sheftu is strategic. I liked the way he thinks through everything before coming to a decision. Though he did mess up near the end concerning Mara’s loyalties. I loved the ending, he did everything in his power to save her.
#5. Thutmose is full of intrigue. I did like that he at least tried (not too hard, but at least he made a little effort) to make Inanni feel a tad welcome.
#6. The dialogue is well written.
#7. I’m glad that Mara befriended poor Inanni.
#8. Raiding the tombs. While I don’t particularly think people should do so, I was glad that Sheftu wasn’t too afraid of the ‘wrath of the gods’.
#9. When she’s listening in and gets caught by Sheftu- that was funny.

I’d give this 4 books. Mostly because of the ‘gods’ nonsense and the love story (still not too fond of those).
Things I didn’t like:
#1. My gracious! Count Semnut, Nahereh, and Sahure were ghastly!
#2. The whole Reshed thing was a little overdone.
#3. Sheftu should have thought out his reward answer better. It may have saved Mara a beating.
#4. Hatshetsup- I don’t know if she was really that cruel, but I wasn’t too fond of her either.

And that last point brings me to another thought. I don’t know if this is quite accurate in the Historical realm. According to an Ancient Egypt documentary and the Encyclopedia, Thutmose III is Hatshetsup’s stepson. But, disregarding such information, it made for a good story and I really enjoyed it.

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