Long before Pharaoh Nefertiti and Queen Cleopatra VII took power in ancient Egypt, there was a successful female ruler by the name of Hatshepsut who defied the usual tradition of having a male heir.
In Kara Cooney’s The Woman Who Would Be King, she details Hatshepsut’s rise to power. She was married to her brother Thutmose but failed to produce a male heir. He died young and she out-maneuvered her brother’s second wife for a place on the throne, which led to Hatshepsut being named co-regent for her nephew Thutmose III. Instead of regurgitating dry facts about the female Pharaoh’s life, Cooney weaves a fascinating tale that explores how Hatshepsut faced similar obstacles to today’s modern women.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, March 7th, 2016||No Comments »|
Most historical fiction novels about ancient Egypt generally focus on famous queens such as Cleopatra VII, Nefertiti or Hatshepsut. Stephanie Liaci has taken a different approach and chose Tutankhamun’s wife Ankhesenamun to be her heroine for The Last Heiress.
The 18th Dynasty is shrouded in mystery, which works to Liaci’s advantage because it allows her to speculate on what really happened to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun. The author weaves in speculation and historical fact to create a heartbreaking tale. Ankhesenamun’s life is swathed in tragedy and the author does not shy away from exploring the darker aspects of her story.
Liaci creates a believable heroine who manages to suffer through unendurable heartbreak. Readers will find themselves sympathizing with this brave Queen who lost her husband at such a young age and was forced to marry a scheming vizier. There are also other heartbreaking scenes such as when Ankhesenamun suffers two miscarriages and makes a desperate plea to marry a Hittite prince in order to keep her dynasty alive.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
The short animated French film The Egyptian Pyramids revolves around a bumbling French Egyptologist in the 1920s making the discovery of a lifetime. While the Egyptologist’s camel chews lazily on a pen, the heroic explorer unearths a gorgeous blue stela that chirps almost like a car key. Much to his surprise, the pyramid behind him starts to move and reveals a giant temple of a Pharaoh.
There’s a hilarious moment when the explorer enters the pyramid and his mischievous camel buddy immediately grabs the remote control. As he chews, the temple transforms from that of a human face into that of an animal’s. Of course, the camel immediately swallows the remote control so that the temple disappears once again beneath the sands. Luckily, the bumbling explorer manages to escape and crash lands into the pit he originally excavated from. As the pyramid returns to normal, the two friends glance at each other in wonder.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, January 16th, 2015||No Comments »|
When most people hear the name Cleopatra VII they think of Elizabeth Taylor thanks to the famous 1963 movie of the same title. But what did the real Cleopatra look like? Unfortunately, unless a lucky Egyptologist stumbles across Cleopatra VII and Marc Antony’s mummies and is able to identify them beyond a shadow of a doubt, no one will ever know for sure. However, author Stacy Schiff, who wrote Cleopatra: A Life, discussed what the legendary Queen probably looked like during her 2010 appearance on PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, November 4th, 2014||No Comments »|
You probably already heard about the virtual autopsy researchers Hutan Ashrafian and Albert Zink performed on Tutankhamun, otherwise known as King Tut, that revealed a less than attractive face and “girlish” hips. However, their results revealed not only Tutankhamun’s physical characteristics, but also new clues as to why he passed away at such a young age.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, October 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Although there have been many books written about the famous Pharaohs of ancient Egypt and their spectacular tombs, most authors tend to ignore the daily lives of the common folk who lived under the God-King’s rule. The late Barbara Mertz, who had a doctorate in Egyptology and was the author behind the Amelia Peabody mystery series, took readers on a fascinating journey back through time and explained what life would’ve been like for the Average Joe in ancient Egypt.
From carefully explaining what one’s daily routine would’ve been like as a commoner to mystical rituals to the Gods, the world of ancient Egypt comes back to life in a riot of blazing color. For once, it’s the lower-to-middle class folks who take center stage, while the drama-filled nobles and Pharaohs are forced back behind the curtain. With a dry wit and laid-back writing style, readers who crack open Red Land, Black Land will walk away with a new appreciation for the everyday folks who lived and worked in the shadows of the pyramids of Giza.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, August 5th, 2014||No Comments »|
Stephanie Thornton’s fascinating novel Daughter of the Gods brings to life one of the world’s most famous and capable rulers: Queen Hatshepsut, who was one of Egypt’s first female Pharaohs.
Readers are first introduced to the lively, intelligent, and strong-willed Hatshepsut as she struggles with feeling guilty that her archery games led to the death of her elder sister Neferubity in a gruesome accident. Thanks to that one twist of fate, she’s forced into a loveless marriage with her half-brother Thutmose and is expected to bear him a son and heir. However, the joke is on Hatshepsut when her half-brother’s second wife Aset gives birth to the heir instead and the Queen finds herself falling in love with her advisor, Senenmut. However, everything changes when Thutmose dies and Hatshepsut must assume the throne as regent to her two-year-old nephew.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, June 9th, 2014||No Comments »|