Monday, September 26, 2011

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by: Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara is a slave, but unlike other slaves, she has not accepted the fact. She still dreams of one day earning her freedom. But when the opportunity arises, the situation gets more serious than she ever could have imagined. Earning her freedom involves serving as a double spy for two arch enemies - both of whom support a different contender vying for the throne of Egypt.

From then on her life is one of confusion as she is commissioned to work as a translator for a Canaanite princess - this will get her behind enemy lines so she can deliver a message from her master. Why? she does not know. All she knows is that, if no mistakes are made, it will gain her freedom.
But then she meets Sheftu and overhears him plotting to overthrow the queen. Unfortunately for her, Sheftu knows that she was eavesdropping, and forces her into his plans - threatening to kill her if she disobeys.

Rather unwillingly, free-spirited Mara works as a double-agent, translates for an over-weight, homesick princess, and begins to believe the plan to restore Thutmose III is not as treacherous as it once seemed.

Ultimately, Mara finds herself falling in love with Sheftu and is finally willing to admit feelings towards him when her duplicity is unveiled, putting not only Mara, but her beloved Egypt, on the line

My thoughts:

Many a time I have made the mistake of telling my mom that we "have no books to read," and for the next ten minutes she will create a pile of books for me that we have that I haven't read yet. In this case, Mara, Daughter of the Nile made it into my mom's pile of "to read" books, so I picked it up and began to read.

Well, to start with, I absolutely love Mara. She's so independent and I love that she is always ready with a clever remark. I also like that she is not willing to accept her destiny as a slave - even when a fellow servant, Teta, discourages her from dreaming big.

This story is set in ancient Egypt - which is a time period I happen to l♥ve.
I can't really think of anything else to say about it, except that I loved it, so I'll go right to the....

Objectional Content:

Language: I'm embarrassed to say that while I know there was some, I don't remember any of it.

Romance/Sexual Content: Mara flirts with an officer so he will let her through the gates, and he wants to kiss her. *SPOILER ALERT* Mara and Sheftu kiss several times.

Violence: Mara is tortured. Nothing else I remember.

Drugs/Alcohol: None that I remember.

12 and up.
Highly Recommend.


  1. Yay! I love this book! I have read and re-read it! Great review ;)

  2. I think I've heard of this book. I think my mom was reading it at one time.

    But now I want to read it!!!

  3. Hi, and thank you for your review! I just began reading it aloud to my daughters, age 9 & 11, and was concerned with how far the Sheftu/Mara relationship would go. They read/watch little beyond a kiss at the end of a Disney movie. Do you think I can read to them beyond the romance? Or should I hold off until they're older? Thanks! (I'm off to pre-read it to see where it goes...)

    1. Hi! That's a good question. Their relationship is quite clean, except for only one kiss. I think it would be fine, but I was reading adult fiction at a fairly young age, so I can't say for everyone. Maybe it would be a good idea to read ahead for some of the chapters, but all in all, I think it would be fine. :)