Cover Image: The Lost Scroll of the Physician

The Lost Scroll of the Physician

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This book was okay. I feel does provide a good introduction to Ancient Egypt. I did enjoy the sibling dynamics of the characters but I thought some plot points were a bit rushed.
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I couldn't get into this book. I was very interested in Egyptology as a child, so I thought this would be right up my alley and something I could read with my child, but it never pulled me in. I may try it again later (I only made it about 40 pages in) but my first impressions were that it might not be for me.
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I.think most kids go through an Ancient Egypt phase, and this middle grade adventure would be perfect for them!  It has loads of information about daily life and medical practices in the Second Intermediate Period, worked in well to the narrative. As an adult, I don't think the plot and pacing were spectacular, and the dialogue is extremely clunky in places (it's very formal, and even children don't use contractions, which makes it feel stilted), but I know that despite these things I would have been fascinated with the history aspects as a child. It ends quite abruptly, without solving any of the major plot issues, so it would be good to have book 2 on hand if you're an impatient reader. I'd probably give this 3.5 stars if NetGalley allowed, but I'll round up for the sake of my nostalgia for my Ancient Egypt obsession!
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After the tragic death of her parents, Sesha struggles to keep her brother Ky safe on the dangerous streets outside the comfort and safety of the palace walls. After their capture by palace guards, Sesha and Ky are surprised about the warm welcome they receive at the Palace. Convinced that her parents died over their knowledge of a secret scroll, Sesha sets out to discover it's hiding place and save her brother from his terminal medical condition. 
With the exciting and intriguing backdrop of Ancient Egypt, I had high hopes for this adventure story starring a strong female lead character. Unfortunately, this book failed to capture my interest and I struggled to get through the first half of the book.  The characters didn't feel interesting and the story just felt like it was lacking something. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title.  All opinions and mistakes are my own.
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Title: The Lost Scroll of the Physician
Author: Alisha Sevigny
Release Date: 2.18.2020
Review Date: 2.3.2020
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 Sesha and Ky, children of the pharaoh’s royal physician, are left charming snakes and stealing food to survive after a brutal fire takes their parents and their home. Unsure of whom to trust, the pair are found and brought back to the palace, despite misgivings that the royals are somehow involved in their parents’ deaths. Sesha is tasked with finding the rare and valuable medical document her father was transcribing for the pharaoh, who needs it urgently for his upcoming campaign.

This one was interesting to say the least. I liked the setting but I would have liked to know the characters a little better. How to review this. There was a detailed scene of embalming. I was really grossed out. I don't really have any other feelings about this. I find it really hard to review Middle Grade. This one was okay.
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It's a cute story. The graphics are also cute. Definitely would recommend this to a much younger audience though. Or someone who have no clue what the ancient egypt is about.
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Sesha and Ky have been living on the streets in ancient Egypt for a month after the tragic death of their parents in a suspicious fire. The father had been a doctor for the Pharaoh, and Sesha thinks that her father's translation of a scroll has put him in danger, which is bad because he felt the scroll had the cure for her brother's fluid on the brain. After they almost get in trouble, they are returned to the palace, where Ky returns to being friends with the Pharaoh's son, and Sesha is enrolled in the difficult physicians' program, where she is the only girl. She finds out that the government is interested in the scroll because they feel it has information that will help them heal soldiers more effectively in case of a war... and war is imminent. With the help of the princess, whom she is teaching to read, Sesha must try to locate the scroll and save not only her brother, but the entire kingdom.

Strengths: Ancient Egypt is part of the 6th grade social studies curriculum, but there are very few fictional books with that setting. This was a great length, had a bit of a mystery, and moved quickly. There were vaguely evil adults, good friends, and enough details about daily life to make this interesting. 

Weaknesses: For some reason, I had trouble getting into this one. I think I wanted more details and (shockingly!) a more complex plot. It seemed a little simplistic, but that is actually great for my students when it comes to historical fiction, so it must just have been me. 

What I really think: I'll purchase this, to add to McCaughrean's Casting the Gods Adrift, Rubalcaba's The Wadget Eye and A Place in the Sun, and Napoli's Lights on the Nile.
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This was an ARC that was sent to me from Dundurn Press so thanks to them for sending this to me in exchange for an honest review. 

This book started off really quickly and a lot of things were happening. I really liked how the plot was moving at the start and how it was super fast paced but, it started to slow down and I felt that it got a little bit boring halfway through the book. 

It started off with 5 star vibes for me but the plot really slowed down and the challenges the main character was facing felt very mundane compared to what she had to go through at the start. Also, the whole plot is about the main character trying to find this scroll but, she slowly just veers off and does things which I don’t really understand.

I will say, that I really liked how the story ended and how everything lined up and that little reveal at the end which surprised me because I never saw that coming so I guess that was really good.

I am not sure if I’ll be continuing with this series depending on my mood when the sequel comes out.

Overall, I found this book to be very mediocre and nothing too special even though I think it had the potential to be a 5 stars from me if it kept up that fast, action-packed mood.
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More like a 3'75. (ARC received in exchange for an honest review).

I've always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt and its gods and mythology. Therefore, I immediately felt drawn to this book. Even though it is a middle-grade, it does a very good job of depicting Ancient Egypt's day-to-day life. And what is more important, it does so without talking down to the reader, all the information is presented in a very natural and organic way.

I also really liked the characters: Sesha is a really smart and strong character, which I feel provides a good role model for any little girls reading this books. I also enjoyed the friendships that she ends up establishing with people her age but from quite different backgrounds.

So, the book has mystery, intrigue, mythology, great friendships and siblings relationships and it's a light and fun read with a well established setting that proves the author did her research. It's a very enjoyable read both for kids and for adults who enjoy middle.grade stories.
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This was such a fun read! Honestly once I started, I couldn't put it down. The plot moves very quickly, and the two main characters are so brave and smart, I was rooting for them from the start. The setting is very interesting (8 year old me who was obsessed with Ancient Egypt would have devoured this...okay 27 year old me did anyway), and the author does a great job of putting you there with all the sight, smells, and everyday life of the time.

There's mystery, intrigue, and a great sibling relationship. This is going to be a new series to keep following, and I can't wait for the next installment!
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This is the first book in a new series for middle graders that looks at life in Ancient Egypt. 

Sesha is searching for a scroll her father was translating at the time that he and her mother were killed in a fire. The Pharoah wants this scroll, and allows Sesha to continue her training as a scribe while working to determine its whereabouts. But Sesha believe the scroll also holds a secret that might save her ailing brother. Can she find the scroll in time to save him, and before the Pharoah find it first for his own purposes.

This is a fast-paced story I had trouble putting down, though the fact that one of her room-mates is pregnant and asks Sesha to to be her midwife (after Sesha tells her how to find out if she's actually pregnant) makes it feel like an older middle grade story.
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The Scroll of the Lost Physician by Alisha Sevigny is a book that will most certainly send readers on a voyage back in time to Ancient Egypt. The detail descriptions, were rich and will draw in young readers; especially those who enjoy reading tales and adventures that deal with tombs, treasure, and traitors.  The obstacles that Sesha had to overcome could have had a bit more depth to it, however, I find this book enjoyable overall.  It is a fast read, so if there are young readers who are just starting with larger books, this is a perfect place to begin.
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Overall I really enjoyed this book. It has the feel of a young adult book, simple to read and is purely adventure. Loved the cover art. The characters are quite well done, well developed and have life to them. The author has done some background on life in Ancient Egypt and it comes across well. I would read others in the series and do recommend it.
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This was an enjoyable, colorful story that goes into a lot of detail of how life was lived in the days of ancient Egypt. The detail was certainly very interesting to read about, and it seems the author has done extensive research. I was only surprised at the abrupt ending, but I suppose it makes sense, since it's a series (so I can't wait to read on!) About the only thing I felt lukewarm about was that although this was life in ancient Egypt, it essentially felt like life right now - even despite all the actually very informative details on tradition and various practices. Just the way people act and react was so modern. Although who knows - maybe people were always people just like us, you know?

I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
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The Last Scroll of the Physician captures the imagination. The reader is swept up in the fast-paced world of Sesha and her brother Ky as they struggle through tragedy and a mystery in an obscure time in Egyptian history. Prepare for a page turning adventure that opens your mind to possibility and the opportunity to get excited about history. Take the plunge.
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**Disclaimer: I was given an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

This is such a fun book that I wish had been around when I was younger, as I don't recall reading a lot of exciting children's historical fiction. You can tell Alisha Sevigny put a lot of time and effort into researching Ancient Egyptian practices for her story to feel authentic. 

+ female heroine who takes control of her own destiny/story
+ sibling story

- minor grammatical/typing errors
- some of the history explanations seem regurgitated from a textbook instead of simplified and easier to read for your generic reader
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I enjoyed reading this! I haven't heard of the author or this book before, but I ended up enjoying it!
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I took a chance on this book because I was intrigued by the cover. While I wasn’t gripped by it, it was a very fun adventure with lots of history in it!!! I think children’s historical fiction is so great because an author can combine information that is both real and made up (and blur the lines)and kids are learning throughout their read without even realizing it! A definite mystery, the story houses relatable characters, the exotic element of Egypt and their beliefs, and intrigue as to where the next book will take us. It is a super fun adventure!
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Rating: 5 stars! (extra star because I want this series and author to do well)

Short review:
1. Nice plot; nice setting - It is guessable at times but still entertaining nonetheless
2. Good prose - It will be familiar for Rick Riordan fans (like his more recent works)
3. Nice characters - Characters are quite well developed and I'd like to see them get more dimensions in future books
4. Right length - The book was a quick read and the pace fits the plot
5. Good editing - Found very few errors, but it needs another round of proofreading I think
6. Nice cover and act separating graphics (or whatever it is called)

1. Sort of a cliffhanger ending - This is not a negative at all; in fact, it makes the book more appealing. But why I am I adding it here? Only because I have to wait for the next book.
2. Those tiny errors that keep nagging me
3. Needs some rephrasing - Whenever a god or a belief is explained, it seems to follow the same structure making it feel boring. Restructuring it would easily fix that.
4. Nobody in ancient Egypt would have dared to name their pet snake Apep. Not even as a joke.

Sesha and Ky, Children of Ay, The Royal Physician, are living rough on the streets for the past month. A fire in their home has left them orphaned. But instead of seeking refuge in the palace, they flee. Sesha has seen Royal Guards at their home and she suspects someone within the palace has a hand in their parents' death. They run out of luck when their act of thievery to assuage their hunger lands them back in the palace. To their relief, they are offered asylum.

Sesha remembers her father working on transcribing an ancient scroll that is attributed to the Great Imhotep. She deduces that the scroll, which is of utmost importance to the kingdom, is invaluable to her as well. It could reveal whether her parents' demise was a tragic accident or murder, save her brother's life, and aid the kingdom that could soon be ravaged by war.

Sesha is now tasked by the pharaoh to find the scroll and she must race against time to do so, all while balancing her scribe training, teaching the princess to read and write and keeping the whole scroll affair a secret. Whether Sesha succeeds in finding the scroll and preserving it or fails is for the reader to find out.

This book truly came out of nowhere. I have come across the book before on NetGalley but quickly dismissed it because of the title ('The Lost Scroll of the Great Scribe', 'The Lost Scroll of Imhotep', 'Imhotep's Scroll'... any such thing would have been hard to ignore. I think it is the word 'physician' that threw me off). But after bumping into it multiple times, I read the blurb and decided to give this a try. Huge thanks to the publishers for granting me a copy to read and review.

From the get-go, I knew I might like the book as I felt the writing style felt familiar enough. It is told in simple language for young adults and is narrated in Sesha's perspective. Both the narration and dialogues feel concise and easy to follow allowing this book to be a quick read.

The plot feels familiar and different at the same time. I could also feel the characters well and I wish to see them develop further in the series. I loved the setting of the plot - a crime thriller set 3500 years ago in ancient Egypt with some political instability. The setting also feels like it was well researched (apart from Sesha and Ky naming their snake Apep).

Being a sucker for all things Egypt, I thoroughly enjoyed the snippets explaining the setting, culture, and mythology but it left me wanting for more. I wish to see the future books having a bit more of these (J. K. Rowling style; with a lot of details but still doesn't feel excessive). 

Feedback to the publisher/author:
1. A couple of grammar errors and some rephrasing when explaining gods/myths.
2. The snake ideally should be named Apep and I would appreciate a change there.
3. The cover art is really good. Would have loved some illustrations of the glyphs and hieratic in the book (Like the Kane Chronicles).
4. A possibly more compelling title. A lot of books get judged by cover, title, and blurb.

Final words:
A fast-paced thriller for young adults that I am sure folks of all age would love. I highly recommend the series for anyone who likes Egypt and thrillers. Wishing Alisha Sevigny all the very best for her future books.
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ARC Copy...Although I feel/debatable the science vs "magic" debate during that time period would different in feel and context (seen as woven together would probably be more accurate) however the funeral practices depicted are accurate for the time period.
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