Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Review: Tutankhamen Speaks

On 4 November, 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter and his team discovered a tomb in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, a tomb that he and his sponsor, Lord Carnarvon, weren’t even sure existed. It was the tomb of a little known king, a young man who’d taken the throne at around eight or nine, and had died around age 18: Tutankhamen. The young king, whose obscurity during his own time allowed his tomb to be forgotten, has now become one of the most well-known figures of ancient Egypt. But what do we know about the young king and his unexpected death at such an early age? What do we know about how he lived, how he felt about things like duty, responsibility and obligation, his emotions and opinions, his family life, and his love for his wife, Ankhesenpaaten? The mystery begins right away! Author Cheryl Carpinello, an ardent Egyptophile, reveals that one day she met the Egyptian scholar S.L. Wood, who mentioned that he’d found an ancient scroll, damaged in parts, in a basement room of the Cairo Museum. This appeared to be a scroll written by the young king, almost speaking to his people from beyond the grave. Was it a hoax? Did this scroll even exist? Read on to find out what the young king says in Tutankhamen Speaks.

Cheryl Carpinello has an extraordinary gift for being able to breathe life into what could be dry and dusty facts about people who, to the average person, are just names in a history book. Through wonderful, evocative and poignant descriptions, she takes us back in time to when a young boy lived in ancient Egypt, a boy who was in awe of his great father, and loved his half-sister Ankhesenpaaten. His memories of early childhood, descriptions of daily life in ancient times, his growing up years, the games he played, the ceremonies and, of course, the politics and religion are all examined for the interested reader. The author also includes interesting facts that readers may not be aware of, so interesting that these might quite change your thoughts of ancient Egyptian times and rulers. This is a wonderful read for all ages, and at the end of this short book, you’ll be left like me, wanting more. I truly enjoyed this! Five stars.

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