When Naomi’s sisters are snatched up to be taken to be wives of the erratic Pharaoh, Akhenaten, she knows they won’t survive the palace, so she offers herself in their place. The fearsome Commander Horemheb sees her courage, and knows she is exactly what he is looking for…
The Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi instantly, and strips her of her Hebrew lineage, including her name, which is changed to Kiya. Kiya allies herself with Horemheb, who pushes her to greatness and encourages her to make the Pharaoh fall in love with her. When Akhenaten declares Kiya will be the mother of his heir, Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Kiya.
Kiya must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. If she does bear an heir, she knows she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Katie Hamstead was looking for book bloggers to participate in her blog tour for Kiya. While looking into the book a little more I discovered that it was a new adult novel that takes place in Ancient Egypt and had to see if I could participate.
Overall Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh was a great read and it was much different than any other NA book that I have read in the past. Most of the NA that I have been exposed to is contemporary romance (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I was excited to see a historical fiction New Adult novel. Kiya did have some elements of romance, but I loved that there was so much more than a love or lust story here.
As a character Kiya was both brave and strong. She was smart, compassionate, and she never lost sight of what she thought was important: better treatment of the Pharaoh’s wives, her family and her faith. She had a good head on her shoulders and understood the cunning ways of those around her.
The other characters that Katie Hamstead has created are equally as developed and help to add many layers to the story. Mordad provided much comic relief throughout the story as the wise-cracking woman who didn’t take crap from anyone. Nefertiti was the evil queen who I loved to hate. I celebrated Kiya’s victories over Nefertiti, both small and large.
While I did enjoy reading Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, there were a few things that I didn’t quite like. For example, in the beginning Kiya volunteers to go with the Egyptians to marry the Pharaoh, in order to spare her younger sisters the experience. While this is a very noble thing to do, I couldn’t help but have thoughts of The Hunger Games while reading . A second issue I had with the novel is that sometimes the passage of time was not clearly noted in the text. Sometimes time passed within a chapter, which had me taken aback at first until I realized what had happened. I didn’t notice this while reading the novel until closer to the end, which I think it is why I was slightly confused by this change in writing style.
Overall, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh was a much different New Adult read than I am accustomed to. It took place in a beautiful historic setting with just enough imagery and description that I could picture everything in my head. I loved the characters and wanted to see what would happen to them throughout the course of the novel.