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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
This is the story of a man who was once called the Greatest of the Great. The son of a papermaker, Senmut was looking for the opportunity to make something of himself. From a very early age, he put his efforts into learning and becoming better educated. And so he became a scholar, then a priest at a very early age, and his efforts gained him attention. He became the tutor of the king’s daughter Hatshepsut and that is when his story began. From becoming friends to becoming lovers, Senmut gave his all to her and became someone who will be remembered as the man who had a great hand in the making of one of the wonders of the world. But there was his downfall too, one over which he had no control. What actually happened that brought this man to his knees?
Oracle of the Reeds by Thomas Bauer is the story of Senmut who was one of the most powerful men in Egyptian history. The story follows his life, his rise to power, and how he became a historical figure. I love Egyptian history and mythology and this novel has offered that to me in the best way possible. The storytelling was very impressive, the build-up was very good and the atmosphere was perfect throughout the novel. I enjoyed how the author did justice to Senmut and kept his story as close as possible to reliable historical sources. He did his research diligently and it shows. The chemistry between Senmut and Hatshepsut was palpable from the beginning and the author kept the pace until the very end. Perhaps one of the best and most well-constructed novels I have read so far this year. A real entertainer for historical fiction fans.