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The She-King

A four-book series about the life and family of Hatshepsut, the first woman to rule Egypt as Pharaoh

Book 1: The Sekhmet Bed

Is Ahmose's divine gift a blessing or a curse?

 

The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt's gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king – a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to the gods which ensures the new Pharaoh his right to rule.

 

Ahmose's elder sister Mutnofret has been raised to expect the privileged station of Great Royal Wife; her rage at being displaced cannot be soothed. As Ahmose fights the currents of Egypt's politics and Mutnofret's vengeful anger, her youth and inexperience carry her beyond her depth and into the realm of sacrilege.

 

To right her wrongs and save Egypt from the gods' wrath, Ahmose must face her most visceral fear: bearing an heir. But the gods of Egypt are exacting, and even her sacrifice may not be enough to restore the Two Lands to safety. 

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Book 2: The Crook and Flail

The son of the god must take her rightful place on Egypt's throne.

Hatshepsut longs for power, but she is constrained by her commitment to maat – the sacred order of righteousness, the way things must be. Her mother claims Hatshepsut is destined for Egypt's throne – not as the king's chief wife, but as the king herself, despite her female body. But a woman on the throne defies maat, and even Hatshepsut is not so bold as to risk the safety of the Two Lands for her own ends.

As God's Wife of Amun, she believes she has found the perfect balance of power and maat, and has reconciled herself to contentment with her station. But even that peace is threatened when the powerful men of Egypt plot to replace her. They see her as nothing but a young woman, easily used for their own ends and discarded. But she is the son of the god Amun, and neither her strength nor her will can be so easily discounted. 

As the machinations of politics drive her into the hands of enemies and the arms of lovers, onto the battlefield and into the childbed, she comes face to face with maat itself – and must decide at last whether to surrender her birthright to a man, or to take up the crook and flail of the Pharaoh, and claim for herself the throne of the king.

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Book 3: Sovereign of Stars

Hatshepsut has fulfilled her divine destiny and taken the Pharaoh's throne. But she knows her position is precarious. In all Egypt's long history, never has a woman ruled as king -- and Hatshepsut must use all the cleverness and bravery at her disposal to keep the reins of power from tangling in her fist.

 

As she wrestles with foreign enemies and domestic politics, her heart becomes ever more troubled. Her daughter Neferure, distant and strange since infancy, is chosen by one goddess in particular: Hathor, the Sovereign of Stars, she who wears seven faces -- and not all her faces are gentle. Her fight to retain her hold on power, peace, and Neferure will carry her on an incomparable journey from Egypt's Black Land across the deadly heat of the Red Land, over the sea to the legendary kingdom of Punt. There, in the god's own valley, she must confront the bleakness of fate, the totality of loss, and the terrifying frailty of eternity.

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Book 4: The Bull of Min

“I know,” Satiah called. Her voice was musical, light, confident as a king's. “It's the Bull of Min you remember, Thutmose. You remember, and you fear.”

Conspiracy and treason simmer in the northern reaches of the Two Lands. Thutmose is crippled by guilt over past wrongs. Hatshepsut is subdued by the grief of betrayal and loss. Meryet, the new Great Royal Wife, is the sole force holding the royal family – and Egypt – together.

When an unexpected challenger to the succession arises, all three are faced with impossible choices. To protect what she most loves, Meryet will match wits against a demon from the past. Hatshepsut stands on the brink of the ultimate sacrifice. And Thutmose, torn between throne and family, must commit an unthinkable act against Hatshepsut...or allow Egypt to fall into the hands of an unpredictable killer.

This novella (about 130 pages) is the final volume of The She-King, Libbie Hawker's saga of the Thutmosides of ancient Egypt.

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