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The Sekhmet Bed

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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 L. M. Ironside'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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615967103
  • Publisher: Running Rabbit Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/2014
  • Pages: 346
  • Sales rank: 1,024,595
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Find more information about upcoming releases at LibbieHawker.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 24, 2012

    It's been a very long time since a book actually moved me. Not j

    It's been a very long time since a book actually moved me. Not just make me think, grin, chuckle, or even look over my shoulder. But actually move me. This one did. When I started reading The Sekhmet Bed, I had no idea what the story was about other than it takes place in ancient Egypt. So I waded through the opening chapters, intrigued by the cast of regal figures come to life from the dusty pages of history. As the drama unfolded, I found myself lingering on each page while I savored the hypnotic cadence of the prose. I let the author guide me through a world of ancient temples, pharaohs, princesses, and gods. I feasted with queens, danced with harem girls, drifted down the Nile river on a sail barge, and bathed in the light of the moon while riding in a golden chariot. I heard the voices from the past, telling me their story, telling me about their triumphs and their losses, about the people they loved and how they died. I heard the voices of the divine. And then, I reached the end.

    I imagine The Sekhmet Bed is the kind of tale that an ancient Greek Playwright might have had performed at the amphitheater. It's difficult not to find yourself moved by the sacrifice of Princess Ahmoset, or Ahmose for short, who trades her own happiness for the welfare of her people, subjecting herself to the often cruel whims of fate. Her trials with her sister, Mutnofret, who is always scheming to wrest control of their husband Thutmose, the reigning Pharaoh, as well as take back her birthright as rightful queen of Egypt, sets the stage for a series of heartbreaking, but emotionally charged confrontations. One can't help but root for Ahmose as she runs the gauntlet, even at times resorting to sleight of hand or force, to find ways to fulfill her destiny as the Gods chosen Queen of Egypt.

    This is the first historical novel I've read that blends mysticism with history, blurring the lines between what's actually happening with the internal musings of its protagonist. Did the gods really speak to Ahmose through visions? Or was she the victim of an overactive imagination. The path she walks is perilous and often has deadly consequences for the people in her life. Whether or not her choices were made at the behest of divine figures or hurbis only heightens the drama.

    When it was all over, I had a tough time saying good-bye to the characters in Ms. Ironside's book. Many days after reading The Sekhmet Bed, I'm still thinking about them. They are a part of me now and exist somewhere alongside Huck Finn and Frodo. Needless to say, this is a story that stays with you long after the final pages of the book has been turned. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an emotionally charged tale or, like me, wants to journey to a time and place that exists beyond the pages of history books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Highly Recommended

    I soon became emotionally invested in the characters of The Sekhmet Bed. Here we have the princess, Ahmose, and her pharaoh, Thutmose, (whom I adored), and their love story. We get the nasty sister, Mutnofret, and Ineni, the lover. Even Ironside’s secondary characters, like Aiya, Twomose and Sitre-In became real, fully-fleshed out for me. I would pick up The Sekhmet Bed intending to read for only a moment, because a moment was all I had at the time. Fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, a half hour later, I would still be reading, even though I felt antsy because I had other things I needed to be doing. I could not stop reading. I had to know what happened next. I had to know what was on that next page.

    For this reader, that is the mark of a successful novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Loved every minute of this book. Can't wait to read the rest of

    Loved every minute of this book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    A lot of research went into "The Sekhmet Bed", and it

    A lot of research went into "The Sekhmet Bed", and it shows; Ironside clearly knows her Thutmosids. "The Sekhmet Bed" is the first book in a trilogy that covers the life of Hatshepsut, and provides a fascinating glimpse of life in 18th Dynasty Egypt. Little details abound, such as the return of Thutmose I from war with his enemy tied to the prow of his ship. Ironside is so committed to technical accuracy that she even uses the ancient names for cities and towns; sites we would call Thebes and Karnak are instead called by their Egyptian names of Waset and Ipet-Isut. For those not familiar with ancient Egypt, this has the effect of transmuting it into a fantasy land like Middle-Earth or Narnia.

    Young Ahmose, the daughter of Amenhotep I, can hear the voices of the gods. Thrust into a role she does not want and married to a non-royal Pharaoh, she must struggle to grow into a woman strong enough to hold the throne of Egypt against challengers such as her own sister. She must also struggle with her fear of sex, or more explicitly, her fear of childbirth. I found this part a little hard to take, but I assumed that it was a device on the author's part to spare her readers a story about a thirteen year old forced into consummation of a marriage. While this practice, along with sibling marriage, may have been common in ancient Egyptian royalty, modern audiences are usually repulsed by what amounts to child rape. By the time Ahmose overcomes her reluctance, she is past the age of consent in most modern cultures and is emotionally mature enough for the "romance" to take place. (It remains to be seen how Ironside will deal with later parts of this story, which will involve a woman marrying her own half-brother.)

    One of the pitfalls of writing about ancient Egypt is that all too often, the focus is on royalty, palaces, and wealth. Another problem is that when writing about royal women, the author finds herself as boxed in as the women themselves. The royal women of ancient Egypt were often married against their will and forced to stay home bearing children. Typically they had less freedom than their non-royal sisters, who could own property, marry whom they pleased, and even become professional scribes and physicians. This means that a story about royal women runs the risk of being stilted and dull, focused only on children and palace intrigue. "The Sekhmet Bed" dances along the edge of this pit, and manages not to fall in primarily because the author is so adroit at keeping the focus on her heroine's visionary gifts and her inner growth as a person. By the time we reach the end of this story, where love and destiny unite in tragedy, we are thoroughly caught up in this ancient saga. I recommend it for anyone who loves a rousing good romance in exotic ancient Egypt.

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