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The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King Saga #1) by Libbie Hawker: A Book Review

The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King #1)
Author: Libbie Hawker
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher: Running Rabbit Press
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 355
Source: My Personal Collection
Synopsis: 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.

     The Sekhmet Bed is the first volume of Libbie Hawker's series The She-King, a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt's most fascinating royal families. Don't miss Book 2: The Crook and Flail!

     My Review: Ahmose is the second daughter of a pharaoh and dreams of becoming a temple priestess. After the death of her father, Ahmose realizes that her dreams could never be. Her mother declares that she and not her older sister Mutnofret to be the Great Royal Wife to Tuthmose. Unprepared for her role of queen, Ahmose finds herself in a fierce competition with her sister, who is also her husband’s concubine, in order to produce sons. To ensure her survival, Ahmose must take the reins of power and produce Egypt’s next pharoah.

   The Sekhmet Bed was an unexpected treat for me because while I have read many fiction and nonfiction books on Hatshepsut, there was never a book about her mother. It was delightful to read about the fictional life of a forgotten queen. Ahmose is a complicated heroine. She is devoted to her faith and strives to walk the path of righteousness. However, there were many moments that she was forced to commit ruthless actions and betray her loved ones for her own ambition. 

     The novel also shows Ahmose’s difficulties as queen. Her chief duty is to produce sons, but since she only has a daughter, it still does not deter her from making her next child pharoah. I loved how Ahmose constantly plans to make her daughter Egypt’s successor. This novel makes a convincing portrait that Ahmose instilled Hatshepsut’s desire to become pharaoh.

    Overall, this dramatic novel has plenty of political intrigue, sibling rivalry, and love triangles. The Sekhmet Bed reads like a soap opera that it kept me up all night immersed in its juicy pages! There was not a moment when I ever wanted to put it down! The characters seemed very realistic and had their distinct personality. The novel was filled with vivid details of ancient Egypt. This novel is a feast for those that love reading about ancient Egypt. I recommend The Sekhmet Bed for fans of The Heretic Queen, The Mistress of Rome, and The Other Boleyn Girl! I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Crook and Flail!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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