“Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?” -Counted with the Stars, by Connilyn Cossette.
I’ve been watching so many youtube videos about Biblical fiction, trying to do some research on the writing style and flow of the genre, and this book has been mentioned over and over and OVER. So, I checked it out at my local library (a physical copy instead of a digital one!).
I was not disappointed. Truly, this book is amazing. It’s very well-written, the language is beautiful, and the characters are enjoyable. Kiya is feisty but is also a little scared (totally relatable) and is very skeptical of the “new” God presented to her by the Hebrew servants she works with.
I love that this book is told from the perspective of someone who fled Egypt during the exodus. Just an average person hearing about Moses and Aaron and reacting to all the plagues. And in Kiya’s case, as an Egyptian, she is trying to rationalize the plagues. It’s really an interesting read to see someone trying to figure out what is happening in the weeks leading up to the mass exodus.
Also, I love that Cossette described manna. We have no way of knowing what manna tasted like, of course, but I loved seeing her take on it. She made me want to try some, so I think she accomplished her goal!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Why: I read this book in two days. The way that Cossette describes people, places, and objects in Counted with the Stars is amazing. I felt as if I was with Kiya through the plagues and in the desert. I’m a sucker for romance, and this book has some! I was very pleased to see the enemies to lovers trope slowly unfurl in this book.
Also, I think that it was a good touch that Kiya’s brother, Jumo, is disabled (he has a speech impediment and difficulty walking). I haven’t found many books that feature people with disabilities, and Jumo plays a fairly large role in Kiya’s motivations and her life (as well as the book).
I don’t know if I have to say this, but since this book is about the Exodus and written by a Christian author, this book is indeed Christian fiction. There is no strong language, but there are a couple of scenes where men try to take advantage of Kiya and there is death in this book (mostly the plagues). If you’ve read the Old Testament, the themes in this book shouldn’t be too hard to read. Cossette doesn’t go into deep description of anything related to death.
Ending thoughts: Get this book. Get it, read it in 24 hours, get the next book (because it’s a trilogy!!).
As always, I hope you have a wonderful day, Storm