The She-King series, a saga chronicling the lives of the Thutmoside family of ancient Egypt, has become a favorite among fans of historical fiction. Read Book 1, The Sekhmet Bed, for free*...and find out why!
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.
Original cover art by Joelle Douglas.
*Free offer applies to ebook editions only.
Where this novel really succeeds...is in the writing. [Libbie Hawker]...writes with lyricism without falling into the trap of purple prose. The sense of the setting, of heat and flies and dust, of kohl and wigs and gold, of an unnaturally bright sun, suffuses the writing rather than showing up in one or two descriptive passages. The time and place here are not just a stage set with anachronistic characters dropped in.
Competently written, ...historically accurate, ...grey, complex, and engaging. Instead of a cast of whitewashed goodies and black-hearted baddies, each and every character in The Sekhmet Bed is shades of grey.
This is my favourite book set in ancient Egypt. ...I would challenge anyone to tell the difference in writing quality between The Sekhmet Bed and any book of the genre published by a major publisher. ...There is...an authenticity to the world that Ironside paints that is missing - or at least not so evident - with other writers of the genre. She walks a difficult tightrope - she has done her research and certainly knows her stuff, but the research doesn't show. ...The joy of The Sekhmet Bed is that the research is so seamlessly woven into the scenery that the reader barely notices that it's there.