Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Princess of Egypt Must Die by Stephanie Dray

Title: The Princess of Egypt Must Die
Author: Stephanie Dray

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Egypt / 2nd Century BC / Ancient Mediterranean / Royals / Intrigue / Coming-of Age / Scandal)
Publisher/Publication Date: Smashwords (2012)
Source: Personal copy

Rating: Loved!
Did I finish?: Oh Heck yeah!
One-sentence summary: Arsinoe, the young daughter of the pharaoh, is dropped into turmoil and intrigue when married to a foreign king.
Reading Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I really do -- it's super high gloss and flashy -- eye-catching! -- and although I'm dubious of the blonde pharoah-ess-in-training, I still like it.

I'm reminded of...: Karen Essex, Syrie James

First line: "Remember always that you're a royal princess of Egypt," my mother says, wiping tears from cheeks.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy -- it's cheap and has been offered free at a variety of e-book retailers (Amazon, Smashwords, etc.)

Why did I get this book?: I've loved Dray's other books.

Review: This is another juicy slice of historical awesomeness from Stephanie Dray. I've fallen hard for Dray's Cleopatra's Daughter series, a kind of magical historical trilogy that is dark, unapologetic, epic, and fun. So when I saw this short story, I did grabby hands and got started.

I know nothing of the historical Arsinoe II, but being aware of Dray's dedication to historical accuracy, I sat back and let the story unfold.

Arsinoe is one of the pharaoh's daughters, sweet and eager to be loved, teased mercilessly by her older, ambitious half-sister. When contracted into marriage to the King of Thrace, she finds some measure of happiness in her new home among her friendly in-laws. But good things rarely happen to royalty, and Arsinoe has some pretty awful things happen.

This is a short story -- which was too bad because I seriously wanted more! This story is more straight-up historical (rather than magical historical or historical fantasy), for those who care, and is a great intro to Stephanie Dray if you're new to her.


  1. I grabbed this one when it was free on Amazon. I've wanted to read Dray's books for a while now, but wasn't sure if I needed some background/detail from other novels to fully enjoy this one.

    I like that the author is dedicated to accuracy - I can enjoy some that are more loose with their interpretation, but honest to goodness veracity always works best. I think I will take your advice and use this as my introduction to her work!

    Lovely review for such a short novella.

  2. I downloaded this when it was free though haven't got to it yet. I'm still surprised it's so short, I should really read it to find out why. Glad to hear it's so good and that Dray likes to be accurate. Knowing that does make it easier to read and enjoy books.

  3. I also just clicked the button and downloaded this one while it's still free because I have never heard of Dray, and your enthusiasm has gotten the better of me! I love it when historical fiction is accurate and also when it's temptingly dramatic. I do think this will be a great intro into Dray's work, so I will have to let you know what I think!

  4. This sounds really good! I wish she'd come out with the next book about Selene!