A Timeless Intrigue in Ancient Egypt

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Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw centers upon a rebellious Egyptian slave girl.  Mara wishes for nothing more than freedom and money, and when an opportunity to earn

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw centers upon a rebellious Egyptian slave girl.  Mara wishes for nothing more than freedom and money, and when an opportunity to earn both presents itself with a stone-faced new master, she eagerly takes it.  As her new master warns her, her task is dangerous, and if anything should go wrong, she will die instantly.
 

Mara is to act as interpreter for a Canaanite princess in order to spy on the Prince Thutmose.  Soon, however, she meets Sheftu, a young man who wishes for her to spy upon the Pharaoh, Hatshepsut.  In no time, she finds herself playing both sides of this perilous game of politics.
She finds palace life luxurious and wonderful, as she continues to use both sides to her benefit.  But as she does so, she finds herself falling in love with Sheftu, the charismatic young courtier.
 

Although this book is fictional, it's eloquent wording also shows much about ancient Egypt.  The myths that served as religion in this era are masterfully woven into an artful story of intrigue and adventure.  Daily Egyptian life is also shown, as well as palace life.  Real historical characters such as Thutmose III and Hatshepsut play major parts in the plot alongside entirely fictional ones.
 

Written in 1953, this masterpiece transports you to a world that no longer exists.  It lets you hear the “metallic” voice of the queen ring out as clearly as if she were next to you; it lets you see the lion-like Thutmose pacing in his “cage,” longing to be free.
 

Too often, a marvelous book has an immensely unsatisfying ending.  This is not among those books.  This was brought to a spectacular close that left just enough room for imagination and yet brought everything together smoothly.
 

This was a beautiful book, and a must-read for anyone that wishes to feel as though they are a part of another world.  This book does, however, have a very intense plot, and for that reason it is good reading material for 6th grade and up.