Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Sons of the Sphinx


Prepare yourself for an incredible adventure in ancient Egypt when you pick up Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello. The story starts with a prophecy that sets the tone for magic, mystery, and mayhem in places. Rosa, 15, has an unusual gift she inherited from her grandmother: she hears the dead. Maybe it would be easier if she could see them and tell them to go away properly, and not have to put up with an annoying interruption in her maths test. Of course it is all Nana’s fault because once Nana told Rosa and a friend about the spirits that visited her, life was never quite the same. At age 15, when all you want to do is fit in and be accepted, that’s not the kind of thing guaranteed to win friends and influence people. The really scary part comes when, from only being a voice, the young pharaoh Tutankhamun appears large as life in Rosa’s bedroom, telling her he needs her to help in a vital mission. How much better can it get? Tut tells Rosa that part of his one true love, Ankhesenamun, is now contained within Rosa, and he needs to take Rosa along with him to find her burial place so they can be united. The problem is this mission must be fulfilled within seven days and Rosa’s parents, who’ve gone to a movie, will be back by midnight. But that’s not a problem as Tut explains what a time wrap is to the bemused Rosa. However, hurtling back to the ancient past isn’t going to be an easy ride. Danger, magic, evil and the possibility that Rosa might not be able to return home dog their footsteps.

 What a story as Cheryl Carpinello displays her expertise as both a writer and an educator in her incredibly detailed portrayal of life in ancient Egypt. Readers will feel the sun’s heat, smell the perfumes and spices, taste the food, touch the artefacts, and bask in the glory of Egypt’s past. Threaded through the non stop action and adventure, the author drops in the right kind of historical information in bite sized pieces, painting a portrait of the ancient past, the story behind the rulers and their people, their relationships, and their choices, both good and bad. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Rosa as a typical teenager with the issues, problems, angst, crushes, and awkwardness of her age. The dialogue is spot on with the nuances and colloquialisms that will appeal to the intended target market. I also enjoyed Rosa’s often sarcastic inner monologue as she deals with sand, heat, sunburn and a lot of discomfort, not having had 3000 years to rack up the right kind of experience with these matters. For me, the most compelling part of this intriguing adventure is the subtle lessons Rosa learns that are contained in the story: the value of life, the value of love, trusting your instincts, trusting in friendship, finding the courage within, and finding self belief. I think teens will just love every aspect of this well written, mesmerising tale.

 If you’re looking for more adventures, then please visit The Quest Books, where Cheryl Carpinello, Wendy Leighton-Porter and I have teamed up to offer readers an array of exciting quests. Sign up for our monthly newsletter with updates and exclusive material and get your choice of any e-book on the site FREE!
Post a Comment