Song of the King’s Heart: Blood and Chaos by Nicole Sallak Anderson
Blood and Chaos takes place in Egypt during the relatively short time span of 204-199 BCE. This is in the middle of the biggest push by the Egyptians to expel the Greek invaders who had taken over Egypt 125 years prior. Prince Ankhmakis is fully immersed in the difficult realities of war—training troops, strategizing against the enemy, and of course, engaging in bloody hand-to-hand combat. What little free time he has he covertly devotes to his twin flame Natasha, high priestess-in-waiting for the temple of Isis, and their daughter, Helena. Doing that puts them in danger, however, as the various powers that be in the Egyptian royal court are waging their own wars against the prince and his loved ones. The more they learn about how Natasha and Ankhmakis spend their time, the more willing they are to use trickery and deceit (and in some cases, high magic) to get what they want, larger consequences be damned.
Nicole Sallak Anderson’s second novel pulls us into the core of Ankhmakis’ and Natasha’s lives—their eternal connection and deep love for each other, the wicked and destructive forces that conspire against them, and Egypt’s desperate bid for freedom, which influences everything. While Egypt is the setting for the Song of the King’s Heart trilogy, you don’t have to be an Egyptophile to appreciate Nicole Sallak Anderson’s skill as a writer. Her nimble weaving of intricate plots and rendering of the compelling characters therein make for an outstanding story. Throw in the fierce battle scenes and unearthly descriptions of energy work and magic and you have a breathtaking, masterfully written novel. What Anderson has set in motion in Blood and Chaos is primed to culminate in an extraordinary finale in Civilization’s End. If the third book is anything like this one, it will be well worth the wait.