11 January, 2020

Gild the Weeping Lily by Manjula Variyam - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title : Gild the Weeping Lily
Author : Manjula Variyam
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Print Length : 227 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author


She has been known by many names: Tatkhipa, Tadukhipa, Tadu-Hepa, Kiya. She was a princess of the kingdom of Mitanni, who lived and died more than three thousand years ago. She was the royal consort of Akhenaten, the ‘heretic pharaoh’ of Egypt, who ruled alongside Nefertiti. Her life is shrouded in mystery. It is irrefutable that she existed; yet, although she was the consort of a pharaoh, and was honored very highly, she disappeared from Egypt sometime during the last year of Akhenaten’s reign. 

Her name and images were erased from monuments and replaced by those of Nefertiti’s daughters. Her life and her disappearance have remained elusively mysterious. During her lifetime, relations between Egypt and Mitanni deteriorated.

 After her disappearance, both kingdoms were embroiled in turmoil at the highest levels. Could she have been the cause? Could a woman have changed the course of the history of one of the world’s greatest ancient civilizations?

Purchase Link:

My Review :

I love reading historical fiction, but I rarely get to read good books in this genre. I love to know about strong women in ancient times, their problems and how they could solve the issues in those times. 

This story covers the life of the Mittani princess Tatkhipa from her teenage years to her old age. The story also gives us a glimpse of Mittani culture, land, Egyptian traditions, customs, people, beliefs, etc., It is clear that the author has done a lot of research on this subject and she provides very detailed information on Mittani and Egyptian traditions.

The story is narrated well and captures the emotions and turmoil in Tatkhipa's mind at every stage of her life. I loved the romance and companionship of the Egyptian King and Tatkhipa. Even though fate plays harsh on Tatkhipa's life, at last, she overcomes her fears and takes an important action for her life in the climax. I loved the climax.

I enjoyed the characterization as well. I loved reading the part when Tatkhipa is young and faces the problems with confidence by starting a jewelry business. I would have loved to read more about Queen Tiye. I was disappointed that there is not much conversation or communication between Tatkhipa and Tiye. 

Initially, it was difficult for me to get used to the names mentioned in the story, but it became easy after 3rd chapter or so. The narration and pace are good overall, but at a few places, it seemed confusing on whom the narrator is referring to. 

The book cover is appropriate and the title of the book makes sense when we read the story. 

I would recommend this book to readers who love historical fiction. It is a plus if you are interested in learning more about ancient cultures and people.

My Rating: 4.5/5

PS: I have received a free e-review copy from the author in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the Author:

Manjula Variyam lives in Plano, Texas with her family. Her books span many genres: historical fiction, general fiction, children's books, YA fiction, and fantasy. You can contact her at manjula(at)variyam.com.

Until next time,

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