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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Ka by Mary Deal combines history, destiny, and the magic of ancient Egypt. Chione has always felt a connection to Egypt, through the culture her parents taught her and the recurring dreams that catch the attention of the founder of the Institute of Archaeology. She gets the chance of a lifetime when the founder believes her dreams will provide answers to the mysterious burial site, and launches an exploration of the Valley of Queens. With a close knit team that includes her ex-boyfriend Aaron, Chione discovers chilling secrets and spells that seem to be tied to a tragic story of the priestess Tauret and King Tut. When one of their own is found dead in a strange position, Chione sees visions of blood and knows this is just the beginning. As her visions become more and more real, she's drawn further into the past and deeper into her destiny.
As Chione is compelled to learn more about Tauret's life, her visions become so alive and involved that the priestess feels like a living presence. Tauret is a primary character, mainly through Chione and other characters tied to her, that causes a chain reaction of events to happen. Each character has a part to play, not just Chione and Aaron, and all seem to have a tie to Tauret in some way. With the group being small there's a lot of time to get to know each one and their relationship with Chione. Randy is one of the characters that stands out most. He's introduced as a simple antagonist toward her, but over time his character grows and develops more layers than the first impression of him.
Mary Deal's style is stunning, and has a story that's emotional and layered. A large part of the story is tied to fertility through Tauret's role as goddess of pregnant women, her own pregnancy, and Chione's inability to conceive. The love story is a key part, romantic and emotional, as Aaron and Chione's relationship is a mirror to that of Tauret and Tut. History is brought to life in this stunning journey through the past. The Ka is breathtaking, finding the beauty and tragedy of the past, and the mysteries and magic of ancient Egypt.