Saturday, 1 October 2016

Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette

Back Cover: Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever know swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

Review: What an impactful debut novel! Connilyn Cossette has trumpeted her arrival to the line up "must read authors" with a decisive and gorgeously written first novel. I was very impressed with Counted With The Stars, and my only disappointment was that it had to end. Since finishing this book a week ago I have had a hard time not going back to re-read it.

I am, undeniably, a huge fan of Biblical fiction. What I really liked about Connilyn Cossette's interpretation of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt was the Biblical accuracy and her truthfulness in staying with the time and culture of her setting. To be honest, this Bible story has never come to life for me more than during this last week when I read this novel. In the past when I've read this Biblical account of the exodus I read over the plagues with a grimace and continued on reading - I never really stopped to think what it would have been like to actually live through those plagues. Thanks to this novel, I was immersed in the terrifying reality of what it would have been like for an unknowing Egyptian to be at the mercy of Yahweh's punishment upon pharaoh. There would have been so many Egyptians who had no clue as to what was happening and why; this novel really showed the terror of the unknown God of the Hebrews and the pain and suffering that would have resulted from the onslaught of the plagues.

In addition to loving the re-telling of the Bible story, I also really enjoyed the fictional character of Kiya. Her story, interwoven into the Bible story, is a riveting one. The tragic twists in her life and the dramatic fall from being a wealthy nobleman's daughter to a slave makes for incredibly good reading. I loved her as a character and felt that hers were the perfect eyes to see the story through.

I would definitely recommend this book and am looking forward to the second book in this series when it is released, "Shadow of the Storm".

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications Inc and Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of "Counted with the Stars" in exchange for my honest opinion.

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