No not set on an alien planet but in Egypt and Sudan in 200 BC

Rasha is abducted from her home in Raheem. She manages to escape and flees. Her beloved Bassam is coming back from a trade expedition  when he hears that she is abducted and sets off to rescue her and bring her safely home.

This novel reads like a science fiction/fantasy story and only by some details can you deduct when and where Rasha and Bassam are. But often you are at a loss. Only because I have been in Petra I wondered if Raheem was Nabatean Petra (now Jordan) and saw it confirmed only at the end of the story. You can only deduct by the mentioning of what we know as the Stone of Rosetta that the story is set 200 BC. The Nile river is mentioned as the Nilus and towns like Elefantine and the Pyramids but a lot of the animal life is using local words. Oh we are talking about hippo's?This intensifies the feeling of being on an alien planet.

- You learn new things about Egypt like the fact there are so many more pyramids and to realise that in 200 BC they were already relics from a distant past.
- The feeling of being submerged in the past with no knowlegde from the 21st century.
- That also in those days people travelled to far away places to trade and interacted with different cultures.

- It is impossible to connect the ancient names to real places. I often wondered if they were in Sudan or even more south.
- The whole story is more or less two groups journeying. That can make the story a bit slow and you as a reader needing a break and reading another novel in the meantime.

3 stars out of 5

This was a free ARC provided by Netgalley


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