Friday, October 11, 2013

Daughter of the God-King by Anne Cleeland - Regency series #2

Genres: Historical romance, thriller, mystery 
Formats: Paperback(368 pages), Kindle(368 pages) Nook
ISBN: 140227985X (ISBN13: 9781402279850) seriesRegency #2
Edition language: English
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication date: 2013 November, 5th
Purchase links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Miss Hattie Blackhouse has never been close to her parents...and no wonder, since the Blackhouses are renowned scholars who spend most of their time excavating ancient tombs in Egypt. But news of their disappearance forces Hattie to leave England and embark on a voyage that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her past. An encrypted senet board and a gold medallion lead Hattie on a perilous quest to track down her missing parents—and discover why people associated with the Blackhouses continue to turn up dead. What she uncovers is a secret that could alter the course of history...

Hathor Blackouse, also called Hattie, was the daughter of two famous archaeologists. She lived a quiet life in Cornwell, England, well taken-care of, well-loved by her governesses, Miss Swansea, and had a best friend Robbie. The Blackhouse-couple were always somewhere in Egypt on a dig, being away for months on end. She did not see them often.

Being a fiery filly, passionately outspoken, and not afraid of anything, Hattie concocted a plan to marry Robbie, but it did not work at all. In fact, she was left without a governess, who got married instead of her! It lead to the appointment of a new one, although Hattie was well beyond the age of needing one. But her parents were busy people. They did not even notice, or so Hattie thought. 

Bing became her next companion. One, who would eventually climb wisteria vines with her, teach her how to shoot and generally became much more than just an employee of the family. But before that would happen, Robbie embarked on more important matters to Europe. Hattie needed a plan B.

Napoleon The Great had just been defeated and banned to the island of Malta. The Congress of Vienna was held (1815) to re-establish the boundaries and political morphology of Europe after the mighty Napoleon's crusades. Egypt's Valley of the Kings became a hotbed of greed, of fame and lost fortune, of history and its damnations. European philanthropists, supported by wealthy sponsors, were looting the graves of the kings, amid a dangerous resentment smoldering in the Egyptian psyche. France and England were the forerunners, often than not resorting to murder and mayhem to score the most from the findings. Napoleon planned an escape. There were traitors and bandits among the high and the mighty. It became almost impossible to trust anyone. 

In her pursuit to marry Robbie, the adventure-loving, risk-taking Hattie and her fellow partner in these pursuits, Bing, left for Paris in the hope of finding Robbie. Thus began a journey that would lead to a lot more than discovering her parents missing and everyone around them barely civil about the issue. There were secrets scattered everywhere she went, obscuring her path to finding her parents and the truth. 

Hattie's entire life, and who she thought she was, would be shakin and rocked to its very core. She would soon learn that she was regarded as the daughter of the god-king, for some a reincarnation of Seti I's daughter, and named after the Goddess of Fertility. Her parents were archaeologists after all. 

But her arrival in Egypt, in search of her parents, would stir hills of angry ants and would become an adventure she would hardly survive if it wasn't for her temper, resilience and her companion Bing. It did serve a purpose to hold a priest at gunpoint, forcing him to conduct a secret ceremony, as well!

But Hattie would also learn the truth in Bing's words, ' we each make our own way; one's heritage matter not next to one's legacy'.

Daughter of the God-King is a historical romance which I would rather classify as a historical romantic adventure, if it was possible. Never a dull moment, and a surprising twist lies hidden behind the meaning of the 'god-king' in an excellent constructed tale. As a historical romance it works one hundred percent. All the elements are present to make it much more than just a love story. It becomes a murder mystery, a drama, a 'what-if'- fantasy par excellence. It is a feel-good masterpiece.

Reviewed for The Kindle Book Review Team

Anne Cleeland holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a degree in law from Pepperdine University, and is a member of the California State Bar.
She writes a historical fiction series set in the Regency period as well as a contemporary mystery series set in New Scotland Yard. A member of the Historical Novel Society and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children.

She grew up on Balboa Island, in sunny California but said she always dreamed of cool, mysterious England. She admits being  a passionate Anglophile with Irish forefathers.

"I've been writing for a living for a long time [as an attorney], but I always wrote, no adverbs or adjectives, very dry. So I guess there was a creative writer dying to get out.

There are two ways people write. There are plotters who plot everything before they put a word to the page. Then there are seat-of-the-pants writers where you just sort of go and that's me. I just start writing scenes and sometimes they're out of order. I write the first draft and there's a lot of loose ends where the plot can go and then once I sort of muddle my way through and I know what the storyline is I go back to the beginning and I pump up the parts that are the real story and I leave out the parts that turn out to not be important to the story. That's the only way I can do it. About 80 percent of the time I have no idea what's going to happen in the next chapter."

Information / ocregister


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