I received this book as a gift from the author though a blog post competition. And i will say that I probably wouldn't have read it if I hadn't been given it.
that being said here are my thoughts on the book.
1. Katie Hamstead is a great author. I can't believe this is her first book. Seriously people who read YA be watching this chick she has talent. I was really blown away by how well the story was crafted. the word usage, characterization, plot all revel someone who to the time to make sure it was right. Katie I laud your craftsmanship! you are awesome!
2. This book does exactly what a historical fiction should do, inspire someone about a historical period. I devoured Historical fiction growing up, the civil war, the revolutionary war, world war 2, the Tutors anything i could get my hands on I read. it is no surprise that my goal was to go get my phd in church history and then teach and write about it. but I can totally see giving this book to some teenage girl and then latter watching that same girl begin researching Egyptian history for herself.
3. Now sadly I must revel my one criticism of the book. I don't really worry too much about historical accuracy in a good historical fiction. (even though my favorites include their bibliography and a little bit about the actual events.) In a historical fiction the facts serve the story more then anything else. but there was one thing that was like a record scratch in the whole thing. It was the portrayal of the Hebrew people. there were really only two things but they were kind of plot critical.
One was the dietary laws. The dietary laws don't really exist before the Mosaic Law. it is a fundamental part of Modern Judaism, and of biblical Judaism, but when we look at the patriarchs we don't see anything about any kind of dietary restrictions.
the second is the practice of Sabbath. now thanks mostly to the christian reinterpretations of of Sabbath a lot of people get the wrong idea of how Sabbath is celebrated. If I understand correctly Sabbath is the day of rest, no work and no travel on these days. the religious services (Which I don't believe really started up until the synagogue showed up during the Babylonian captivity after the Temple of Solomon was destroyed) take place on friday night, not saturday. The Christian reinterpretation (by either the puritan or the reformers in general) is that the holy day of god is the day they go to church. So first Naomi would have no problem participating in Sabbath because it would be a day of rest not a day where she needed to find a 'synagogue' to worship at. The other thing is once again we are dealing with a practice which is also part of the mosaic law. The understanding that they should have a day of rest does not show up in the religious life of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.
now I hate to really talk to much about these things because it really is the only criticism that I have, and on the one hand it's not a big deal, other other though it will probably keep me from reading the rest of this series.
On the whole I still give it 3 stars and a B+.