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"Vessels (The Dusk Eternal)" by Rachael Dunn - IHIBRP 5-Star Book Review

The Occult, Mysticism, And Horror Create A Powerful Egyptian Historical Fantasy!

Overview: A reincarnated Egyptian pharaoh who, according to prophecy is destined to lead her people from an occupying empire, fights to reclaim her kingdom.

Author Rachel Dunn pens a colorful and intriguing portrait of ancient Egyptian culture and belief in her absorbing historical fantasy novel, “Vessels (The Dusk Eternal)” as a powerful Pharaoh, who was recently killed in battle, is mysteriously resurrected into the body of a boisterous, single-minded seven-year-old, female drowning victim.

From the start of this story, Dunn’s main character, Ashira, captivates readers with her insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. She is a precocious and compelling character—larger than life and single-minded despite her youth—imbued with a talent for performing miracles and controlling the dead. Ashira leads readers on a powerful and complex journey to reclaim her former-life position as Pharoah as she matures from an individual who observes the injustice and heartache of her people to a potential ruler with a new point of view.

The author enhances her tale with a certain degree of humor as she bares the essence of a great Pharaoh, with all the authority, entitlement, and sense of purpose one can muster, emerging from the form of a mere child. Through the main character’s lust for power, her manipulation of life and death, and her ability to control the undead, elements of the occult, mysticism, and horror come together to create a powerfully tense and suspenseful historical fantasy.

Dunn has performed her research for “Vessels” quite well, setting her fictional story against the panorama of Egypt during the Roman occupation. In her story, Rome is represented by Dunn as the nation of “Alvari”. During the Roman occupation, Egyptians were still worshipping the ancient gods, temples and their acolytes were kept intact as long as they didn’t interfere with Roman governance, and priests were still performing the mummification process which is so prolifically featured in this story. Through her main character’s interaction with the daughter of the Alvari prefect, Dunn effectively demonstrates the conflict of rule against the blending of culture and religions that occurs when one nation is either conquered or annexed by another.

It is noteworthy that Dunn chooses to feature a girl as a reincarnated pharaoh since history proves that, in ancient times, Egypt was competently and prosperously ruled by several female Pharaohs. In the immediate years following their reigns, there is also evidence that these female rulers were subject to discrimination since the monuments erected in commemoration of these great women were later publicly defaced or entirely destroyed. As an historian, I’d like to give a personal nod to the author for choosing to create a male pharaonic character who is later reincarnated in female form, thus giving a nod to these former great Queens of Egypt.

“Vessels (The Dusk Eternal” is a stark and compelling read that will leave readers of Egyptian lore and historical fantasy well sated and satisfied. Ancient Egyptian society, culture, religion, and traditions are well represented by the author and the stories of her characters come to life between these pages. This novel contains adult language and situations, as well as graphic scenes of death and violence. I highly recommend this read for anyone who loves tales about the culture, traditions, and mythology of Egypt, as well as those who are curious about a woman’s place in Egyptian society.

Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!

Find "Vessels (The Dusk Eternal)" by Rachael Dunn on Amazon & Kindle here.

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