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Shadow of the Sun (The Shadow Saga Book 1) (English Edition) Kindle Edition
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While the lives of the "major players" in the novel are engrossing, I found the presence of dwarves and their connection to the royals particularly fascinating, as was the use of the word Easting to describe giving birth - ("just as the sun is born each morning in the East, all new life emerges from the same direction").
Ms. Wycoff's love of her subject matter is evident in her writing and she has a definite gift for bringing her characters and her settings to life. The difference between SHADOW OF THE SUN and other books in this genre would be comparable to comparing a bottle of Mouton Rothschild to a bottle of Boone's Farm or 2 buck Chuck. If you like your historical fiction full of the mysticism that permeated ancient Egypt as well as vivid descriptions and emotion that jumps off the page then SHADOW OF THE SUN should be your book of choice
"Shadow of the Sun" is told from the viewpoint of Merit-Aten, eldest daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, who achieved consciousness before her own birth, marked from the moment of that birth as a figure central to the emergence of a radically new way of life and relationship with the world, visible and invisible. Merit-Aten is a commendable creation.
I found the novel almost literally impossible to put down, and raced through it from the first page to the last without a break. Wycoff demonstrates a laudable mastery of characters, settings, and atmosphere. Her characters are genuine individuals with their own quirks, personalities, limitations, and strengths, speaking in believable (and differentiated) dialogue. Physical details of settings and actions are supplied in abundant quantity to make the novel's various episodes remarkably vivid. This is no dry, philosophical tome, but rather an enthralling story whose central figure passes through not only thrilling and wrenching adventures but also through scarcely less challenging episodes of ordinary life. This is, after all, the tale of a small girl and her family, despite their positions of power and majesty.
Wycoff approaches her subject from decades of intense amateur interest (including the mystical aspects of Ancient Egypt) plus formal academic Egyptological training. Although I myself have no personal interest or belief in the supernatural or paranormal, I cannot emphasize too strongly that such are the author's skills in building her story and characters, I had no trouble whatsoever in suspending disbelief and, for purposes of reading and enjoying this novel, fully embracing the novel's depiction of mystic auras and black magic sorcerers. Merit-Aten's battles with the dark forces are riveting.
"Shadow of the Sun" leaves plenty of room for a sequel, and I truly hope that Merrie Wycoff writes that novel soon; I look forward eagerly to reading it.
I particularly liked the way Merit-Aten, the five-year old main character, sees the world. She is technically human, but there is something special and prophetic about her. She has a distinctively elongated head, and she sees people’s emotions as colorful auras. Merit-Aten wants, above all, to learn magic so that she can help people. I enjoyed reading her innocent perspective on the dark, sacrificial, and conspiring force that is the Amun Priesthood. The tribulations the royal family that she is a part of faced to overcome adversity were inspiring.
The events that occurred in the story were very colourful, however I did feel like an observer, mainly because Merit-Aten seemed to be an observer in the story. This is understandable because she was very young; however it did make me feel as if the story wasn’t progressing fast enough where it had significance to the main character. I also found that it wasn’t always clear by the punctuation and formatting who was speaking.
Overall, I thought the story was very enjoyable, and different, which I liked for I don’t always read stories like this. I felt the conclusion vindicated my criticism and seemed to shed light on most of the earlier events regarding Merit-Aten’s quest to learn magic and of her confronting her childhood fears. I recommend this book to any historical or fantasy reader. I’d suggest reading a sample immediately for I was quite taken with the depth of the character Merit-Aten!
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