Silence in the Stone

The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles, Book IV

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
354 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2020
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Author Biography

Howdy! My name is Lauren. I have earned the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Historical Fiction Finalist medal and a nomination for the Montaigne Medal. I love watching the History channel, the Science channel, etc. because I love to see what new finds the world of archaeology has come across in their digs and the new theories that emerge. The recent consolidation of King Tut's treasures sparked the idea for The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles series and led to countless hours of detailed research to write these books. Salvation in the Sun (Book One), Secrets in the Sand (Book Two) and Scarab in the Storm (Book Three) were a success. Now onward to the final tale, Silence in the Stone (Book Four). I can't wait for you to experience the history I have put into this series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Silence in the Stone by Lauren Lee Merewether is the fourth and final book in the historical fiction ancient Egyptian series The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles, preceded by book one, Salvation in the Sun, book two, Secrets in the Sand, and book three, Scarab in the Storm. The series brings to life the multi-generational evolution of Egypt's royal succession, a resurrection of Pharaohs whose stories have been blotted out. This last installment opens in the aftermath of death and a continued power struggle for the future. Nefertiti is dead. The former Commander and current Pharaoh Horemheb sits on the throne with his queen Mutnedjmet “Mut” begrudgingly by his side. He is the last to reign in Egypt's18th Dynasty. At the urging of the priesthood of Amun, Horemheb recites the oral history of his rise, revealing the story of his predecessor and father-in-law, Pharaoh Ay, and granddaughter Ankhesenamunas—the last act before damnatio memoriae: a scrubbing of all accounts of the Amarna Period.

Silence in the Stone is a wonderful re-imagining of the names lost to history, and Lauren Lee Merewether is dedicated in the depictions and narrative, making the landscape as comfortable to visualize as possible. While the plot is firmly set in court intrigue and a never-ending, almost desperate series of power grabs, it is the romance and struggles of those caught in a snare that humanizes the story and makes the characters relatable. I did find some of the conversations and ideas lapsed into a more contemporary colloquy, but these are easy to forgive as they are balanced with the authentic accounting of the price women were forced to pay as pawns in the marriage market and manipulation through dishonesty and abuse. Hatshepsut and Nefertiti persevered to the highest rank only to have their names and images destroyed. The memory of Nefertiti is prominent in Silence in the Stone where reminders of her continue to haunt and inspire Horemheb, her sister Mut, and her daughter Ankhesenamunas. Merewether is a master of detail and a true storyteller, the likes of which I haven't read in the genre since an initiation to Michelle Moran and L.M. Ironside. Very, very highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Silence in the Stone is the fourth book in The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles by Lauren Lee Merewether. The stories of pharaohs continue and this time the author takes us into the life of Pharaoh Horemheb, the last of 18th Dynasty of Egypt. Horemheb is now a king and he is set to rule Egypt with Mut as his wife. While he is finally where he wanted to be, Horemheb is trying to love his wife. He wants to forget Nefertiti, but she still has a strong hold on his heart. However, he is loyal to his wife and will remain so, even if Mut doesn’t believe it. However, his relationship issues will have to wait as he has to focus on retaining power as the pharaoh and uniting his people who seem to have lost faith in the Amun priests. His job should be easy, but it isn’t. Horemheb will have to fight for his people and his marriage if he wants to succeed.

As always, Silence in the Stone is a stunning piece that left me speechless. Author Lauren Lee Merewether is a master storyteller, she weaves magic with her words and makes sure her readers are hooked from the get-go. This whole series has been special, thanks to the intricate plots, rich details, and accurate depictions of the ancient Egyptian culture. I found this novel to be the most interesting and entertaining, maybe because I have researched a lot about Horemheb and his efforts to reverse Akhenaten’s enforced religion. The suspense is alive in this book. You can feel the tension rising and the breaking point approaching. The action never stopped, the pace never slowed and the story flowed seamlessly until the end. This is yet another masterpiece by Lauren Lee Merewether!

K.C. Finn

Silence in the Stone is a work of fiction in the historical and drama sub-genres and was penned by author Lauren Lee Merewether. Written as the fourth book in The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles series, this atmospheric and engaging work is recommended for more mature readers owing to scenes of violence, trauma, and death in gritty, realistic historical circumstances. We return to the kingdom with Pharaoh Horemheb crowned and beside his queen, but all is not well and there are unrest and mistrust amongst the people. As the Pharaoh struggles to maintain order and control, his own inner emotional turmoil puts further pressure on his everyday life.

Author Lauren Lee Merewether has crafted a deep and involved drama that takes us through many of the social, cultural, and political intrigues of ancient Egypt, both educating and entertaining us chapter by chapter. I really enjoyed the way that the story is told on two levels for the Pharaoh who must handle his twin role as a leader in a difficult time when his very position is in question, but also a man dealing with enormous guilt and trying to be present for his queen amid such emotive struggles. The historical details bring us into a fully cinematic world with the author’s great use of description, so when this is combined with the close narrative and emotive arc, it results in a fully realized reading experience. Overall, I would certainly recommend Silence in the Stone to all readers of historical fiction looking for their next immersive adventure.