Article first published as Book Review: ‘Sons of the Sphinx' by Cheryl Carpinello on Blogcritics.
June 26, 2015
Sons of the Sphinx
Teenager Travels through Time with Hunky King Tut in New YA Novel
Fifteen-year-old Rosa is one of those rare people gifted with the ability to hear the dead speaking to her. Usually, however, the dead are pesky people who want to talk to her while she’s busy doing things like taking math tests; in one such instance, when she tries to get rid of the dead person so she can concentrate, she finds herself in a shouting match and is soon after sent to the principal’s office.
Of course, no one believes Rosa can really speak to the dead, so her life isn’t easy, but it’s about to get a lot more interesting. Rosa is already obsessed with Ancient Egypt, but she can hardly believe it when King Tut not only starts speaking to her, but he appears before her eyes. Once she gets past noticing what a hunk he is, she realizes he’s trying to enlist her on a time travel mission that not only seems impossible but downright dangerous.
Hunk or not, Tut has his heart set on his ancient love, his wife, Ankhesenpaaten. They have been separated for centuries, but now she is trying to communicate with Tut through Rosa, and Tut needs Rosa’s help to lead him to his love’s final resting place.
Time travel does indeed happen, and before Rosa knows it, she’s witnessing Tut’s life story as well as facing the fierce General Horemheb, who succeeded Tut’s family as pharaoh and wants to wipe out all traces of Tut’s family history in Ancient Egypt. Before the story is over, Rosa will find herself channeling the dead, being locked up in a tomb, and discovering that all the gold in King Tut’s tomb is of little value compared to true love.
Cheryl Carpinello’s new novel Sons of the Sphinx is a riveting madcap ride through a fascinating time in Ancient Egypt’s history. Readers meet not only King Tut but his controversial father, King Akenhaten, and his famous stepmother, Queen Nefertiti. Insights are given into ancient life, and Egyptian mythology is explored. Best of all, the story is both fun and educational, which led to its designation as a “Literary Classics Award Winning Book.” The book also has a glossary in the back of Egyptian gods, people, places, and terms.
Cheryl Carpinello, as a longtime educator and the author of several other young adult books, including Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and The King’s Ransom, knows how to entertain young readers in a way that makes them want to learn more. And as an adult reader, I learned a lot about King Tut and his time that I didn’t know, and I now want to learn more, so if I feel that enthusiastic about this book, I can just imagine how excited I would have been as a child reading this book. I’m certain it’s destined to be a favorite among young readers.
A companion volume to the book, titled Tutankhamen Speaks, is also available; it tells King Tut’s full life story in his own words. For more information about Cheryl Carpinello, Sons of the Sphinx, and her many other books, visit www.beyondtodayeducator.com.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and award-winning author of The Children of Arthur series
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