Book Review: Khu

Khu: A Tale of Ancient EgyptKhu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story of Khu follows a boy with mysterious golden eyes as he helps his father, Pharoah Mentuhotep, fulfill the prophecy of Neferti unify upper and lower Egypt somewhere around 2020 B.C. The story is based on actual events of the rise of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, although Khu is a fictional character. The fictional part of the story introduces the orphan, Khu, as he is saved in Moses-like fashion by one of Mentuhotep’s wives, and becomes the adopted son of the Pharoah. His golden eyes reveal the sixth sense that he has always possessed and is utilized extensively by his father to rule well.

The language used was very descriptive - almost to the point of flowery - and really helped the reader engage his/her senses of ancient Egypt. I loved the use of real history, even though the story was woven around fictional characters. I especially appreciated the historical information and pictures at the end that detailed what was actual history and what wasn’t, making this book much more meaningful, as it helped bring context to the story. I also loved the adoption story and how it was treated respectfully by Khu’s adoptive mother, and even while the story of the big battle incorporated Khu’s personal vengeance for the tragedy that took his family, his father understood and allowed him to do what he needed to do. As someone who works in adoption it is nice to see both a positive story while still dealing with the grief and loss aspect that should never be overlooked.

While overall I enjoyed the book, the cover seemed a bit generic. Some plot points were somewhat dismissed, such as the potential rivalry between Khu and the heir to the throne, by a simple change of heart, which seems a tad shallow and unrealistic. But other than a few random points this was a very engaging book and quick read.


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