Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
This is Connilyn Cossette’s first book…and I’d say she did very well! From the moment I began reading, I was swept into the Egyptian world, picturing vivid images from the author’s descriptions. Not knowing too-terrible-much about life in Egypt, I was intrigued and fascinated, and loved to read what it might’ve been like during the plagues for the Egyptians.
The first half is about Kiya’s life in slavery, the second about her decision to flee Egypt with the Hebrews. I liked how Connilyn got into Kiya’s life and showed the struggles that must’ve taken place, not only when the plagues hit, but when Kiya was stripped from her social status and lowered to a slave. The plagues were interesting to read about, offering a new depth. There were several times I just thought, “Wow!” It brought to life the ten plagues that swept through Egypt. Kiya’s struggle between her gods and Yahweh seemed pretty realistic to me.
Even when they were fleeing Egypt in the wilderness, I was still interested in reading the story. I do enjoy some romance, and this book had that too. Sometimes it seemed a little overdone, though. While some people thought the book was slow, I thought it was well-paced. As another reviewer put it, this book was thought-provoking.
There were only two things that I didn’t like about this book. The first thing was that sometimes it seemed a little…predictable. There were no major plot twists, and I had a pretty good idea of some things for a while before they were revealed. That being said, I still heartily enjoyed reading about Kiya’s story.
Second, it’s important that biblical fiction hold to what the Bible says. This book did that…for the most part. In fact, there were a few parts where I said to myself, That wasn’t in the Bible, only to look it up in Exodus for myself and find it, which really impressed me. However, when I read that the Red Sea completely froze into two walls of ice, and that God spoke directly to all the Israelites to give His commands, I cross-checked that as well. In the Bible, it says the walls were water, and that God spoke to Moses and then relayed what His commands were. In the book, the Lord’s voice overwhelmed the adults but the children could listen easily. At this point, I kind of checked out…this isn’t what I read in Bible, and was the book’s biggest disappointment.
This book was beautifully written with vivid imagery, compelling story and characters, even if at times a little predictable. Kiya’s journey seemed realistic and was engaging. She was a strong main character with real struggles to overcome. The side characters that accompanied her journey were likeable and amusing. For a debut book, Connilyn Cossette did a wonderful job, if only she would’ve completely held to what the Bible says.