Plot/Idea: Sridhar has created a compelling portrait of ancient civilizations here. Through comprehensive research, the author skillfully portrays the complex historical society of Egypt, with a focus on a war between the Egyptian Empire and the Hittite Kingdom.
Prose: The opening is powerful and creates an immediate narrative hook. The narration style remains consistently alluring for the book's entirety.
Originality: Sridhar's novel places a unique focus on a rich period in ancient history. Descriptions of the public and private places in this world come across as accurate and vivid, while the glossary of terms helps the reader in understanding the unfamiliar names and concepts.
Character Development/Execution: The author offers an intriguing portrayal of Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Ramses II. While Sridhar explores the character's humanitarian and feminist values, the source of Nefertari’s power ultimately feels unclear to the reader.
Date Submitted: May 19, 2022
The story is neatly chrological, its brisk pace is engaging, too, and its interludes establish a clear sense of space.
Eight of the book's major characters are historical figures, and their development is well-grounded in scholars' accounts...Nefertari exhibits a keen intellect, reading people, analyzing situations, and plotting her next moves with skill. Secondary characters are also explored in terms to their histories and beliefs .... in this cast, everyone has substance. Thes same level of attention is applied to period details, working to capture the pinnacle features of ancient Egyptian civilization.
A riveting tale of Nefertari's diplomatic abilities...compelling in-depth characters...A gifted storyteller with a philosophical bent which is enjoyable."