The Oracle's Tale: Sekhmet & The Mines of Anubis - Review
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
By now, we should all know that I love Greek mythology. Lore by Alexandra Bracken is my top read of 2020 in my short tenure as a reviewer. But between Greek Mythology and Norse Mythology, we never really hear much about Egyptian Mythology. If Egyptian Mythology is ground zero for most storytelling in the ancient world, I've always wondered why there aren't that many stories to relay in the present. I picked up The Oracle's Tale: Sekhmet & the Mines of Anubis by E.Y. Laster because I thought this could be the beginning of a new cult genre for me. I love anything ancient Egyptian, and I wasn't disappointed with what was presented.
"Aiyah is the only daughter of the Master of Horse, one of a thousand servants of the Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt. In the world of the pharaoh, there is one chief rule: Only the Pharaoh and High Priests can communicate with the gods. All others who claim the honor are forced to prove it by any means necessary - or die trying. When Set, god of chaos, and Sekhmet, mistress of dread, summon Aiyah, they open a doorway that will force Aiyah to do their bidding, or risk the death of her family if she refuses or fails. Raised outside of the palace, Aiyah’s courage and wit quickly thrust her into a world full of royalty, secrets, murder, and plots. Will Aiyah be able to outwit the gods without anyone discovering her secret? Or will she die trying?"
The story jumps right in, telling a tale of a girl named Aiyah being "chosen" by the Gods Sekhmet and Set to retrieve a stone of the Pharaohs for their unknown bidding. We watch her navigate life as she climbs up the ranks honoring the Pharaoh while trying to protect her family, image, and those around her from the trickster Gods who threaten violence if their tasks aren't met.
I like these characters. They were very likable, Aiyah especially. Each played their role very well, with room for growth and improvement.
I also loved that the author did some research for this story. Though fictional, Laster uses real-life historical figures, such as Pharaoh Neferkare Shabaka, Prince Haremakhet, and Queen Qalhata. I mention it before in the Singer & the Scientist review: I love a book I can learn from. We don't hear much about the Kushite Pharaohs, but I'm glad Laster brought them to light.
Even though the story started off to a great start, it can use more development. The author could have used more world-building better to describe the surroundings or the characters' actions. In ways, it felt like I was dropped off in the middle of a continued story, even though this is the first book in the series. But I see the potential.
Overall I rated this book 3-stars. It is a quick, enjoyable read with room for improvement. Sekhmet and the Mines of Anubis is the first of the series, and book 2, Nemty & the Serpent's Den, is available now for continuation. I guess I will have to make room for new mythology on my bookshelves!
The Oracle's Tale: Sekhmet and the Mines of Anubis is available now.