Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt’s most famous queen, is a fascinating character who has intrigued many throughout history. When I discovered that Angela Hunt’s newest Biblical Fiction novel from Bethany House would be about this infamous woman, I definitely wanted to give it a try! “Egypt’s Sister” is book number one in “The Silent Years” series, and tells the story of Cleopatra through the eyes of her (fictitious) childhood friend and daughter of the royal tutor.
Although I have not had the pleasure of reading many novels by Angela Hunt, it became crystal clear in this book that she is a masterful storyteller and meticulous researcher. With vivid description and strong emotion, the land of Egypt comes to life on the pages while the characters march distinctly through our imaginations. Now, this is both good AND bad at times, because Ancient Egypt wasn’t exactly a place where everyone walked the moral high ground. . . Actually quite the opposite! In truth, numerous bits and pieces of the story, many of which are likely based in historical fact, are absolutely abhorrent! Just a couple examples include Cleopatra’s marriage to her brother(s), the murder of royal family members (siblings, children, etc.) who posed a threat to the throne, and the inhuman ways that unwanted babies were disposed of.
Strangely enough, however, I don’t regret reading “Egypt’s Sister”. Why? Well, if you can get past the tragic-but-historically-accurate details mentioned before, you will find a richly drawn and fascinating story filled with twists and turns in the plot, highly inspiring character growth, and thought-provoking questions about faith, trust, and God’s ultimate purposes. While not a sweet or comforting story by any means, nor one that I recommend to young readers, it was ultimately a book that stuck with me for numerous reasons (many of them good!) and that I will read again in the future. If you enjoy Biblical Fiction, or if the concept of an Ancient Egyptian setting intrigues you, don’t miss “Egypt’s Sister”. You will never think of Cleopatra in the same way again!
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”