Title: Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh written by Katie Hamstead
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Published by Curiosity Quills Press
Page count: 250
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #31
When the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten receives a message from Aten that a Hebrew woman will bear him a son to be heir to his throne, he sends his most trusted commander to Thebes in search of the perfect Hebrew woman. When it looks like one of her younger sisters are favored by the guards, headstrong and educated Naomi offers herself in place of her sister convincing the guards that she is the better choice for the Pharaoh.
When she reaches Amarna, the seat of the Pharaoah’s home, Naomi is stripped of her Hebrew and is renamed as Kiya, Queen of Egypt. With her wit, loving heart, and strength she easily becomes one of the Pharaoh’s most beloved and treasured wives much to the dismay and jealousy of his first wife Nefertiti. As Kiya becomes closer to the Pharaoah and beloved of almost everyone, Nefertiti will stop at nothing to thwart Kiya’s reputation with their husband and the plans for her to produce the heir. Soon Kiya finds herself not only struggling to preserve her life against Nefertiti’s endless scheming and threats but also to be true to her husband when she finds herself falling in love with a Hebrew guard, and preserve her identity as Naomi, the Hebrew princess whose faith in the one God endures.
I received Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely loved his book. I always find pieces of historical fiction really interesting and this book was nothing short of EXTREMELY interesting. I’ve always been hugely fascinated by anything having to do with Ancient Egypt so you can imagine my excitement about the opportunity to read this book!
I adored Kiya as a character. I feel like the author made me fall in love with her from the very beginning of the story. We experience the story in the first person so it was easy to feel like I was experiencing the story through Kiya’s eyes so of course I felt fear when she felt it, I felt joy when she felt it and my stomach knotted when something terrible happened to her. It was really easy to be really invested in this story. That made it really hard to put this book down, that and the fact that the story itself is written really well.
There is a lot of intrigue and drama throughout the book…things that Kiya (Naomi) struggles with daily. I find her inner struggles to be the most interesting topics throughout the story. It’s interesting to see her struggle to keep in touch with Naomi when everything in her environment pressures her to be Kiya, the Queen, the intended mother of the heir. It was interesting to see her struggle with staying true to her faith and her culture which she amazingly manages to do despite all the things that are stacked against her. She is such a strong and inspiring character.
I truly felt for her in regards to the budding romance we see between her and the guard Malachai. Although I won’t say too much on this because I don’t want to give anything away about specific things that happen in the book, my heart just burst because of their situation and the tenderness you can tell is between them. It gives you hope for her future but you can tell that future is still a very long way off if it ever comes at all.
I really liked seeing her journey as a character. The Naomi we meet at the beginning of the story seemed like a child to me, which judging from the time period she sort of was even though it mentions that she is older than usual marrying age…which I would imagine to be pretty young at the time. The Naomi we see at the end of the story stands in stark contrast to the Naomi we were introduced to…she of course has borne children but she is also wiser, stronger and has known more heartache.
The story sort of ends with a cliffhanger that makes me think that this is going to be a series…I actually skipped on over to the writer’s blog in order to see if I could find any details on that and yes!!! This is going to be a trilogy and the next book is going to be coming out in October. How excited am I for a second book in this series? Super excited, can’t wait! I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of this story and more from this author!
If you are a fan of historical fiction or just young adult novels in general I would heartily recommend reading this book! It is a fantastic read and you won’t be able to put it down! I think it’s a light read in the fact that it goes by so fast because you won’t want to stop reading once you start!