4 out of 4 stars
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The Sun at Twilight tells a story of duty, love, and sacrifice. A new king has emerged to rule Hatti, but he doesn't seem strong enough to lead. With the constant issues rising in the land and tales of bad news and problems spring up every day, the new king has to prove himself.
Tashmi-sharrumma has just become king, but he starts aging faster with the unending challenges he faces daily. He doesn't think himself legitimate enough to be king, and some people don't either. For fear of offending the gods, he ends a lifelong friendship. However, this leads to unforeseen issues. Will Tashmi-sharrumma be able to sort out these issues?
The Sun at Twilight was exciting to read, even though it lacked the element of suspense. The way the story flowed made up for the lack of suspense in more ways than one. I did expect to see that element in a story like this. However, I wasn't disappointed with the overall delivery of the book.
The author made up for the lack of suspense by paying attention to detail with the descriptions. This made the story seem realistic, as most significant events were described in the minutest detail. My most favorite descriptions were those of the battle formations and strategies used during battle. It was like getting a first-hand glimpse into this ancient world. I was drawn to the story by the descriptions.
Another factor I appreciated in the book was the excellent character development. Taking Kurunta, for instance, we get to see his character develop from a loyal to a vengeful person due to the things he had been experienced. The development of certain characters helped a great deal in shaping the plot twist in the book.
N. L. Holmes was not only telling a story, but she also passed valuable historical knowledge in the book. She gives us a glimpse of the Hittite culture. She does this by writing a detailed story set in this era and providing specific details about their culture. Before reading the book, I had only heard in passing about the culture. However, from the book, I got an in-depth knowledge of it. The descriptions of the lifestyle, rituals, taboos (like not touching a corpse which required purification if done), and religious practices (like consulting oracles) were clear and detailed.
N.L Holmes' reputation of writing good books precedes her, and The Sun at Twilight satisfies my expectations. Asides from the apparent lack of suspense in the book, I have no issues with it. The errors are few and not distracting. Therefore, I give it a perfect rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to lovers of historical fiction set in a not-so-popular culture and era.
The Sun at Twilight
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