Friday, January 7, 2011

Sphinx's Queen Review (Esther Friesner)

Warning: May contain spoilers.
Synopsis: Overnight, every aspect of Nefertiti's life has changed. She is no longer living at the royal palace as the intended bride of the crown prince. Instead, she is being chased by the prince and his soldiers for a crime she did not commit. Traveling with two of her dearest friends, including the crown prince's brother, who helped her escape, Nefertiti takes shelter in the wild hills along the Nile's west bank. She must rely on her own resourcefulness and skills (all those secret archery lessons prove very useful) as the fugitives fight to survive. But the need for justice gnaws at Nefertiti. She is determined to plead her case to the Pharaoh and set things right. As she begins to question long-held sacred beliefs - a questioning that could alter the fabric of Egyptian society - her extraordinary journey from commoner to royalty brings adventure, intrigue, and romance.

Review: If you have read my review for Sphinx's Princess - this book's prequel - then you know that I enjoyed it, and looked forward to a similar experience while reading its sequel - Sphinx's Queen. For the most part, I was not disappointed. The characters - Nefertiti especially - are vibrant and full of life. Some of the dialogue was too modern for my taste - especially for an Egyptian-based story, - but it didn't detract from the story too much.

However, while the majority of Sphinx's Queen is every bit as intriguing and suspenseful as Sphinx's Princess, I was pretty disappointed with the ending. I will try to write this without giving anything away, but if you fear spoilers, read no further. I hate - absolutely hate it when characters reconcile with enemies. When a person is out for your blood and does everything he/she possibly can to ensure your death, the likelihood of that person to have a change of heart due to kind treatment is not high. I am not saying that it doesn't ever happen, but it is a rare occurrence - and in the case of Nefertiti and the two who do everything they can to destroy her and Amenophis have been doing similar things like that to have so full a reconciliation as they do. They start out as a full-fledged blood-feud - with the two setting Nefertiti up so they can kill her - and end up the best of buddies. Nefertiti's worst enemies suffer a complete attitude and personality change. Sorry, but it doesn't work out that way, and when it does, no one wants a book to end like that.

So aside from the disappointing occurrence between Nefertiti and her enemies in the end, Sphinx's Queen is almost every bit as good as Sphinx's Princess, and if you are curious to see how things turn out (and if you have read Sphinx's Princess, I have little doubt that you are), you won't be too disappointed.

Star Rating: 4/5 (really liked it)

Others in This Series:
1)Sphinx's Princess
2)Sphinx's Queen

1 comment:

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