New Young Adult Book Reveals Secrets of Lost King Tut Manuscript

King Tut is one of the most famous pharaohs of Ancient Egypt due to the discovery of his fabulous tomb, but his full story has not been known so far. Young adult author Cheryl Carpinello has created an imaginative yet historical account of the full life story of King Tut in her new novel Tutankhamen Speaks.

Both a stand-alone young adult novel and a companion book to Carpinello’s time travel adventure novel, Children of the Sphinx, Tutankhamen Speaks contains a letter to the author from an Egyptologist named SW Lothian. In it, Lothian includes the recently discovered manuscript that constitutes the bulk of the novel; that manuscript tells the life story of King Tut in his own words. Of course, the manuscripts found have long been a staple of adventure fiction, but what makes this one special is that ancient texts from ancient Egypt have long alluded to scrolls that recorded the history of the King Tut’s life as told from beyond the grave. Of course, scholars thought that it was impossible for someone, even a pharaoh, to be able to speak after his death.

However, as Carpinello makes clear, King Tut could have spoken through a medium who later wrote the story. And what a story it is! King Tut tells us the full story of his life from when he was a child and not yet recognized as heir to the throne of Egypt, through the death of his father and his own accession to the throne; We learn of his love for Ankhesenpaaten, whom he married, the sadness they experienced over the loss of a son, and the politics and hierarchy of ancient Egypt with its courtly intrigues.

Being written in the form of an ancient manuscript, the story is divided into fragments and parts of the text are missing in some places, another literary ploy by Carpinello, but one that will make young readers feel that the manuscript and the story are real. I was almost convinced. More importantly, readers will be able to see Ancient Egypt through the eyes of its most famous ruler and step into his shoes to discover what life was like four thousand years ago.

As a companion piece to Sons of the Sphinx, this book expands on many of the incidents in King Tut’s life referenced in that book. Both books are independent and either of them can be read first. Carpinello loves to bring the distant past to life through his books. Previously, he brought the days of King Arthur to young adult readers in his popular books Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and The King’s Ransom. She knows well how to combine entertainment with information that will make readers want to learn more about her subjects, a skill she has acquired after years of being involved in education. According to his website, he is currently working on more books, including those set in Atlantis and Pompeii, as well as a sequel to Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend.

Keep coming back, Cheryl. This adult reader loves them and I would have loved them even more as a kid! If I had read Tutankhamen Speaks when I was in school, it might have inspired me to fulfill my other dream of being an archaeologist instead of an author.

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