But amidst this magic can be found deadly intrigue, and Princess Neferet, one of the book’s protagonists, is caught in the middle of it. As the god’s wife, she is the second most important figure in the kingdom; being bathed in such prestige makes Neferet the target of jealousy and danger as she becomes a pawn in a bid to Pharaoh’s throne. Similarly, bathed in the prestige of being the star dancer in an upcoming dance production, Rebecca, the book’s second protagonist, also becomes the target of jealousy and danger. These two strong women, separated by time and space, must each learn to take their rightful places.
At first, the link between them seems flimsy, to say the least: both women are being undermined and don’t know who to trust; Neferet’s duties as god’s wife include dancing, and the production Rebecca is starring in is set in Ancient Egypt. But as the plot thickens, so does said link, which culminates into something much stronger and deeper than either they could deny or I would have guessed. And thanks to Voedisch’s writing, a story that could have been easily confusing flowed impeccably.
The idea of flashing between Ancient Egypt and modern day Chicago could have been done in the most awkward of ways, but Voedisch pulls it off brilliantly. Not only does she have some powerful imagery to use to create seamless transitions (dancing is used a couple of times), but the author uses language that works in both settings, thus decreasing jarring transitions between a heavy English associated with old times and a lighter version of the language liberally sprinkled with slang and swear words. Another trap deftly avoided by the author is to not overemphasize Ancient Egyptian rituals, only describing them to the extent they needed, such as: “Like fleet-footed beings of the night, the priests left. Closing the door behind them, they abandoned her with this husband of rock. In the moment his jewel eyes fastened onto hers, she knew her life was no longer her own. She began the ritual dance,” which transitions immediately to “Jump, two, three, pas de bourée, lunge, leap. Jump, two, three, preparation, pirouette. Forward, five, six, seven, side lay-out. Jump,” Rebecca’s dance session.