Book Review: Counted With The Stars by Connilyn Cossette

counted with the stars connilyn cossette book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

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.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

  • Genre: Biblical Fiction
  • Published: 08/2016
  • Pages: 332
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.35 stars
Counted With The Stars Connilyn Cossette Book Review
He said, If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.
— Exodus 15:26

Why I Chose This Book

I have to admit I was first attracted to the cover. I mean, how gorgeous is this cover?! And of course, the story is also what drew me in. It was a female perspective on Exodus so I thought it would be definitely interesting! 

First Initial Thoughts

The story is from the perspective of Kiya. Kiya is an Egyptian. At the beginning, her father loses all his ships to a storm out at sea. He is now penniless. To save her mother and brother from slavery, she is sold into slavery to a wealthy family. Even though she was devastated by the situation, she took it in great stride and did what she could to survive. I admired her for her perseverance and dedication. 

Tekurah is the mistress of the family Kiya is sold to. She is a bitter woman. I found her to be spoiled and non-compassionate towards anyone.  She is also cruel to Kiya and tries to break her, but fails. Shefu, the husband, however, was the total opposite. Thought quiet, he was compassionate and attentive to his children. He loved them dearly. Shefu also assures Kiya that Tekurah is to never hurt her and inside I think he hated Tekurah for emotionally hurting Kiya. 

Shira is a Hebrew slave in the household of Tekurah and Shefu. Kiya immediately makes friends with her, even though they are total opposites. Shira is the one that introduces Kiya to God.  

The Egyptians kind of reminded me of the Romans in the first part of the novel. They have huge banquets, love to bathe, and adorn themselves with jewels and fine fabrics. However, their life is about to change with the 7 plagues. 

Setting

Connilyn immediately immerses you in the world of Egypt. She has a talent for creating a world that is now gone. You could see and smell the surrounding temples, villas, and merchants of Egypt. 

This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hands I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink and the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.
—  Exodus 7:17–18

Final Thoughts

I really liked that the main character in the story, Kiya, was strong. I like a book when the main character is a strong female character. 

It was interesting to see how all the 10 plagues were played out in this book. If you need a fresh reminder of the 10 plagues, they are in order: 

  1. Water Into Blood
  2. Frogs
  3. Lice
  4. Mixture of animals or flies
  5. Diseased Livestock
  6. Boils 
  7. Thunderstorm of hail
  8. Locusts
  9. Darkness for 3 days 
  10. Death of Firstborn

Despite the horrors experienced, Kiya kept going and was determined to survive. Even though all of the plagues were well written in the book, the ones that stood out to me most was the water in blood and darkness for 3 days. I can't imagine 3 whole days in complete darkness (not even stars or moon to light the way). That must of been frightening!! Though her strong friendship with Shira, she is able to save her older brother from death by taking him to Shira's house during the 10th plague. 

The only small gripe I had with the story is towards the end she kind of rushed through the whole escape through the water with the Egyptians running after the Hebrews. I would have liked to see that played out in more detail. 

What I found inspiring is Kiya's growing relationship with God. She grew up only knowing the Gods/Goddesses of Egypt. She took faith in something she barely knew. This story emphasized that God loves everyone and anyone is welcome in his home. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I liked that it was a fresh perspective of Exodus. I liked that it was a from a female perspective and not to mention an Egyptian! It's always interesting to see a story from the "enemy's" side. 

Would I Recommend?

Definitely! Anyone interested in a fresh perspective on the story of Exodus will definitely like this!

 

Do you like the story of Exodus? What do you find most interesting about it? Write your thoughts in the comments! 

You can purchase the book ---> HERE

Thanks for stopping by and until next time!  

the caffeinated bibliophile