A fine story to introduce readers to ancient Egypt.
First Published: 27th September 2013
Date Reviewed: 16th October 2013
Twelve-year-old Tiy went to the bank of the Nile with her parents to watch the Royal barge as it sailed past, but when her curiosity wasn’t sated by the far off sight, she ran further downriver for a better glimpse. Hot on her tail was a sandstorm. As the prince and his friends leave the barge to play, Tiy has a choice to make – use her knowledge to save them and potentially harm herself, or leave them to their fate. She chooses to save them and her act of selflessness will be rewarded in ways she would never have imagined.
Tiy And The Prince Of Egypt is a story to fill in a gap history forgot. In writing her tale, Dee has relied on the history she was able to find (this is suggested in the author note) and constructed a story for young readers from what was left out. The target audience means that the book is by nature quite simple, lacking in detail, and often convenient.
And that is the way it should be. For the older reader, who must be referred to as this reviewer is one, the book may prove an incredibly easy read, but it would be impossible not to say that Dee has written something that is likely to open up the world of ancient history to her young audience. From the features of the story, one couldn’t recommend this to young children unless they were advanced for their age, but for the slightly older reader the book should prove appealing.
Just as she did in The Last Witch, Dee doesn’t coddle her reader. The violence of history, such as punishment for treason, is included as it surely would have been in the day – discussed as simply as if it were a question of who wanted coffee, and carried out without further thought.
It is this, along with the romance in the book, that sets it up as an older child’s read. There is no sex in the book, but there are scenes that might invite questions. The romance is drawn out and full of all the hearts and flowers. The theme of love envelopes the entire story; the characters are seventeen by the end of the tale.
There is not all that much action in the book, a lot of the time is spent on Tiy’s thoughts and day to day life with Amenhotep, but what action there is is thrilling. And whilst Tiy can be foolish and unthinking, she is generally a strong person.
What brings the book down a few notches are the errors and uses of modern day language. Perhaps many readers will not notice the language, but the keen historian will. The errors are of course a bigger draw back here than they might have been otherwise due to the target audience.
Besides the errors, the book is a fine story that will delight any reader looking for boys, adventure, royal status and to be a little awed. It is as much a fantasy as a regular story as much of what happens would never happen in real life, but reality wouldn’t be as appealing.
Tiy And The Prince Of Egypt blends a good dose of history with fun fiction and the sort of fantasy you look for.
I received this book for review from Sage’s Blog Tours.
October 18, 2013, 5:00 pm
I love all things Ancient Egypt you’ve reminded me I really need to read more books set there!
November 1, 2013, 12:07 pm
Jessica: Here too. Aside from this, which I have to say I enjoyed very much children’s book or not, I’m looking at Adrian Goldsworthy’s Antony & Cleopatra. It’s non fiction but apparently very good.