Review: Kiya by Katie Hamstead
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.
Kiya has fled to her home village to avoid assassination by Nefertiti and taken back her Hebrew name of Naomi. With her are her three children, including Tut, and her protector Malachi.
This book was amazing. I could not put it down! It captured my attention so well that I didn't even realize two hours had gone by and I was almost finished with the book. The story was so exciting and well written, especially with all the familiar Egyptian names. The romance was very intense.
Naomi is usually very conflicted about her feelings throughout the book. First she falls for Malachi but is still married to the Pharoh, Akhenaten. But later in her life, an old flame reappears in her life and Naomi must fight how she feels about Horemheb. He makes it known he will do anything to win her, no matter what. Naomi must decide to follow her heart or do what is right, all while avoiding assassination, raising the future king, and restoring honor to her name.
The romance is not the only exciting part to the story. Watching Tut grow up and take the throne is also exciting especially after spending his whole life in hiding from those who want to see him dead. He becomes the Pharoh at so young and yet when he speaks as king you wouldn't even know just how young he truly is, until he sees his mommy of course.
There are so many things happening that you will not be able to put the book down until you know what happens next. This is actually the second in a series but you do not need to read the first to understand what is going on. The author gives you the backstory rather quickly and tends to go through the details at many points throughout the book as the characters recall the memories of the first book.
On top of all the drama and romance, there is actually a lot of humor in the book that really makes it shine. When you have to put the book down due to laughing too hard, you have found a good book. I highly recommend Kiya: Mother of a King to anyone who loves romance and Egyptian historical characters, especially King Tut.