Title: Counted With the Stars
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Series: Out From Egypt #1
Genre: Biblical retelling
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
I love my Biblical retellings, as I love seeing stories that we are so familiar with in a deeper and personal detail. I had some mixed feelings on this one, but ultimately I enjoyed this story of the Israelites exodus out of Egypt.
One of my favorite parts is how this is actually the story of an Egyptian, Kiya, and her point of view on the events that we are already so familiar with. Kiya has been sold into slavery to pay a family debt, and it is here that she meets a Hebrew slave, Shira. Feeling abandoned by her gods, Kiya finds herself drawn into Shira's stories of a Nameless God, one above all others. When the plagues start to happen, and the Hebrews are unaffected, Kiya realizes there might be something to this God after all.
One of the reasons I liked that this was from the POV of an Egyptian is because it made it so much more personal. I feel that sometimes we don't think of the consequences of the plagues, only thinking about the end result for the Israelites, but seeing the horror of them from who it was actually happening to was eye-opening. Cossette also writes with great detail and emotion, and the horrors that Kiya and Shira go through are very real and vivid.
There were times when the book lost my interest though, a bit at the beginning, and then again after they left Egypt. But it did pick up again, and towards the end, I could not put it down. The love interest didn't originally sway me (I've had enough of alpha-male types, no matter the reasoning) but at the end, did win me over.
While this still had its faults, it was a very enjoyable read, one full of detail and surprises. I found this to be a great look into lives and events in a way different than we normally would.
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