REVIEW: Warrior of the Nile (The Gods of Egypt Book 2) by Veronica Scott
Egypt, 1500 BC
Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.
Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.
Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?
Dear Ms. Scott,
My last venture into your (slightly) alternate ancient Egypt, “Ghost of the Nile,” was so much fun that I picked this part of the series to try next. A little research on Nephthys reveals another Egyptian goddess no one wanted to tangle with but who had her uses during your (hopeful) transition to the afterlife. That is if you can keep your ka from being sacrificed in the cause.
In the first book, the hero has no idea what was going to be required of him but here Khenet knows exactly what his Pharaoh, his adopted brother, is asking of him. To take a young woman to her possible death and to almost assuredly give his own hope of dwelling in the afterlife, something almost beyond horrible to an Egyptian, while doing so. Thinking Tiya just another pampered Court lady, against his will Khenet is impressed when she steps forward and offers herself on a mission for the goddess to whom her family is bound, even without knowing what will be expected of her. When she does find out, he’s not surprised it takes an iron will to keep herself from collapsing.
The Egyptian gods of this series are not token “deities” the human characters pay mere lip service to. They are active characters, concerned with the care and continuance of the country and people who believe and sacrifice to them if only for their own good. The humans? Useful to the gods to worship them but when all is said and done just pawns to get a job done. Still they’re better than the demons Tiya and Khenet are sent to help keep from taking over Egypt. Yes, it’s another madman out for power who seeks to harness the dark side to his cause.
While Khenet is willing to take (the big) One for Team Egypt and his pharaoh, he’s not above using his intelligence and cunning to avoid death if he can as long as Egypt is in the clear when the dust settles. Tiya has less say in the matter as the descendent of an silly man who once lay with Nephthys. You’d think that would lead the goddess to treat Tiya with some consideration but remember the Great Ones are all about themselves and don’t mess with them.
During their Nile voyage to their destiny, we get treated to every day life in the era when the phrase “out of a hippo’s mouth and into the crocodile’s teeth” might come true if you had to try and free a boat from a sandbar. Tiya and Khenet begin to learn a bit more about each other but by the time they reach their “if we only have one chance lets make the most of it” night of love, their feelings have flipped quickly back and forth a few times.
Then comes the moment of truth confrontation when, literally, all hell beaks loose and it’s down to the wire to see if our intrepid duo, with a little help from Khenet’s ancestry, can save the day. Nephthys might not be totally satisfied but enough of the Great Ones are and Khenet offers a clever enough solution that it all ends on a positive. Except for the fact that my kitties are still waiting for Bastet, or badasses Sekhmet or Mafdet, to make an appearance. B-