Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the bold decision that changed the course of history.
Princess Hagar has always known her destiny in the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty. One day, she will marry Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar when she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. She suspects Sarai has brought black magic into the palace, but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?
The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance. Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befall Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—position, power, family, and even her life.
Torn between the silent gods of Egypt and the powerful presence that surrounds Sarai, Hagar’s world falls apart around her. She must acknowledge the terrible price of truth and decide for herself who she will serve.
My thoughts: This book wound up being an interesting read that put Hagar in a light I hadn't seen her in before. I thought that the author did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life, as well as showing the reader that Hagar could have been more than just a slave girl. While I don't totally see that fitting her story, I did think that this book was well written. It is a little bit vulgar at times, with how the Egyptians viewed women, but I think that was fitting for the time period. I love how the author painted Sarai as not only a beautiful woman, but as a woman whose natural beauty was amplified by having God's light in her countenance. I look forward to reading the next book in this series!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
KD HOLMBERG is a retired flight attendant who turned an empty nest into a workshop for creating stories around remarkable women. She and her husband live in the foothills of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and love to travel and golf. They also run a girl gang of seven granddaughters, courtesy of their five adult children, and have one male grandchild that the author can safely declare as her favorite grandson.
About the Narrator
Born in the United Kingdom, LILLIAN RACHEL grew up in East Anglia and moved north to Durham before marrying her US military man and Atlantic hopping between Europe and North America.
She’s now settled in the Washington D.C. area, where she is an award winning narrator from her personal home studio.
There’s not much she loves more than telling your story in the most engaging way. Sophisticated or sassy, with a range of accents and character personas, she brings your words to life and draws your listeners in.
More from KD Holmberg
Novel Inspiration and Tiger Nut Sweets
Who was Hagar?
That thought occurred to me during a Bible study in Genesis, which revealed:
- God met with Hagar twice.
- He called her by name.
- She was the first to give Him a name, El Roi
- She received the same promise as Abraham to become a great nation.
I was aware of Hagar’s general gist of her love triangle with Sarah and Abraham that produced Ishmael and how mother and son were sent into the desert to die. But her name niggled at me because she didn’t die. She survived and thrived as a single mother in the ultimate man’s world. How could a throwaway, uneducated handmaid accomplish such a feat?
The Hebrew and Arab traditions of Hagar gave me insight into that question. They teach that she was the daughter of the pharaoh who seized Sarah in Genesis 12. This quote from Amenhotep III made me even more curious, ‘from old, the daughter of an Egyptian king has not been given in marriage to anyone.’ A practice that prevented foreigners from having a claim on the Egyptian throne.
So how did a princess of Egypt end up in the tribe of Abraham?
I researched what life looked like for a princess in ancient Egypt. I discovered Pharaohs educated their daughters along with their sons. They learned reading, writing, medicine, politics, religion, and mathematics. An education and growing up in the luxury and privilege of the most sophisticated culture on earth rounded out my view of Hagar. It also reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (NKJV) God had gone before this remarkable woman and prepared her with the tools she would need to exist and endure.
The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar is fiction, but the historical details in my world-building are as accurate as possible. I created an ancient Egyptian harem and placed Sarah and Hagar together. I added plagues and other information from Hebrew history and imagined a twist-and-turned, life and death scenario where a princess of Egypt ended up in the first Hebrew tribe.
Book two in The Women of Valor series, More Than a Handmaid—which releases March 22. 2023 —picks up where this one leaves off. We follow Hagar as she navigates life as a handmaid and steps into the world alone, holding firm to her faith and hope in the Lord.
Tiger Nut Sweets
Tiger Nut Sweets are a favorite treat of one of my supporting characters. Foodies out there; this is one of the oldest recipes in the world and was found on a piece of ancient Egyptian pottery dating to 1600 BC. The tuberous root of the yellow nutsedge (also known as tiger nut) was used in the original recipe.
1 cup pitted fresh dates
Splash of water
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
Grind the dates with a splash of water to form a rough paste. Use a food processor. The Ancient Egyptians would have used one if they had it!
Place the honey and almond meal in a shallow bowl.
- Transfer the date paste to a bowl and add cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands and roll into small bowls.
- Mix honey and ground almonds in another bowl.
- Coat balls in honey and almond mixture and serve. I like to coat in honey first and roll in the almond mixture. Enjoy!
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2
Texas Book-aholic, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Connie’s History Classroom, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5
Inklings and notions, June 6
deb’s Book Review, June 7
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 10
For Him and My Family, June 11
Pause for Tales, June 12
Artistic Nobody, June 13 (Author Interview)
Books I’ve Read, June 13
Through the Fire Blogs, June 14
For the Love of Books, June 15
To celebrate her tour, KD is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and an audiobook!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.