Wardens of Eternity
At age three, Ziva’s parents abandoned her on the streets of New York. Fifteen years later, in 1939, she struggles to keep her innate magic abilities secret… until she comes face-to-face with a creature from myth: a kriosphinx. During her battle against the otherworldly beast, she’s aided by two strangers with magical abilities. Surprised to encounter people like her, Ziva discovers she is a descendant of Queen Nefertari, Great Royal Wife of Ramesses the Great, and is destined to lead the Order of Medjai to her mummy. Once found and resurrected, Nefertari will usher Egypt into a new age of glory. But the god Set will stop at nothing to prevent the resurrection, and his minions are relentless in their pursuit of Ziva and her new friends.
The narrative moves swiftly as Ziva joins the Medjai and searches for the pieces necessary to resurrect Nefertari. I found the magical elements intriguing. That being said, Ziva learns her powers a bit too easily, fighting against gods only a few days after training has begun. Additionally, the references to Ziva appearing as a “true princess” of Amarna feels out of place, particularly as the god Aten has no other relevance to the story. Amarna was Akhenaten’s heretical city, Akhetaten, and while there’s speculation linking Queen Nefertari to his family, Nefertari would have been a great-granddaughter in a time when Amarna/Akhetaten was being erased from memory.
Ziva’s journey of discovering herself and growing into her past is the heart of this novel. We search for ancient artifacts and battle Set’s forces through Ziva’s eyes while feeling the empowerment her heritage provides. Wardens of Eternity has a lot of intriguing serial potential. I’d read more to see what culminates between Ziva, the gods, and mortals. Expect some surprise twists at the very end.