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SEMI-FINALIST - Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition. A fusion of mainstream thriller and historical fiction reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code. -- Kirkus Reviews. CAIRO MUSEUM, 1983. --Rika Teferi is studying a royal papyrus when catastrophe strikes. An accidental spill damages the priceless document written by Queen Tiye, the mother of Tutankhamun. But the spill also exposes hidden writing. Aching to read the concealed text, Rika agrees to let visiting geologist, David Chamberlain, smuggle the papyrus out of the museum to scan it with specialized equipment.
The results are stunning. They reveal Tiye's final message to her son, as well as her real role in pharaonic Egypt and secret details of her last journey up the Nile, where she was to be buried alive in a bath of oil.
Rika feels a spiritual bond with Tiye, an African commoner who revolutionized society by introducing a religion that freed Egypt from the tyranny of the Amun priests. Desperate to know more, Rika devises a plan with David to locate Tiye's tomb. Their quest takes them deep into the desert where unforeseen peril threatens their very existence. To survive, Rika must draw upon all her resources and eventually must choose among her love of Queen Tiye, her allegiance to freedom fighters of her homeland in Eritrea, and David.
--In a league with Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, and Wilbur Smith, John Oehler has created a cinematic page-turner of explosive yet poetic brilliance.
Readers who liked Lisbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will love Rika.--