Review: Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Posted April 26, 2017 by Lily B in Guest Post, Reviews / 31 Comments

Morning guys! I got Sophia on the blog today reviewing Historical Fiction. Gah, how I miss Historical Fiction. Honestly, after reading her review I’m really considering this one. Set in Egypt, it sounds fantastic!

Review: Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie ThorntonDaughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Stephanie Thornton
Series: Standalone
Published by NAL on May 6th 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 442
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 5 Stars
Heat:three-flames

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaohโ€™s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nileโ€™s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsutโ€™s games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course.
Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Horus Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thutโ€™s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.
Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall....
Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history.

Before I get into my review, I have to tattle on myself a little. Usually, I’m a blurb reader and that leads me to actually take up a book. But I was distracted, glanced at the cover- saw female ancient Egyptian and assumed. Yeah… I was prepared for Cleopatra and got a little surprise. Not Cleo, but Hatty. And this book suddenly became sooo much more interesting for me. Hatshepsut is one of my favorite historical figures. I was thrilled to death to read this one.

Alright, so this was Hatshepsut’s story from her early years as pharaoh’s daughter, to a pharaoh’s wife (yeah, they do that brothers marrying sisters thing to keep it all in the family), and then a regent before finally, she goes for the crown and becomes pharaoh. Exciting life to be sure.

I loved how the author went about this story. She doesn’t try to paint a romance or a tale of a woman’s story based on her male relationships. The author focused on Hatshepsut, her fiery temper, and her drive towards more. Yet, there are more facets in play here. There are a blend of public and domestic scenes, of points in this woman’s life where heartbreak touched her. She finds fulfillment in her achievements, but also as a mother and lover, and friend. There were so many wonderful layers to the story. Hatshepsut and the land of Egypt during the New Kingdom era came alive.

And even though this is a real life story, the author takes the facts and manages to slip in some extra intrigue at the court with a few very believable additions that could have really happened even if there are no records to show for it.

For those who follow Egyptian history closely, you’ll know that there is great speculation about Hatshepsut’s relationship with the boy she set aside until after she was gone and his later decision to remove her existence from Egyptian history. I actually take the author’s point of view so I was well pleased with how she wrote this part of the story.

All in all, this was a great colorful and engaging piece- historical fiction at its best, I thought. I would definitely recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction bios.

My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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http://nightowlbookcafe.com/2017/04/26/review-daughter-gods-stephanie-thornton/

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31 responses to “Review: Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

    • Sophia Rose

      It was, Kimberly. I like to read any story set in Egypt’s history, but I have never read a fictional one about Hatshepsut so this was golden for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophia Rose

      Thanks, Geybie. Historical Fiction is a great palette cleanser for me when I get too saturated with romance and need a change-up. Hope you get the chance.

  1. I read several books featuring Cleopatra and found them fascinating. I like that this one is differnt and that it is not Cleopatra but Hattie. I will have to consider this one.

    • Sophia Rose

      I’ve read a couple about Cleopatra and liked one, but not the other. There’s one about Cleopatra’s daughter that I’m itching to get my hands on. You’d probably enjoy this one, Heidi. Hatshepsut is an intriguing queen, too.

    • Sophia Rose

      I got lucky that’s for sure, Melissa. That will teach me to ignore blurbs. LOL It was a good one since I needed a break from my usual romances. I’ll have to pick up some others the author has written. I like her style.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yeah, it worked out well and I got lucky. I loved getting Hatshepsut’s story and it was a unique choice of Egyptian queen/Pharaoh rather than the more popular Cleopatra.

  2. I love that this book didn’t fully focus on the romance but Hattie’s development as a powerful woman as a whole. Also, I had to double back and read that part where they all had to keep it in the family. Ha ha.

    • Sophia Rose

      I agree, Joy. It was refreshing to have a historical fiction about a woman leader show her in her own right rather than focusing all the men in and out of her life. I just read one recently that did that and I was frustrated- if I wanted to read a romance, I would have picked up a romance. LOL

      Yeah, the Egyptians of the older times always had the Pharaoh’s first wife be his sister or nearest eligible female relation to keep factions from starting up and keep the power of the throne in the same family. It was a tad squicky for me, but it was the thing then and nobody batted an eye. The interesting part is that only the royals did it. For everyone else it was a no-no.

    • Sophia Rose

      Hey, Greek and Roman history and mythology are fascinating to me as well, Vanessa. It’s okay if Egypt isn’t your thing. But, if you do give this one a go, I hope you enjoy meeting Hatty. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophia Rose

      It was brilliant, Kristyn. A lot of the gods part can get confusing for newbies, but I think the author wrote in a way that there is plenty of enjoyment to be had regardless.

      Thanks!

    • Sophia Rose

      Oh man, Lily, the one time I don’t pay attention and I got a surprise when I started reading. LOL. It was all good because I loved getting Hatty’s story probably moreso than Cleo’s would have brought me.

  3. This sounds wonderful! I love that it stuck to the actual history, even with the extra intrigue the author added. I also really like that the story focuses on Hatshepsut and her life rather than her relationships. Really glad you enjoyed it! I’ll have to look into this one! Nice review ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it was neat meeting the ancient Egyptians where they lived instead of feeling the people or other things were modern with a gloss of history. And yes, seeing her as the central figure rather than sidelined so it was about her romances was refreshing, Michele. Hope you like it if you get the chance. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophia Rose

      Haha, yes, Naomi. I’m not usually a cover person, but I did that with this one. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got lucky and it was even better than its cover.

  4. I’m not well-versed in Egyptian history, but this does sound interesting and a bit icky at the same time. She married her brother?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophia Rose

      She writes in a way that some one new to the ancient Egyptian world or someone really into it can both take something away from the story.

      But yeah, the brother-sister marriages were a thing, Rachel. shiver away at that. LOL

    • Sophia Rose

      Yeah, the brother-sister marriage stuff and the God’s Wife stuff can get squicky if you stop to think about it, but mostly I was caught up in the past and it all was natural to Hatty’s story so it didn’t bug me much.

      Hope you get the chance for some His Fic, Felicia! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. It’s been a while since I’ve read an Egyptian setting but this seriously sounds amazing! And I love that the main character is so awesome! Glad this book blew you away! Fantastic review, Sophia Rose!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, its been a while since I read anything in Egypt so this was a breath of fresh air and Hatshepsut was a great historical figure to read about. Her life was so fascinating and colorful.

      Thanks, Cyn! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I would have assumed Cleopatra too! What an amazing woman Hatshepsut is! great review, espeically of the focus on the woman and not her romances.

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