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Formed of Clay: (a short novel of ancient Egypt) [Kindle Edition]

Thea Atkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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What Amazon customers are saying about Formed of Clay

"As usual, Ms. Atkinson has turned out a spectacular and gripping story set in a time of ancient evil and predation in Egypt." |RedAdept Reviews Book Blog

"Motivating and captivating!" |Mystic Thoughts blog

"The author creates a fascinating dark tale that weaves together mythology, and Egyptian history into a spellbinding story as modern as it is ancient" |Sammy Writes

In ancient Egypt, betrayal will cost you your soul
Young Sentu enters the elite world of Egyptian priesthood in order to learn the new letters of Pharaoh Menes's court.

He soon learns that not all is as holy as it appears in the privileged world of scribes and priests. Black magics and malice abound in the court of the first pharaoh of ancient Egypt, where Book of the Dead theology is twisted into an avenue for personal gain, and the High Priest offers ritual sacrifices that involve involve anyone who stands in his way to ultimate power.

When Sentu discovers a plot to unseat the Pharaoh that involves a beautiful Nubian sorceress, Sentu's own world crashes around him, leaving him to find his own dangerous path to justice.

Formed of Clay is a short novel of ancient Egypt written for the new adult historical fantasy fan mixed with a touch of metaphysical thriller. It transports the reader into a dark exploration of a world before the pyramids in a time rich with ancient Egyptian history and Egyptian mythology, a time when betrayal and sacrifice made coming of age more dangerous than we could imagine.

This story creates the background history for the novel Throwing Clay Shadows: historical fiction set in 1800s Scotland.

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More About the Author

Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction; call it what you will: she prefers to describe her work as psychological thrillers with a distinct literary flavour. As in her bestselling novel, Anomaly, her characters often find themselves in the darker edges of their own spirits but manage to find the light they seek.

She has been an editor, a freelancer, and a teacher, but fiction is her passion. She now blogs and writes and twitters. Not necessarily in that order.

Please visit her blog for ramblings, guest posts, giveaways, and more

or follow her on twitter!/theaatkinson

or like her facebook page:

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goosebumps 7 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an unflinching look at betrayal and the repercussions to the betrayer. Although the story is set in ancient Egypt, and richly detailed in this respect, the choices the protagonist, Sentu, makes - initially from fear and later from loathing - could apply to almost any historical setting.

It's a fascinating examination of how love can turn to horror and loathing through personal perspective; how hating a choice made through love and fear can turn on the person you were trying to save.

Formed of Clay is a novella, although I wouldn't call it a fast read - there were too many passages that had me turning my kindle off and thinking about what I'd just read. Sentu could be any of us, with all of our flaws, fears, hopes and dreams.

Highly recommended for an intelligent, entertaining and ultimately chilling read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PHARAOHNIC FANTASY 21 Oct. 2011
By BobH
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I read 'Formed of Clay' I was increasingly reminded of Joan Grant's 'Winged Pharaoh' (1937). She placed her novel as far back in Egyptian history as she could but her heroine, Sekeeta, survives. Just like Thea Atkinson she wanted to take features of Ancient Egyptian mythology and weave them into a mixture of known and invented practices. Naturally Thea Atkinson sets her novel during the time of Menes, the half-legendary version of Narmer - who would NOT have invaded Nubia NOR had the sort of tomb resembling structures five centuries after his period (c. 3300 B.C.) Of course, this allows imagination go full-pelt but take the 'history' with a pinch of salt - e.g. ushabti was used for the tiny figures developing a thousand years after Menes as SUBSTITUTES for servants etc. in the after life (there is scarcely any evidence of human sacrifice with dying rulers) even in pre-dynastic times; the belief system regarding the After-Life developed over centuries, as did writing and mummification, AFTER that early period. Most of what we think of as Ancient Egyptian practices date from the Middle Kingdom (c.2000 B.C.) and later.
So, with all that critical comment, why do I gave the novella 4 stars? Because it's a damn good story - you could say the same about King Arthur and the Scarlet Pimpernel. The reader sees the treachery and nastiness right up front through the eyes of a self-confessed weak and selfish individual. Cruelty, perversion and malevolence are there in all their richness, encased in a welter of mumbo-jumbo posing as religious practice.
Sit back and read it at a fine speed and you'll enjoy a riveting tale but please don't take it seriously.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent historical fiction 21 Aug. 2011
By TopCat
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoy historical fiction and haven't read any for a while so picked this up looking forward to revisiting the genre. This novella is set in Ancient Egypt and is the story of Sentu, who wants to be accepted into the Priesthood to be able to study in the Pharoah's court. Coming from lowly fellahin origins he feels it must be a miracle when he is initiated into the Priesthood. From the start he appears to be special to High Priest Hozat, earning him the disdain of the other initiates, apart from faithful Ahmen. He quickly realises his world is corrupt, and discovers the horrors of life under Hozat. This is a story of friendship and betrayal.

The story contains rich details of Egyptian beliefs and mythology that had me fascinated. To start with Sentu was a sympathetic character but by the end my feelings about him were far less clear cut. The details of ritual sacrifices and torture were uncompromising as painted a different picture of the people of that time to the one I have seen previously. So often the Pharoah takes a starring role in stories of Ancient Egypt but here one of his wives, Berenib, is more prominent. She is scheming and vindictive, a complete contrast to Nubian priestess Asrule, who is dignified and strong despite her imprisonment.

I liked this novella with its strong characters and different perspective from other books in this vein. There were some paragraphs I had to re-read to make sense of, which pulled me out of the moment, and there were some Gods and Egyptian terms I wasn't familiar with and as a result I felt I might be missing something, but overall it was a good, intelligent read and I'd happily look at other works by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Formed of clay 10 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story haunts the imagination The author really knows her subject making the settings characters visually leap from the sands of Egypt. Iwas in parts harrowing yet beautifullt scripted. Sentu artistic and sensitive is a contrast to the pragmatic Ahmen. Berenib is manipulative and cruel whilst Asrule is a pillar of proud strength even when imprisoned. Hozat a despoiler of innocence is evil personified. Unforgetable. Loved this story. Katy Walters
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