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What the River Knows

[A quick note: This was one of my HIGHEST anticipated reads of autumn 2023. I was so keen for it just based on the description alone. There aren’t a lot of Egypt based fantasy books. It’s such an underrated setting! Plus, I grew up obsessed with The Mummy movies. Like, OBSESSED. So when this was tagged as The Mummy meets Death On The Nile, I knew I needed to read it.]

“If I left, I’d never understand what brought them here, year after year. To learn who they were so I wouldn’t forget about them. If I left, I’d never learn what happened to them. Curiosity burned a path straight to my heart, making it beat wildly. More than anything, I wanted to know what was worth their lives. If they thought of me at all. If they missed me.” —Isabel Ibañez

This book has ALL THE VIBES. I wanted something that felt a little like The Mummy with all the archeology aspects. This delivered! From Cairo to Philae, this is packed with Egyptian settings that will whisk you away. Also, can we take a moment appreciate that the author did go to Egypt while writing this?!

I loved reading a story with a South American character, seeing all her cultural influence woven into the writing. Inez Olivera is part of the glittering upper society in Buenos Aires. She discovers that her parents are killed while on an archeological expedition to Egypt. She wants answers, so she journeys there (unchaperoned, gasp!) and meets the dashing but infuriating Whittford, who works for her uncle. Her uncle thwarts her at every turn, insisting that she return home, that Egypt isn’t safe for a young lady like her. Yet, she persists. It’s her tenacity that I loved so much, the way she always finds a work around. She was such a great character and it was fun seeing her growth!

I also loved the romance that develops between Inez and Whit. Whit has secrets, and Inez is determined to see through his exterior. Despite their forbidden feelings, they find themselves falling for each other. sigh Whit is a great morally gray character and I cannot wait to see what devilish things he’s up to in the second book.

As for the plot, I loved it! A trip down the Nile. An archeological dig to discover Cleopatra’s tomb. A shocking betrayal. It’s all there! I struggled to put this story down. I wanted answers about Inez’s parents, I wanted the adventure of discovery, I wanted to see the romance bloom. The balance was perfect.

I cannot wait for the second book. The little epilogue cliff hanger KILLED me. I’m going to die waiting.



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