It has been an entire moon since the fire—since Sesha and her little brother Ky lost their mother and father and found themselves orphans on the perilous streets of Thebes. Having only narrowly escaped the blaze with their own lives, the siblings struggle to survive, charming snakes for spare coin and stealing goods from distracted vendors. In an unfortunate brush with the law, Sesha is forced to reveal their lineage as the children of the late royal physician, returning them to the palace and their once home. But Sesha knows the gods were not to blame for her parents’ deaths—someone betrayed them, perhaps even the Pharaoh himself.
Sesha’s father was working on transcribing an ancient papyrus with far reaching consequences for Egypt—and the rest of the world. A priceless scroll, believed to have been written by the Great Imhotep, the document has the power to shift the balance in an approaching war with the neighbouring kingdom of Hyksos; clear or condemn the royal family in the murder of her parents; and save her brother from a looming—and potentially fatal—illness. Vowing to the gods to discover the truth, Sesha engages in a clandestine search for the hidden scroll. But she’s not alone.
As the only girl enrolled in studies at the temple, safety is a mirage that constantly has Sesha looking over her shoulder. Among conspiracy at court, treachery at the temple, famine in the fields, and whispers of war, Sesha puts her father’s snake charming lessons to use in taming the nest of royal vipers. Using her knowledge of reading and writing, her talent for healing, her quick thinking, and the help of her fellow scribes and a certain princess, Sesha may just find the sacred text before it falls into the wrong hands—and time runs out to cure her brother.
Full of intrigue and adventure, Sevigny’s middle grade debut is sure to do for ancient history what Riordan has done for mythology—ignite passionate readers of all ages.