The excerpt, continuing on, close to the beginning of the book. The high priestess Inu has been gravely wounded and stumbled into the inner sanctum where Mayet was cleaning. Mayet is speaking:
“But what am I to do? Who can I go to for help?”
“No one. They’re all dead or dying.” Inu roused herself although her eyes were glassy and her breathing labored. “You must get the goddess’s effigy to safety. The statue holds much power and I know Shabak wants to get his hands on it. The raiders will be here soon. Take it and go.”
Go where? Mayet didn’t give voice to her question for fear of the answer.
There was a pounding on the door and dust drifted from the beautifully painted ceiling above. Head swimming, Mayet turned to Inu for more instruction but the priestess was dead, having used the last of her strength to reach this sanctuary. Mayet was frozen in terrified indecision until the pounding at the door renewed, increasing in force. It sounded as if whoever wanted entry had a battering ram.
Rising to her feet, Mayet faced the statue of the goddess. Putting her hands together and bowing her head, she said, “Protect me, Great One. I beg for thy assistance in carrying out this fearsome task.”
There was no sign from the statue as the goddess continued to stare serenely into the distance.
DANGER ON THE NILE (CHILDREN OF FATE) by Veronica Scott
1550 BCE. Mayet is a newly appointed priestess at the temple of Isis in a southern Egyptian border town. When enemies attack the city, she must flee alone with a sacred effigy to keep the invaders from claiming it and using it for their own magic rituals. Joining with other refugees from the stricken city, she has to hide the statue from curious eyes and comfort her companions as if she was a learned, senior priestess. They all look to her for leadership on their desperate trek north. With the enemy close on their heels, Mayet stumbles over an ancient, abandoned fort, where her party takes refuge. Surrounded and trapped by the invaders, she faces a bleak future.
Khay is a high-ranking Egyptian officer, sent by Pharaoh to negotiate treaties with various southern tribes. He and his soldiers narrowly escape an ambush at the city where Mayet’s temple was located and are on the run from the invaders when he sees the shelter of an abandoned fort. Now he and his men are also trapped inside the stout walls with no food and no hope of rescue. Yet he has no regrets for the priestess leading the refugees is the woman the goddess Isis has shown him in a vision, the one who could become his wife.
Together Mayet and Khay must find a way to bring their people to freedom. Will Isis listen to pleas from such a fledgling priestess? Khay comes from a famous family, smiled upon by other gods – will any of them come to his aid? As the pair struggle to stay alive and save the other Egyptians, attraction grows and unites their hearts. But is there to be a future in this world, or only in the Afterlife?
My other ancient Egyptian paranormal romances…