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Regency #2

Daughter of the God-King

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Hattie Blackhouse is the only child of famous Egyptologists, and when they go missing, she travels to their latest excavation in ancient Thebes only to discover that she is attracting interest from the French, the British, and the Egyptians, who believe her the reincarnation of a long-dead princess.

In the second book in the Regency series, the heroine finds herself in the crosshairs of factions who are vying to support or thwart Napoleon’s latest attempt at world domination—and she unknowingly holds the key.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 5, 2013

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About the author

Anne Cleeland

31 books435 followers
Anne Cleeland writes a contemporary Scotland Yard mystery series that is featured in the Amazon top 100 best sellers. She also writes a historical series of stand-alone books set in the Regency period. A member of International Thriller Writers, The Historical Novel Society, and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children. www.annecleeland.com; @annecleeland.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 106 reviews
385 reviews
February 11, 2014
I had hopes... Feeling the lack of Elizabeth Peters' wonderful Amelia Peabody, I hoped that this book would fill that empty space. Not even close. Of course, no one can replace EP or the indomitable Amelia.

First quibble: This is set in 1814/15 and the main character is a gently-reared English girl. For a gently-reared young Englishwoman, she certainly has a lot of knowledge about men and their responses and how to get the reactions she wants. She lusts after one of the characters and puts herself in compromising situations, egging him on to kiss her, and looking forward to come-what-may. I felt I was reading about a new version of Lydia Bennet. Too much of a stretch for me, I fear.

The book has a few anachronisms ("infrastructure" wasn't coined until the 20th century), "amah" is an Indian and Far East term, not Egyptian, and several of the characters are able to easily decipher hieroglyphics, although that didn't occur until the 1820s. Shouldn't nitpick, but things like that drive me nuts.

I had hoped for an archeological novel/mystery; instead I got a spy/intrigue novel. I figured out the "mystery" long before it was revealed, and just waited for the book to be over. Also, not an entirely clean read. Did it want to be a mystery, or was the author also toying with the idea of a bodice-ripper (in a "genteel" manner of course)?

Amelia, I miss you!
Profile Image for Kathy .
698 reviews232 followers
October 26, 2013
History, mystery, and romance. A dynamite combination when done well, and Anne Cleeland does it well. She combines each element with the others to create a story that is pleasing in all three areas. The archeological discoveries in Egypt in the early 1800s, Napoleon’s exile to Elba, the disappearance of people and valuable objects, and the electric attraction of the two main characters all provide enough to keep a reader up well past a respectable bedtime.

The time setting of the book is the Regency Period of history when Napoleon is in exile at Elba and the French government is in some disarray, as well as the English government recovering from the Peninsula Wars of Napoleon’s making and the British War of 1812 (1812-1815) with America. In fact, Europe is pretty much a mess. It is sometime around 1814 when Hattie Blackhouse decides that her life has become far too confining in the Cornish countryside and lands in Paris with her companion Bing to stay at her parents’ townhouse and try to persuade her childhood chum, Robbie, whom she knows is there, that marrying her would be in his best interests. Nothing goes as planned, of course. She arrives in Paris to learn that her parents, who are famous archeologists on site in Egypt, have gone missing, and her hoped-for fiancé is betrothed to another, and Paris is full of people jockeying for political advantage. A new acquaintance going by the name of Berry catches her eye, but he seems to be a constant source of confusion in many ways. Hattie determines that she must go to Egypt herself to search for her parents, and she and Bing make a hasty departure from Paris. All the major players seem to follow suit, especially the mysteriously alluring Berry, who is intent on staying forefront in the picture.

As Hattie attempts to uncover what happened to her parents, she confronts a myriad of people who aren’t who they appear to be, including her new obsession, Berry, and her childhood friend, Robbie. Not knowing who to trust, Hattie lets her heart lead, and she becomes more entangled in secrets from the past and emotions of the present as she searches for truth and peace. She and those she cares for must survive a run through a most threatening gauntlet of deceit and greed.

Anne Cleeland is superb at creating witty dialogue, especially between her two main characters, Hattie and Berry. I actually did laugh out loud (lol) from time to time, enjoying the innuendo and one-upmanship that colored their conversations. Cleeland’s characters are a real strength in her writing, and, after having read two of her books, I know I can depend on the most interesting, charming, despicable, and delightful people with whom to spend a page-turning time.

Anne Cleeland has captured my attention indeed, and I am looking forward to more great stories and characters.
Profile Image for Maureen Carden.
284 reviews70 followers
July 2, 2023
An unusual story full or original characters, history, quirky what-ifs, and maybe the best wedding evah. Wait, I might have said that about other Cleeland weddings, because while a very small part of her books, they are usually very funny. Although a few have been heart-breaking.
This is another aspect of the time between Napoleon's first incarceration on Elba and his escape to once again raise an army. When his supporters are trying to raise funds, and others are trying, all over the world to stop his fundraising. This time in Egypt, and a young lady finds horrid information about her parents after she travels to Egypt to unravel their fates.
Profile Image for Kara-karina.
1,666 reviews253 followers
October 13, 2013
I'm honestly loving this series. First Tainted Angel and now this wonderful book! I swear, despite somewhat dry, slightly detached way of telling the story, Anne Cleeland creates such sharp characters, I can't stay away from their adventures.

Hathor comes to Paris in search of her childhood friend hoping to persuade him to marry her because she is sick to death of staying in the countryside while her famous parents egyptologists trot all over Egypt and Europe in search of adventures.

Instead she finds that her parents are missing, her friend is engaged and a lot of shady diplomats and spies want something from her. With the help of her fearless companion Miss Bing, Hattie escapes to Cairo and start looking for her parents relying on deliciously wily Monsieur Berry.

Berry... can I just sigh right here? Him and Hattie are amazing together. The romance is really dry and not very showy or grand, but there is something about them both that really gets to me, especially in the end when it reaches its twist. I can't even tell you what it is without ruining the surprise for you, but I personally found it adorable.

There is plenty of layered intrigues and our heroes go from one bad situation to another with no breaks. My worry is that some readers will find this type of fiction somewhat dry, but I really enjoyed it. Recommended!
757 reviews56 followers
May 17, 2016
"Hattie Blackhouse was aware that she had - regrettably - something of a temper, and that this trait often led to impetuous decisions that were not always thought out in a rational manner." This is the opening line of this book and indeed sums up Miss Blackhouse.

I found this book a bit of mix between a female Indiana Jones adventure and a Miss Marples mystery...no one is what they seem. One has to suspend belief that an 18 year old sheltered female from the wilds of Cornwall, England would embark with only her companion, to search for her renowned scholar parents in Paris to Egypt as Napolean is exiled to Elba. I was indeed surprised by what she found out!

Miss Blackhouse is a very perceptive young lady with a no-nonsense manner and quick wit who can sketch a character very quickly. There is a romantic interest, but for me, I didn't see the spark or sizzle for this couple...it fell flat. Her companion, Bing, was an excellent foil for her and I enjoyed her character most of all.

Profile Image for Margitte.
1,177 reviews539 followers
October 11, 2013
Hathor Blackouse, also called Hattie, was the daughter of two famous archaeologists. She lived a quiet life in Cornwell, England, well taken-care of, well-loved by her governesses, Miss Swansea, and had a best friend Robbie. The Blackhouse-couple were always somewhere in Egypt on a dig, being away for months on end. She did not see them often.

Being a fiery filly, passionately outspoken, and not afraid of anything, Hattie concocted a plan to marry Robbie, but it did not work at all. In fact, she was left without a governess, who got married instead of her! It lead to the appointment of a new one, although Hattie was well beyond the age of needing one. But her parents were busy people. They did not even notice, or so Hattie thought.

Bing became her next companion. One, who would eventually climb wisteria vines with her, teach her how to shoot and generally became much more than just an employee of the family. But before that would happen, Robbie embarked on more important matters to Europe. Hattie needed a plan B.

Napoleon The Great had just been defeated and banned to the island of Malta. The Congress of Vienna was held (1815) to re-establish the boundaries and political morphology of Europe after the mighty Napoleon's crusades. Egypt's Valley of the Kings became a hotbed of greed, of fame and lost fortune, of history and its damnations. European philanthropists, supported by wealthy sponsors, were looting the graves of the kings, amid a dangerous resentment smoldering in the Egyptian psyche. France and England were the forerunners, often than not resorting to murder and mayhem to score the most from the findings. Napoleon planned an escape. There were traitors and bandits among the high and the mighty. It became almost impossible to trust anyone.

In her pursuit to marry Robbie, the adventure-loving, risk-taking Hattie and her fellow partner in these pursuits, Bing, left for Paris in the hope of finding Robbie. Thus began a journey that would lead to a lot more than discovering her parents missing and everyone around them barely civil about the issue. There were secrets scattered everywhere she went, obscuring her path to finding her parents and the truth.

Hattie's entire life, and who she thought she was, would be shakin and rocked to its very core. She would soon learn that she was regarded as the daughter of the god-king, for some a reincarnation of Seti I's daughter, and named after the Goddess of Fertility. Her parents were archaeologists after all.

But her arrival in Egypt, in search of her parents, would stir hills of angry ants and would become an adventure she would hardly survive if it wasn't for her temper, resilience and her companion Bing. It did serve a purpose to hold a priest at gunpoint, forcing him to conduct a secret ceremony, as well!

But Hattie would also learn the truth in Bing's words, ' we each make our own way; one's heritage matter not next to one's legacy'.

Daughter of the God-King is a historical romance which I would rather classify as a historical romantic adventure, if it was possible. Never a dull moment, and a surprising twist lies hidden behind the meaning of the 'god-king' in an excellent constructed tale. As a historical romance it works one hundred percent. All the elements are present to make it much more than just a love story. It becomes a murder mystery, a drama, a 'what-if'- fantasy par excellence. It is a feel-good masterpiece.

Reviewed for The Kindle Book Review Team
Profile Image for AliciaJ.
1,328 reviews92 followers
May 5, 2021
My first Anne Cleeland historical, but definitely not my last. This takes place right after the first Napoleanic war has ended, and Britain has gone all gaga over the Egyptian tombs and artifacts. There's a mysterious man, an intrepid girl, lots of suspense and of course, a deathly curse! It's awesome. Reminded me a lot of the The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. I loved it.
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
789 reviews163 followers
June 30, 2014
Daughter of the God-King is my second encounter with Anne Cleeland, my first being Murder in Thrall . These two novels couldn't be more different, especially considering Murder in Thrall was a contemporary murder-mystery. But, in Daughter of the God-King we will have some of those same elements of intrigue; in this case, they just happen to be set in Egypt during the Napoleonic Wars.

Hattie Blackhouse has had it with her famous parents leaving her behind in the English countryside while they travel the ruins of Egypt. Hattie's not all that interested in ancient Egypt, but she is interested in having an adventure. With that in mind, Hattie and her unflappable companion, Bing, travel to Paris never guessing that it will lead to an impromptu trip to Egypt, while on the run from some overly solicitous suitors and dangerous men. Of course, Hattie does not mind when the mysterious and handsome Berry seems to be following along as well. As long as your being followed by a handsome spy, your worries are apparently non-existent.

When in Egypt Hattie learns things about the parents that she never really knew. But, what is a revelation is the attention that she is getting from everyone - the British, the French, the Egyptians. They all want something from Hattie, a secret that her parents were apparently killed for. The mysterious Berry reassures Hattie that he will protect her, but she wonders if she can really trust him despite her growing feelings for him. But can Hattie trust anyone else? It becomes clear that she didn't know her parents at all. Her childhood friend is clearly out for the information she can provide rather than supporting her as a friend. The only person Hattie truly seems to be able to rely on is her companion, Bing.

I have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, I loved the setting. I think this colonial period is fascinating (terrible, but interesting). The fact that the British and French could just come into a country and essentially rob it's graves for it's museums is hard to comprehend. Although, the practice certainly continued into present day, throwing controversy into the museum world when the public found out. If you're interested in the facts behind this, I would recommend Chasing Aphrodite , a very interesting look at the dubious practices of the Getty Museum. While I find this interesting reading, archeological practices are not the focus of Daughter of the God-King, rather the focus is on the spies and Hattie's questionable family history. I also thought I was very interesting how the Egyptian setting was incorporated into the novel as there was a very specific reason why events came to a head in Egypt. I wont go into the details as it would spoil the big reveal, but I will say that it wasn't something I was expecting.

What I had an issue with was the romance aspect. I liked that this was included, and it certainly wasn't a romance novel, but I had a problem with how it was conveyed. It just didn't sit right with me. The entire novel is from Hattie's point of view and we are continually told by her that Berry is attracted to her:

She did not respond immediately, thinking that it was almost amusing - he was setting up a mightly resistence to the attraction that leapt between them, the intense awareness that made him lose his train of thought while the breath caught in her throat. (p.46).

Hattie is always saying that Berry is attracted to her, but I felt that something was missing in their interactions because I never really believed that Berry was attached to Hattie. It was constantly reiterated by Hattie that Berry was attracted to her, but rather than making me believe there was a relationship there, I felt more that Hattie was just being conceited and reading more into the situation than was warranted. Ultimately, I was looking for a better romance and I think it could have been stronger if we got something from Berry's point of view, especially because he was such as mysterious character. Without actually knowing how Berry felt, I still wonder if Berry was manipulating Hattie for his own ends rather than having an emotional attachment to her.

While the romance aspect didn't live up to my expectations, I still like the intrigue and mystery that kept me guessing till the end. I read the book fairly quickly and enjoyed the pace it moved at. If you're looking for more of light historical mystery, I would recommend this one. It's got a little bit of everything without being overly complicated.

For similar reads, see The Book Adventures.

*Review copy provided via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Tara Chevrestt.
Author 27 books295 followers
November 4, 2013
What works for one book may not work for another... Once again, Anne Cleeland gives readers a spunky, headstrong heroine in historical (regency) times. This one takes place in France and Egypt. More spying is underfoot, more intrigue, more confusion, and once again, readers are kept in the dark and while this method worked for the more exciting and fast-paced Tainted Angel, it didn't work for this one. I confess that while I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and the unfolding of the mystery itself, by the 60% mark I felt it had all gone on long enough, answers were overdue, and the book needed to conclude already.

I did like it, just didn't love it. In Tainted, this writing style of giving just enough emotion to make us wonder what exactly the heroine is feeling was adequate, because the heroine herself was part of the mystery. In this, the heroine is different--she's not a spy; she's a woman whose parents have gone missing, whose being harassed constantly about a missing strongbox, and finding love for the first time. SHE wasn't the mystery. So some emotion was desperately needed.

The story takes us from France to Egypt to tombs and it contains a long list of characters and it's not clear if they are bad or good. It did become difficult to keep track of who was who and who had done what to who.

I really appreciated the humor, especially between Hathor and Bing. They had some cute conversations. I also love the heroine's spunk and internal thoughts. She made me chuckle more than once.

Full review and favorite quotes: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2013/...
Profile Image for Marta.
509 reviews4 followers
August 17, 2014
Mystery, fun, romance, the onset of archaeological digs in Egypt- Daughter of the God King reminds me of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series. This isn't a pale imitation- Miss Hattie Blackhouse is stubborn, flirtatious and unpredictable. Her determination to find out what happened to her archaeologist parents takes her from Cornwall to Paris to Egypt-practically tripping over criminals and spies along the way. Hattie manages to take control of her fate and be sure that her new love gets a peek at her in her very cute nightdress while she's at it. Daughter...is set during the Regency Era yet doesn't at all resort to all the tropes so common in Recency Novels-no beau monde, the ton or dances at Bathe-hooray! Cleeland uses the time period to create tensions and situations that would otherwise not exist while bringing new images to what had seemed to be an over trod path.
Profile Image for Zora.
1,284 reviews52 followers
April 12, 2021
A strong four stars, rounded up because the average rating is far too low here. This is not entirely a Regency romance. It's more of a spy story, plus a coming of age story, with some good twists, and lots of action (running, hiding, kidnapping, dual identities, guns, swords). Yes, there's a romance. But mostly it's a swashbuckling tale, well written.
(I wish my library had more of her other books, but alas no.)
Profile Image for L F.
261 reviews13 followers
August 28, 2017
Mystery and Soul.
Grab the map and chart out your course. Well, not much planning will be needed, as it is all laid out in the book for you to start your adventure. Plenty will happen once you arrive in Cairo and embark on this historical cruise. So sit back and enjoy the views.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books345 followers
November 14, 2013
I know many of you have experienced the feeling that comes from finding that book or series that is your perfect match so that you're nearly depressed when its over- there are no more coming- and you can't find anything to equal it. Well that was the case for how I felt about stories set in the golden age of Egyptian archeology with an adventurous heroine, dangerous characters who may not be what they seem, treasure hunting and romance. Just a few pages into this book and I knew I had found my lovely match again. The heroine was more lucky than good, had a wry witty style of thinking and dialogue, and that intrepid adventuress quality to her that blended with innocence and naivete.

I'm going to be brief about the summary because of spoilers. Hattie has lived a dull life buried in the country on a small estate in Cornwall while her parents, famous British archeologists, spend all their time in Egypt barely taking the time to send her a letter once in a while. Hattie has decided she wants more so she sets off to Paris during the unsettled times after Napoleon's first defeat to look up her old friend, Robbie, who works in the British government. Her plans for Robbie are set aside when she finds him in the middle of something that seems to be about her parents, but that said parents have gone missing. Now everyone wants to know what she knows about her parents, a golden disc, a strongbox and a hidden tomb. Hattie doesn't take kindly to all the poking and prodding and gives them all the slip to go to Egypt and begin her own investigation with the assistance of her stout-hearted companion Bing. As the secrets unfold, Hattie finds that everything has been a lie and she's not sure if she wants to know anymore. What she is sure about is that she does want more kisses from the handsome and enigmatic Monsieur Berry.

The backdrop of the story takes place at the end of the Napoleonic Era prior to Napoleon's Hundred Days when all sorts of intrigue is going on both to keep Napoleon in exile and on the other side to free him to continue what he started. It is a blend of historical color and good romantic suspense. It asks a big 'what if' question (which shall remain undisclosed because it was the hugest surprise and key to all the intrigue) and then goes from there. The story hinges on a couple of Egytologists who disappear and everyone suspects about the hidden tomb there are hints about. The Egyptology part is there and discussed, but its not dry at all for the simple reason that the heroine, who is the daughter of the missing scholars, has no interest whatsoever in her parents' work, but must endure everyone talking about it. Hattie has the 'fake it until she makes it' philosophy when she pretends interest in tombs, mummies, Egyptian artifacts, etc.

As to the suspense portion, I loved the tone this one set from the beginning. Nobody is who they seem and everyone seems to have an agenda. I got to where I was running around suspecting everyone- rightly so in most cases though some who were plotting were the good guys for good reasons. People are working at cross purposes and everyone seems to have a much better grasp of what's going on than the heroine. She had more patience than me. I think she heard 'I can't tell you', 'its for your own good or safety' or 'please don't ask me' so many times.

That brings me to the characters. There are a boatload of characters in this baby. Hattie is the main character and she tells the story in third person. She may be young, sheltered, and all that, but this girl is observant, quick witted, and has a good sense of humor. She has a temper, but who wouldn't under the circumstances. She jumps into things and knows her own mind. I love how she has every reason to be a hot mess, but she sucks it up and keeps rolling. She has a romantic heart and strong attractions, but she still keeps a cool head too. She experiences attraction for a man who fires her passion and she doesn't shy away from what he inspires her to want and take when the opportunity arises. Hattie is not one to take the easy, safer route when she sees a chance at happiness and fulfillment along the other dangerous and uncertain path.

Hattie's side kick and intrepid companion, Bing, is probably my favorite character in the story. Bing is a fount of knowledge and her sangfroid in the face of adventure is so quintessentially British. I knew she was my kinda gal when Hattie wants away from an awkward social situation so she plans on escaping out the second floor window and Bing just goes with it without batting an eye.
There are tons of men in Hattie's life that I won't detail out and one is her love interest, but I don't want to be spoilerish so I'll leave it with the fact that the majority of them have no interest in her as a person though some pretend to do so. They all think she knows something or has something in her possession. It's hilarious because in truth they all know a heck of a lot more than she does.

The overall story was beyond satisfying and I really only had one issue that's more a reflection on me than the story having trouble. The end came quick. Bammo! What? *scrambles to see if another page is behind all the end credits* After all that came before, I was prepared for a nice coze with my gal and her happily ever after, but it ended more on a quick happy for now. After all the secrecy surrounding a certain someone, I wanted a debriefing of sorts or an epilogue to a few years down the road- something, anything. Yeah, desperate a little is right. Haha! My rational mind tells me that the ending was fine for the circumstances and hey, maybe there's more to come with a sequel or something, but yeah, I'm not always rational.

The good news is that my disappointment all stems from the fact that I was really into this story and the characters. I think I could follow Hattie and her adventures into old age. Lovers of historical romantic suspense with a strong, adventuresome, but fun and intrepid heroine should give this one a try.

My thanks to Sourcebooks and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Victoria.
122 reviews
May 4, 2022
There is absolutely nothing worse than being in a mood for a certain genre of a book and having it fall flat on its face. I was in an Egyptology mood; I've been watching Moon Knight on Disney+, the Brendan Frasier Mummy movie from the late 90's is one of my go-to movies to re-watch every so often, and I had just finished watching Death on the Nile. Safe to say, I had high hopes for this book--and it was almost instantaneously dashed upon the rocks I had stood so hopefully upon. There was nothing historically accurate about Hattie whatsoever, the way she thought about men -- okay probably not so inaccurate, lets face it, women have been women and have been thinking about men for centuries-that hasn't changed. However, marrying a man you just met for the sheer purpose of being so fantastically in love with him you must have him that INSTANT OR YOU'LL DIE, only works in Disney Movies, not historical fiction.
There was too much I didn't like about this book, and I've already spent almost a month reading and don't feel like spending anymore time on it. Save yourself the aggravation, if your in an Egyptology mood, just watch the Mummy--Brendan Frasier version. You'll leave much happier.
857 reviews5 followers
September 1, 2021

I love how these stories are full of the history flavor, have delightful romances woven through them, and are full of intrigue. Excellent storytelling. Hattie is a firecracker, and I love it. Bing is such a wonderful character (I need a girl like her as my bestie) and Berry-Daniel-who knows what his actual name is was really cool. These stories are so much fun as they pull characters in from her other stand alone stories. I can't wait for more!!!
Profile Image for eyes.2c.
2,580 reviews66 followers
November 5, 2013
Hattie Blackhouse arrives with her companion Miss Bing at her lodgings in Paris. In short order she pushes an intruder down the back stairs, finds out her childhood friend, Robbie Tremaine is unaccountably to be married in two days to the widow of a work acquaintance her parents, is approached at a soirée by an aging french roué, Baron du Pays, is introduced to the intruder, sought out by the enigmatic Monsieur Berry, and interviewed by an un-named official of the English government. Of course there is also a mysterious Comte. All seeking information about her parents strongbox. Oh, and Miss Bing's dead brother and Robbie's widowed fiancé dead husband worked with or for her parents in Egypt.
Long neglected by her parents during her childhood whilst they spent their time pursuing their passion, Hattie does find it disturbing that though her parents neglected to provide emotionally for her, in their death have provided materially for her.
Hattie's famous Egyptologist parents appear to have disappeared without a trace from their Theban dig and are presumed dead. Hattie sets forth to Cairo with Bing to discover the truth. Bodies litter the stage as Hattie forges forward in her quest to locate at the very least her parents bodies. Politics and intrigue jostle each other for prominence. Mysterious references to Napoleon lurk in the background, although he is supposedly confined to Elba. Powerful sources certainly seem to be at play as Bing warns.
Monsieur Berry turns up and Hattie becomes more and more fascinated by him. He-who-was-not-Daniel, as Hattie meditatively refers to him.
Secrets run deep and swift and I certainly did not see a major deception coming. Romance blooms in unexpected ways. The surprises just keep coming!
I really enjoyed the cut and thrust of the action as events piled on top of each other to the point where I wondered if I was watching an enjoyable farce much in the vein of 'The Importance of Being Ernest,' or if Hercule Poirot would suddenly emerge from behind a column.
No, better still, I was reading an enjoyable romantic thriller. An excellent read!

A NetGalley ARC
Profile Image for Julia Hendon.
Author 10 books12 followers
January 24, 2014
Not a bad effort at a Regency romance but not a particularly good one either. The story starts out okay with Hathor (Hattie) Blackhouse traveling to Paris in the early 1800s. Her parents, famous Egyptologists (although it is really too early in the history of Egyptian archaeology to call them that), are missing and Hattie encounters many different people seemingly interested in any items her parents might have given her. Always a sucker for a good tomb and treasure mystery, I was hopeful. However, the author pretty quickly abandons the theme of lost Egyptian treasure or tombs for an abrupt and unconvincing turn to political intrigue surrounding Napoleon, now captive on the island of Elba. Hattie was not an especially convincing 19th-century young woman and her romance was contrived. The author gave us almost now sense of place or descriptions of the people, a recent trend I've noticed in historical fiction. I guess the authors don't want to do the research but it leaves one feeling that the story could be taking place anywhere, at any time. A good enough read while waiting to do something else because you can put it down and pick it up without losing much.
Profile Image for Joan.
438 reviews52 followers
October 4, 2019
Anne Cleeland writes excellent historical fiction every bit as well engrossing as she does with mystery. Daughter of a God King is set in the Regency period and the plot is fast paced with a near perfect balance of mystery, romance, and historical elements. The main character, Hathor/Hattie Blackhouse, was captivating, smart, and resourceful. When her parents, renown Egyptologists, go missing from a Thebian dig site, the intrepid Hattie go on a harrowing quest to find her parents. Hattie really carries the story and the secondary characters are also well-developed, especially Hattie's mysterious love interest, Berry.

Just as with her other excellent story, Tainted Angel, Cleeland does an excellent job of building tension between Hattie and Berry and keeping everyone guessing about Berry's true motives. This was such a great read, I felt completely immersed in the Regency period and my fascination with archeological digs was renewed. I love Anne Cleeland’s New Scotland Yard series and her stand-alone novels are refreshing and well-written.
Profile Image for Deena.
1,366 reviews7 followers
October 10, 2014
I really enjoyed this. I wish there were a sequel - and indeed, the story is left with room for more, although not at all in a "sell a next-in-the-series" way. And since the prisoner is only in his first exile, there is "time" for more story as well (hint, hint, Ms. Cleeland!!!)

I really liked both Hattie and Bing, and the story line. Hattie is young and fairly naïve, but learns as she goes, and makes amazingly few plot-device stupid decisions, which is refreshing. It's actually rather ironic that I should like this, as one of my pet-peeves with historical fiction is the insertion of historical figures into fictional stories; because of the prisoner's role in the story, however, it's not a problem here.

(I think I've been rather clever in including pretty specific details that are - I hope! - not spoilers.)

Yes, I definitely really liked this.
Profile Image for Fareeha.
743 reviews5 followers
September 21, 2018
My expectations were higher than the result for this book - a historical fiction set in Egypt, mystery with an adventurous quest and a dash of romance - seemed right up my alley - but the execution leaves much to be desired.

The Egyptian setting is very basic at best with no real effort put in to make the surroundings come alive - it’s a mish-mash of name droppings and vague locales (and having been to Egypt and the very locales), liberties have been taken with the facts which are wrongly stated as are temple names and timelines.

The characters are stereotypical to the extreme: the typical stoic and unflappable British companion (Bing), a highly know-it-all (and the not charming kind) heroine Hattie, the jack-of-all-trades and perfect hero whatever-his-name-his; the voluptuous Eugenie who is necessary for a spy story; the old-friend and side-interest for jealousy scenarios Robbie; the caricatures of villains; and a far-reaching father figure (no spoilers) who hasn’t been handled well into the story - it’s not really done well.

The storyline and the mystery are not that engrossing either with seemingly random acts happening to the heroine which only push her literally into the arms of the hero with no real intention to getting anywhere particularly near the solution with an aim. Lots of authors have done this very well - this isn’t one of them.

The romance is sort of insta and the heart of the book instead of the mystery. Each second page is devoted to it which makes it a little too much especially in light of the fact that Hattie has had no real interactions with other men except Robbie and gets lucky in falling in love with the hero otherwise she’ll be considered very dumb to be taken in with all the attentions of a stranger with ulterior motives.

With lastly brings me to the ending and all that rigmarole of the hero’s identity which became so twisty by the end that I stopped caring who he eventually turned out to be and wanted it done and over with.

Overall, it’s a bland effort of a historical mystery so-called set in Egypt with not much Egyptian flavor, with an attention seeking heroine whose romance is the main point of the story.
13 reviews
April 22, 2020
A book based loosely on historical events, Daughter of the God-King was clearly written with a great love of the time period. The setting and dialogue are rich with the post Napoleonic war setting.
Personally I found the pacing to be very inconsistent: slow in the beginning, slower in the middle, and then it finally picked up about the last third. There are times when the main character spends more time reasoning about what she's going to do than I feel is necessary and it bogged down the scene. I also felt that for a book that starts by insisting the main character has a temper it didn't play much of a role in the conflicts until the end. Since Hattie is based on a historical figure I suppose combining characterization and accuracy could be a challenge, but I often felt like she was just along for the ride and thereby not the most engaging character.
The romance was ok. I'm glad the author aged Hattie up a bit for it. It certainly wasn't the main focus of the book, but during the middle is was the most interesting part.
Profile Image for Emily M.
726 reviews10 followers
May 11, 2020
This Mother's Day read started out promising, with some fun spy activities and Egyptian archaeological details that interested me after having studied it with the kids this year, but eventually devolved into a rather incoherent mess of too many undeveloped characters double crossing each other, I think? The instalove was especially uncompelling, the 21st century behavior of the women especially jarring, and the secret of Hattie's antecedents was frankly a bridge too far. Fortunately no more scandalous than an Amelia Peabody novel, though the only character I really liked was the spinster companion who reminded me of Amelia. Except I don't get how Miss Bing easily reads hieroglyphics in the tomb when the Rosetta Stone has only recently been discovered? When did she have time to acquire that skill as a single lady in Regency England? I guess this was better than the last novel I read by a Pepperdine grad.
2,102 reviews31 followers
February 20, 2021
A fun and entertaining read though I take issue on plausible authenticity with regard to the Contemporary language... some words and word combinations and/or phrases are TOO late 20th century to the Present so that their use in this particular context tends to jar the Timeline a bit... some even, too American that also makes the setting a bit dubious. But a lot could be forgiven for an author who truly could spin a fine yarn. I have seen a bit of the nauseating show Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld (by Apple) and I could not tolerate, much less reconcile, the Contemporary use and context to the 19th century supposedly dialogue and to the period costumes, it's bizarre and off~kilter... but then there is also Netflix's Bridgerton... so what the heck ~ to each his own... different strokes for different folks... etc... etc... etc.
Profile Image for Deborah Gebhardt.
720 reviews4 followers
February 8, 2023
Another good romantic adventure during England's regency period.
Hathor (Hattie) grew up in the Cornish countryside in the absence of her Egyptologist parents. She always expected to join them after she achieved her eighteenth year. When the invitation to escape her boring life was never received, she decided marriage was a solution, selecting the man, Robbie, she grew up with as her intended. When his position with the diplomatic service lands him in Paris, she elects to follow him there.
But her arrival in Paris is beyond expectation, the man she followed is betrothed to an older woman, there are watchers, attempted burglary, veiled warnings, cutpurses and her parents have been missing for three months.
Hattie decides that the answers to everything may lie in Egypt, so she travels there, and the adventure begins.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,175 reviews6 followers
January 22, 2021
Hathor's parents essentially left her in Cornwall while they were in Egypt conducting archaeological excavations. She escaped her boring life and, with her companion, Bing, set off to find much more adventure than she planned. Several twists, spies and superstition surround Hattie and Bing as they attempt to find out what happened to Hattie's missing parents. Many Regencies are set in England and deal with Napoleon in a rather distant manner, but this one was set after he was exiled to Elba; not a commonly covered time period for the genre. This was interesting and action-packed with likable characters.
Profile Image for Sabina.
24 reviews4 followers
April 24, 2021
I have read the entire Elizabeth Peter’s series, which have become my beloved books, so as soon as I saw this book title I couldn’t wait to read it. Opening the cover of Daughter of the god-king, I was eager to be transported back to Egypt. I nearly gave up as I found the first chapter a character dump. It took me until the end of chapter 3 to remember who was who. I am glad I persisted because the more I read the book, the more I enjoyed it. If there was a half star option I would have given 4 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Jaime.
342 reviews
December 24, 2020
Like others, I was hoping this would take a place on my bookshelves next to my Amelia Peabody collection. Sadly, no. It was average; entertaining enough, but not spectacular. There were several plot points I disliked (but I won’t post spoilers here), and the inclusion of some historical aspects, such as various idioms, was awkward.

RA notes: contains some violence & several sexual references/situations of mild to moderate spice
Profile Image for Pamela.
609 reviews5 followers
September 10, 2021
Fast-moving novel in the tradition of Amelia Peabody. However, since this appears to be a stand-alone novel, we are left with many questions regarding both Hathor and Dimitry. Most of the action takes place in Egypt around the death of Hathor archeologist parents and their last dig. However, there are so many mysterious characters of French, English, Egyptian swirling around, that the plot is somewhat confusing. Too bad, the author does not write more adventures for this enterprising couple.
Profile Image for Judy King.
Author 1 book23 followers
October 16, 2021
Great concept and plotting, characters I could see and hear, locations I could see and feel.. But. I'm not sure if the author didn't know how to move the plot other than to have various characters think about options, talk about options abd think about options again before acting or it she jyst needed a giid editor. What I do know is after a good start, everything slowed to a crawl. By 50 % I was ready to be done. By 60% I was fighting myself about finishing and skimming pages...
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