Synopsis: It is 701 B.C – rule of the Kushite dynasty in ancient Egypt. Young Prince Taharka, a very minor royal son, succeeds unexpectedly to the throne of Kush and Egypt – a “divine” rulership. It’s not long, however, before a treacherous plot pushes him into sudden exile and into the hands of Amos, an emissary of King Hezekiah seeking help with whom he will fight – the mighty Assyrian, Sennacherib, promising alliance or Hezekiah, the Jew who trusts in Yahweh.
The story begins with Taharka going crocodile hunting; his boatman becomes injured and he has to stem the blood flow. The Assyrians are frequent throughout the book; they massacre cities, reap destruction and bring war. Taharka witnesses this, and hears of this, on several occasions. He is, in fact, in Jerusalem when the city is under siege. Taharka’s brother leads an uprising against him, and he is almost poisoned.
Taharka and Shepnu are engaged and loves one another; she kisses him once after he fell asleep. Taharka’s father had many wives.
No drunkenness – wine is mentioned and drank.
As this is set in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian mythology is sprinkled throughout the story. The pharaoh is referred to as a god, and the gods are cousins to the pharaoh’s sons. However, as soon as Amos steps into the story, stories of God’s miracles, His promises and faithfulness towards Israel, is mentioned. Priests and prophets, the prophet Isaiah, are present in the book, as is the Book of the Law.
Overall feel; It was a very impactful read in the sense that this is set in history. The Assyrians were real, and their deeds were horrific – although it’s not explained in great detail in the book. Taharka is definitely likeable, and the adventures he has are quite fun. I’d definitely recommend it.