Published by OPC
The action takes place around 1500 BC and chronicles the life and times of Hat-Shep-Sut, the female pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. The story begins when she is a young girl and very early on, she chooses who is to be her consort, a fellow student at the Royal School called Senen-Mut. We follow the adventures of the pair throughout their lives during a turbulent period in Egyptian history. The country and its wealth are coveted my many neighbours and a constant battle is fought to maintain their lands, or try to increase them by incorporating other peoples and tribes into their empire.
Intrigue abounds as the Pharaoh schemes and plots to make herself into the supreme being and 'she who must be obeyed' by all of her citizens. She hates the fact that she lives in a male dominated society and strives to utilize her female charms and cunning ways to reach her goal of female domination. She happily sentences any man to death who crosses her, or fails to obey orders, or just catches her in a bad mood.
The couple have one daughter, Neferu-Re, who grows into an exact copy of her mother, but with an even bloodier agenda in mind. She seeks to share power with her half-brother and they plan to overthrow Hat-Shep-Sut, though she proves to be wilier than they suspect. She has already tired of her husband and banished him to his own palace to study science and, as it transpires, he is able to create a powerful 'weapon' to aid his queen in her quest to remain on her throne.
The hyphenated names take some getting used to, and some characters are easily confused, but don't give up. The book is well written and the content is educational and entertaining.