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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Salvation in the Sun: Book One of The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles is a historical fiction novel by Lauren Merewether. The story is set in the religiously and politically turbulent, though artistically unique, Amarna period of ancient Egypt. It tells the story of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten and Nefertiti, his iconic chief wife, queen, and eventually co-pharaoh, from her birth until the end of his reign. Nefertiti faces difficult challenges, both as a wife and a queen, as her husband proves increasingly incapable of ruling, culminating in the failing economic, political, and military strength of Egypt. As the people rebel against the overturning of their ancient Egyptian religion and threaten the throne, Nefertiti faces a terrible choice. Merewether also provides an Afterword in which she discusses historical aspects of this period, which was for a time erased from the annals of Egyptian history.
If you’re a fan of all things ancient Egyptian, from Nefertiti’s bust to King Tut’s tomb, this book is for you. Second to Cleopatra, Nefertiti is the most recognized queen of ancient Egypt. In Salvation in the Sun, Merewether provides a very believable construction of the family relationships and the political and religious happenings during Nefertiti’s childhood, her marriage as a teenager, and the many years she sat beside her husband, and at times in place of him, on the throne of a very large and powerful empire. Nefertiti’s inner emotional lens shapes the focus of the story and provides the predominant tone. Although the narrative started out slow for me, it quickly picked up its pace and proved engaging and suspenseful until the very end.