Age: Young Adult“The fear of losing each other is always stronger than the pain we cause.”
Rating: 4 stars
Rating: 4 stars
Marta Thinks: Hatshepsut was one of greatest rulers of Egypt but her role was very nearly wiped away completely when almost every reference to her time as a pharaoh was erased. She was previously thought to have been murdered by her stepson Tutmose III, but her mummy revealed that she died of natural causes at the age of fifty – and archaeologists uncovered proof that showed that Tutmose III had very likely removed evidence of her rule not to seek revenge but rather to consolidate the succession of his heir.
Hatshepsut is an ideal historical character to take on: she has a vivid role in a history that has largely been lost, allowing room for experimentation and imagination. She must have been a force to reckon with – easily charming and charismatic but ambitious and ruthless and calculating. She’s a hard act to top and she’s a hard task to undertake. Hatshepsut probably would have been handled unsuccessfully in anyone else’s hands but Stephanie Thornton finds the perfect balance and allows Hatshepsut to become relatable (or at least, as relatable as an ancient royal can be), likeable and admirable.
The story begins just before Hatshepsut marries her brother, Thutmosis, and becomes the Great Royal Wife. Though her position holds much status and recognition, it is not enough for Hatshepsut who longs for something greater. She soon becomes entangled in drama and intrigue – with utterly disastrous results – as she tries to leave a legacy and mark on Egypt. During all of this, words of her prophecy haunt her and they are indeed ominous:
“Your name will live forever.
You shall be the downfall of all those you love.
Egypt will prosper, but the closest to you will find only anguish and ruin.”
Heartbreak and tragedy do follow Hatshepsut but her triumphant moments shine through as well and it is satisfying to see her happy and victorious.