Something a bit different today - a short story about the fascinating life of the boy King Tutankhamen
written with younger readers in mind.
TITLE – Tutankhamen Speaks
SERIES – The Quest Books Companion to Sons of the Sphinx
AUTHOR – Cheryl Carpinello
GENRE – Historical Fiction Ancient Civilizations
PUBLICATION DATE –Jan. 2014
LENGTH – 80 pages
PUBLISHER – Beyond Today Educator
COVER ARTIST – Rita Toews
2014 EVVY Merit Award for Historical Fiction from CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.)
Long ago the old texts of ancient Egypt alluded to scrolls in which King Tut spoke to the people from beyond the tomb. Many archeologists put this down to an incorrect translation of the ancient Egyptian texts. Others swore to the accuracy of the translation. None of that mattered because the scrolls in question could not be found. Scholars labeled it a hoax, something that never existed. It was ludicrous to imagine someone speaking from the grave. They were wrong on both accounts.
My nursemaid was Maya, but it was my Grandmother Tiye that I remember the most. She doted on me when she visited and showered me with motherly love. She appointed herself and her brother Ay as my protectors, but Grandmother was away a lot. After my father became Pharaoh, she continued to oversee the military as she did for my grandfather Amenhotep III. When I was small, she cut off a lock of her reddish-gold hair and concealed it inside of four small nesting sarcophagus coffins.
“Tutankhaten,” she said. “In the innermost sarcophagus I have placed a lock of my hair which rests underneath a solid gold statue of you. Keep the coffins safe and hidden in your room. They will protect you when I am unable to.”
I thanked her and prized such a gift, not only for protection, but because my grandmother’s gift was wonderfully made. The outer sarcophagus was made of wood; the second of plaster covered with gold leaf; the third of wood which contained the solid gold statue of myself; the fourth again of plaster covered with gold leaf and containing my grandmother’s gift.
I have always been interested in Ancient Egypt, and in particular Tutenkhamen. This is a very short, quick and easy read. The author does the 'voice' of Tutenhamen very well and it is easy to believe that these are his own words. We get a brief insight in the life of the young King growing up in Egypt and a fascinating glimpse of ancient Egyptian history. The story seems to have been well researched, and while I have read several other accounts of the life of Tutenhamen all of which tend to contradict each other slightly, the facts in this story seem very credible. It is an entertaining read that finishes all too soon, leaving me wanting more, and I feel there is enough here to have made a much longer tale. That is not a criticism however, I really enjoyed the story, and realise that the length is geared to young readers, rather than adults. The characters are well drawn and I don't think you necessarily have to be interested in ancient Egyptian history to enjoy it, whatever your age. It is an ideal story to encourage younger readers to become interested in the rich history of this ancient and fascinating civilisation and its rulers, which truly comes to life under the talented pen of the author.
I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those young-at-heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.
Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello’s Writing Pages where I interview Childrens/Tween/MG/YA authors; and The Quest Books where I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.