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Salvation in the Sun - Review

With discoveries being found in Egypt, it's a wonder how people lived and thrived in ancient times. With the help of author Lauren Lee Merewether, we get to imagine a lost history featuring Pharaoh Amenhotep and Queen Nefertiti, in her new self published Lost Pharaoh Chronicles series, Salvation In the Sun.

In a power struggle between Pharaoh and the Priesthood of Amun, Queen Nefertiti helps the ill-prepared new Pharaoh, Amenhotep, enact his father's plan to regain power for the throne. But what seemed a difficult task only becomes more grueling when Amenhotep loses himself in his radical obsessions. Standing alone to bear the burden of a failing country and stem the tide of a growing rebellion, Nefertiti must choose between her love for Pharaoh and her duty to Egypt in this dramatic retelling of a story forgotten by time.

I have mixed feelings for this book. I understand that this is the imaginative works of the infamous Queen Nefertiti and Pharaoh Amenhotep, and we don't know their real story due to destruction and vandalism, but this is not what I expected the Royal family to be.

I commend Merewether for her research and interest in the Royals. As pieces of history tell it, Pharaoh Amenhotep and Queen Nefertiti became heretics after worshipping the God Aten that wasn't the "premier god." The people of Egypt made sure to eradicate the Royals so their name could never spoil their history, yet as the future hold, the bust of Nefertiti was unearthed intact. All of this information created the story, but I don't think Merewether captured these two controversial people's essence.

I can't picture the Pharaoh being this weak and Nefertiti being this love-struck. It bothered me to my core that the new Pharaoh of Egypt couldn't get over his Daddy, not loving him. That would not be the makings of a King, even if it were by accident. For Nefertiti, I always imagined the love for Pharaoh was real and healthy, but her country's love was well balanced. The Royals are depicted as sniveling children who got mad when they didn't get their way. Amenhotep's character profile screamed insecurity issues and constant self-doubt about his rule of reign. He seeks to change all of what was built before him to prove a point that ultimately failed. I think Nefertiti did stand by her husband for love and expected duty, but I expected more from her. It's an odd feeling how, in the real world, we glamorize Nefertiti as one of the most important women in ancient history, yet we are coupled with an obsession of neglect and shaky monogamy. It doesn't sit right with me.

I didn't dislike the book; it just wasn't my favorite rendition of the past. I am a sucker for ancient Egyptian history, so whenever I see the sands of time mentioned, I'm there front and center. But I don't think I will be tuning in for the rest of Merewether's Lost Pharaoh Chronicle series.

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