The Last Heiress: A Novel of Tutankhamun's Queen
Author: Stephanie Liaci
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 2010
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Beside the Golden Pharaoh Tutankhamun was a woman whose words were buried with her in the sands of the Valley of the Kings. She was the wife of two pharaohs, and a born princess. She was the last surviving daughter of the famed beauty Nefertiti. She bore children to sit on the throne of Egypt. Together with her husband, she brought prosperity back to her wounded nation. But after the shocking death of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, she became the unwilling bride of her husband's most trusted servant, made a desperate offer to an enemy king, and then... She vanished. This is her untold story. This is the story of the last heiress of the glorious eighteenth dynasty, Ankhesenamun.
My Review: Everyone knows about Egypt’s famous pharoah, King Tutankhamun. However, few know about King Tut’s queen, Ankhesenamun. This novel, chronicles the life of Queen Ankhesenamun and also the reign of four pharaohs. She was the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Despite being a princess, Ankhesenamun was lonely. Because of her royal blood, men would use her as a pawn for becoming pharaoh. However, one pharaoh only loves her as she is, and that is King Tutankhamun. Together, Queen Ankhesenamun and King Tutankhamun are determined to rule together and make Egypt great. The only problem is that time is not on their side. Ankhesenamun has premonitions that King Tutankhamun may face an early death. Ankhesenamun is determined to fight the will of the Gods and to determine her own fate.
Before I read this book I did not know anything about Queen Ankhesenamun, except that she married King Tut. Yet after reading this book, I was inspired to learn more about her life. While there are still more details to learn about her, the fact is that Queen Ankhesenamun had a tragic life. Reading The Last Heiress retells the life of Queen Ankhesenamun from her point of view. In this story, we see a girl who was a political pawn. When she was a child she was forced to marry her father and give him a stillborn daughter at an early age. It is because of this traumatic event that it was hard for her to find love. Yet, the slow romance between her and Tutankhamun eventually softened her scars.
Overall, this story is about love, friendship, healing, and recovery. I really felt sorry for Ankhesenamun. She was a woman who was determined to find happiness. Yet, she was a smart queen. She was also very strong. She was willing to be tough in order to get her way. The only thing that I did not like about the book was I did not understand her reasoning for why she sent a letter to the Hittite King asking him to send one of his sons to marry her. I thought the reasoning was foolish and it did not make sense. I also did not like the way it ended. It was very surprising and unbelievable. Still, despite these flaws, I really did love the book. This book was meticulously researched, and I felt that she brought the Amarna period to life. I also thought this book felt like a sequel to Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. I liked Ankhesenamun’s friendship with Mutnodjmet. The Last Heiress is full of political and courtly intrigue, mystery, drama, and romance. I did not want this book to end. This book is an excellent tribute to King Tut’s queen, and will leave you wanting to learn more about Queen Ankhesenamun's tragic life.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars