By Debra Tash
Zumaya Publications - March 2002
ISBN: 1894869257 - PB
Historical Romance / General
Ancient World, Sumer & Egypt

Reviewed by: Rachel A Hyde,
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Beautiful Naram-tani is just sixteen years old and sings for the Sumerian king, but when he dies she is sentenced to be killed to serve him in the afterlife. Too young to die and full of zest for life, she runs away and hides on board a ship belonging to the master of slave Sargon. Soon the two are in love and their lives seem destined to be entwined. Sargon buys his freedom with Naram-tani's jewellery but this only begins a series of adventures (and misadventures) with slavers, the dead Sumerian king's evil son, the court at Kish and life in Egypt as the lovers are separated and while Sargon dreams of building the world's first true empire, a supernatural being has told him that the maiden's song will hold the key.

Novels set in ancient Sumer are few and far between and if you enjoy stories set in the ancient world as much as I do, then you will enjoy reading one set in a different place and time to the norm. To its detriment the characters don't have any great depth - it is what they do that counts in the story - and more descriptions of the places visited and the way of life would have really brought the book to life. It is well paced however, and exciting, as the pair is put through a series of surely Old Testament inspired escapades and somehow there isn't a dull page. The supernatural episodes are well handled especially and appear to be a part of life in those long ago times; it could be explained as a dream or it might not be and the author keeps it all very low-key as befits a historical novel that is not a fantasy.

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