Author: Connilyn Cossette
Published By: Bethany House (2016)
Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh? (Taken from Goodreads)
Wow. I do not usually read Biblical fiction, mostly because I really was unaware it existed. I loved this book immensely, so maybe it’s a genre I need to look into more.
Authentic to its time period and to the Bible story, this tale had a tangible feeling of reality attached to it as the author showed the story in a new way. Now doubtlessly no story, no matter how well written, can replace the original when it comes to Bible stories; but a talented author can still make a well-known story come alive in their own style, and that’s exactly the case with Counted with the Stars.
Obviously fictional—for there is no place in the Bible that talks about Kiya—but still believable, this story was thought-provoking from the start. After all, when you stop to think about it, surely there were Egyptians that escaped with the Hebrews. I was really enthralled by the concept of this story and it took hold of me. It made me think and really ponder the truths of God’s love in a new light.
I loved the characters and how the author wasn’t afraid to show their flaws right along with their good qualities. They were real and raw, yet true to that time period from what I could tell; it was truly incredible, when you think about it, how characters that have such a different upbringing and mindset than today’s culture can still be so relatable, and the author did a fantastic job portraying this.
I especially loved Shira and Kiya’s friendship; it was so beautiful and so tearjerking at the same time. I liked the romantic side plot. While the story might have gone on a bit too long for my taste, I’m not sure what could have been condensed and still produced the same effect. The very fact the author can write this well for this long goes to show how much talent she has! A lot of stories like these tend to get worse as they go on, but her breathtaking way of holding the reader was consistent all the way through.
A few more mature things are mentioned. There are implications that the main character has slept with others. Later, she is kidnapped and thinks her attacker is going to rape her, but nothing actually happens.
I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised, not just by the talent but also the incredible authenticity. I look forward to continuing this series!
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Recommended to: Readers 14+.