ShiriShiri by D.S. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shiri is a romantic historical fiction story taking place in Palestine and Egypt during biblical times. The main character, Shiri, stands by helpless as the pharaoh’s son, Amenhotep, invades her village and slaughters everyone she loves. While injured, she manages to make it to the Shepherd King, Jacobaam, to warn him of the army’s advance. Unfortunately, it is too late. As the pharaoh defeats the king and his forces, Shiri is captured and made a slave. She is taken in by Josef – the son of the fallen king in disguise. They travel to Heliopolis to try and eventually free the Habiru people taken as slaves. But as time passes, the two grow further apart and destiny cannot be thwarted. Will either Shiri or Josef ever truly be free of their past?

I would first like to state that I received this through NetGalley for an honest review. It’s a rare story that moves me enough that I am at a complete loss for words. As I sit here writing this review, I am struggling to do both the book and the author justice. This was such a deep and powerful story with many parallels to the tale of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Though there were such similarities, they were more vague references and this was a wholly unique read. There was quite a bit of violence and mature topics as this depicts the atrocities of war and its aftermath so I would not recommend to younger readers or those bothered by such descriptions. And while the story is heart-wrenching, it is definitely a keeper. Read this one with a box of tissues close at hand.

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