First, thanks to Delacorte Press and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an egalley of this. It is my first experience with this author, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found another favorite author. I’ve seen people just gush over her Tiger saga, but I’ve just not ever really thought I’d want to pick it up and read. However, after loving this book, I’ll be checking into that other series as soon as I get a chance. What drew me about this book, besides the beautiful cover, was the Egyptian storyline. As many people are, I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt and the pyramids, etc. This story has so much great Egyptian history and mythology mixed with wonderfully written characters all rolled together in a can’t-put-it-down story.
The main character is Lilliana, who goes by Lily. She lives in New York City, with her wealthy parents in a fancy hotel, not too far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The story starts one day during spring break when Lily plans to spend her day figuring out what college she is going to attend next year. The museum is a place she likes to go and sit, and it helps her to think. It helps that her parents are big donors, because the guards know her, and even let her go into a section that is under construction and off limits, when she asks for a more private place to sit and think. That’s how she ends up in the Egyptian art area. While she’s sitting and thinking, she hears a noise in the area that is partitioned off with plastic curtains. And out of the area comes a young man dressed like an ancient Egyptian, he’s naked except for the pleated white skirt you see in the drawings, and bald, and speaks in a language that she can’t understand at first. He chants some words, and all of a sudden she can understand him and he is speaking in English. She learns from him that he is an Egyptian prince that has just woken up after 1000 years of being a mummy, and he has risen to fight an evil ancient god, Seth.
He doesn’t know how he was found and brought to NYC, as his tomb was hidden. And the worst part is that his canopic jars that contain his organs from when he was mummified were not brought with him. He needs those to regain his full power, and without them, he ends up having to cast another spell, so that he can share energy with someone living, and that someone who is close enough at the right time for him is Lily. So now she must stay with him to help him get back to his tomb and raise his two brothers, so that together they can get rid of the ancient, evil god.
So soon they are taking off for Egypt. And it turns out there is another plot to help the evil god, which will make the ceremony a little harder, as well as finding and raising his brothers. The more that this sun prince, Amon, must take power from Lily, the harder it will be to keep her alive and healthy. And she will develop feelings for him, and he does seem to feel the same for her, but he takes his sacrifice for the people seriously, and won’t give in. At least not in this life.
I don’t think I can gush about how much I loved this story. I loved all the Egyptian stories and bits that were such a big part of the story. And for the most part I loved the characters and all the different locations it took place in. I did have a few minor gripes. First, we all know about the big “absentee” parents in YA stories. In this case I feel like it was almost ignored. How did Lily not have any calls from her parents during the whole time she was in Egypt? I understand how it was fixed to solve that at the end, but I feel like there should have been more about that in the story. Also, I don’t like reading about teen girls that “don’t like to eat”. I don’t relate to that in any way, shape, or form. I wasn’t an overweight teen at all. Very skinny until college, and even then, it was barely a freshman 15 that I gained the whole time I was there. But I always liked to eat, even if I wasn’t eating all the time like I am now.
I see this might be the first in a two book series, and while I’m not sure where it would go next, as it pretty much seemed to wrap up the story, I will definitely be excited to return to this world.