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S and domestic politics her heart becomes ever troubled Her daughter Neferure distant and strange since infancy is chosen by one goddess in particular Hathor the Sovereign of Stars she who wears seven faces and not all her faces are gentle Her fight to retain her hold on power peace and Neferure will carry her on an incomparable jour The story of Hatshepsut first woman pharaoh in the Thutmose Dynasty was compelling and informative She ruled for 22 years and oversaw extensive constructions while dealing with intrigue and enmity among the nobles and courtiers Relationships among the royal family especially Hatshepsut's aunt and daughter and with her closest advisers were complex and rich She was a powerful and determined woman but also with vulnerabilities and deep emotions Other characters were also well developed and believable and action takes you through battles and travels to distant regions The author held true to historical fact in portraying Hatshepsut and Thutmose III as cooperative co regents instead of falling into temptation to paint her as the evil stepmother A tragic element was added through the beleaguered relationship with her only child Neferure who disappears from historical record in her late teens The ending felt gloomy with the great ueen slipping into the pit of despair Let's hope the seuel finds a satisfactory resolution Darkland years and oversaw extensive constructions while dealing with intrigue and enmity among the nobles and courtiers Relationships among the royal family especially Hatshepsut's aunt and daughter and with her closest advisers were complex and rich She was a powerful and determined woman but also with vulnerabilities and deep emotions Other characters were also well developed and believable and action takes Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You're Meant to Have you through battles and travels to distant regions The author held true to historical fact in portraying Hatshepsut and Thutmose III as cooperative co regents instead of falling into temptation to paint her as the evil stepmother A tragic element was added through the beleaguered relationship with her only child Neferure who disappears from historical record in her late teens The ending felt gloomy with the great ueen slipping into the pit of despair Let's hope the seuel finds a satisfactory resolution

Summary ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Libbie Hawker

Sovereign of Stars The She King #3

Ney from Egypt's Black Land across the deadly heat of the Red Land over the sea to the legendary kingdom of Punt There in the god's own valley she must confront the bleakness of fate the totality of loss and the terrifying frailty of eternity L M Ironside's celebrated saga of the Thutmosides continues with Book Three Sovereign of Sta Another fascinating tale Libby does it again Egyptian court intrigue and masterful descriptions so powerful you can almost seetastefeelhear the palace garden and scenery throughout the book How Not to F*** Them Up you can almost seetastefeelhear the palace garden and scenery throughout the book

Libbie Hawker ☆ 5 Read & Download

Hatshepsut has fulfilled her divine destiny and taken the Pharaoh's throne But she knows her position is precarious In all Egypt's long history never has a woman ruled as king and Hatshepsut must use all the cleverness and bravery at her disposal to keep the reins of power from tangling in her fist As she wrestles with foreign enemie I’m afraid I have to say I’m disappointed again I feel bad writing that when I read Libbie Hawker’s debut book The Sekhmet Bed a few years ago I thought it showed promise although it had some problems mainly being hampered by the sisters’ rivalry designed to appeal to mainstream publishers and after re reading it recently I revised my rating downwards by a star as I was better able to identify the areas that needed polish That book became the first in a four book series When I read The Crook and the Flail I was delighted that it had chucked the tropey catfighting but the writing felt like it still wasn’t up to scratch I think pacing might be at the root cause of it all or else the limitations of total page count because the story raced along at breakneck speed hardly giving the reader time to get into a scene before moving on As a result the setting felt thinly sketched the cast was small riddled by stock characters with even the protagonists lacking in depth and personality and the plot lacked tension and risk It felt like a mist of implausibility hung over that book Sovereign of Stars is the third book in the series and I approached it with some trepidation after previous experiences Unfortunately once again it was a mixed bag To be sure it had its strong points which I’ll discuss but the negative points – some of which carried over from the previous book – in my opinion outweighed the positiveLet’s address the positive aspects first I am firmly onboard with Libbie’s mother son relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose III In the mid 20th century Egyptologists thought that Thutmose III erased Hatshepsut’s monuments because she had stolen his throne and he chafed under his ‘evil stepmother’ That hypothesis has been LONG since overturned We know now that the erasure came towards the end of Thutmose’s 32 year solo reign hardly a deed done in fury and that it was precise in its execution Only public mentions of Hatshepsut as king were removed ones of her as ueen and a few hidden ones of her as king survived all suggesting that Thutmose was not harbouring a grudge and did not want to destroy Hatshepsut’s ka but rather that it was a cold political matter possibly having to do with the ancient Egyptians’ concept of ma’at order or the possible existence of another royal branch descended from primary ueens that had a stronger claim than Thutmose son of a concubine and his own father also being the son of a concubine Despite this many Hatshepsut novels are content to hang on the easy option of presenting a clichéd evil stepmother tale however tired and old it may be So Hawker’s depiction of an amicable relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose is not only a fresh change from usual but it is also historically accurateSpeaking of historical accuracy in the author’s note Hawker admits to altering certain facts in the story – such as moving forward the year when the obelisks were created and the year of the expedition to Punt I don’t have a problem with that; it’s a small change freely admitted to although to be honest I’m not sure what benefit the alteration brought to the story I endorse her decision to bring Hatshepsut on the Punt expedition too It is very unlikely that Hatshepsut did undertake the voyage but the expedition is one of the highlights of her rule as pharaoh and as a writer it is awfully difficult to contemplate writing such a key event and leaving Hatshepsut as your protagonist to wait at home As Hawker says it’s Hatshepsut’s daughter Neferure who gets the short end of the stick in this book I don’t object to Hawker making her Hatshepsut’s heir or marrying her to Thutmose In Egyptology the debates around whether either of those two things happened are so up in the air that choosing either way as a novelist must gets a free pass I am not sure whether I like the depiction of her as a disturbed antagonist We know very little of Neferure historically and she disappears in Year 17 of Hatshepsut’s rule so novels of Hatshepsut often end up depicting Neferure as a fragile waif ultimately too delicate to live Hawker gives Neferure much to do than she is usually afforded which I like but it also feels uncomfortably unfair to the real Neferure who most likely was not anything like this depiction However I spotted some other alterations that Hawker doesn’t discuss in the author’s note The book mentions Huni as the “second or third pharaoh to reign after Narmer” This is odd because Huni is in fact the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty – at least eighteen monarchs after Narmer I’m not sure if the author just made a silly slip up or was trying to show that to the people of Hatshepsut’s time over a millennium later such long distant past had become fuzzy and misunderstood The book also names one of Thutmose III’s wives as Meryet Hatshepsut and translates it as “ beloved of Hatshepsut” – except that wasn’t the lady’s name It was Meritre Hatshepsut meaning ‘ beloved of Re foremost among the nobles’ I’m pretty sure the author did this just to simplify things for the reader and draw a connection with HatshepsutPacing was a huge issue in Sovereign of Stars as it was in The Crook and the Flail As an example at one point the book refers to “ those dark early days” when Hatshepsut had to have her food tasted for fear of poison But the problem is it doesn’t ring true “ those dark early days” were barely 80 pages ago and we learned about Hatshepsut using a food taster only as a catch up at the tail end of several months of this In other words the book makes huge leaps in time before you really have a chance to get into what is happening making statements referring to way back when feel hollow and in this particular case we never actually got to see the danger for ourselves it was only summarised for us through the author telling instead of showing Years jump ahead by leaps and bounds making me feel like I was missing out of huge chunks of essential story meaning the author often told than showed and meaning we often skip along the surface of both the plot and the characters never getting a chance to soak in the setting or delve into our protagonists’ personalities in depth This is the third book where Hatshepsut features as a character and I still couldn’t tell you a thing about her personality traits One moment Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple is merely ink on papyrus and in the very next chapter the monument is significantly on the way to completion It feels like there are no stakes because events pass so uickly and are resolved before they ever have a chance to become importantIt may be because the pacing doesn’t allow enough time for it or it may be a separate issue of unpolished writing but the plot also feels underdeveloped shallow and unsatisfying Let me take one particular plot point as an example Hatshepsut’s plan to keep the house of women in line falls as flat as a two dimensional universe She’ll deny her daughter the career path she wants in order to keep her in the women’s uarters as some kind of reminder to the women And that will convince them not to join any plots from the nobles against Hatshepsut um somehow? Dissent is already fomenting with Neferure present up to this time so we are told although frankly since we’re never shown any of it I could easily believe that Hatshepsut is simply becoming paranoid – so how will her staying present alleviate anything? This plan won’t do diddly suat except make her daughter furious It doesn’t tackle the root problem at all and is so asinine that I found myself angry that the plot was relying on such weak character stupidity I couldn’t feel any tension or investment in the story when the protagonist is so foolish Hatshepsut constantly talks of enemies but none ever materialise I had to suppress yawns at times while reading her rants on the topic because I never felt worried for her; in fact this suspicious paranoid was a woman I didn’t recognise as the real Hatshepsut Turning Neferure into the antagonist feels tacked on; as though there wasn’t enough time or space to create a fully fleshed out conflict with the nobles so lacking any antagonist in the story at all Neferure got shunted into the villain role which feels all wrong for herWhatever it stems from this problem consistently mars the first three books of Hawker’s She King series and it affects everything from hurried pacing that feels like I got a handful of rushed snapshots amid gaping chasms of missing material; to environments that feel indistinct and glossed over; to a narrow cast of superficial inch deep characters; to shallow plots that simply do not have the set up to sustain them Honestly if we take this right down to a single conclusion I would have to say that the book is too short and all these elements suffer as a resultThe reason I feel bad about being so brutally honest is because despite all that I am acuainted with just how hard Libbie works as an indie author I obviously wish that a book set in my favourite historical period will be fantastic and amazing and I still maintain even now that Libbie’s writing shows exciting potential When she actually takes the time to slow down the pace and devote considerable precious page space to a plot point the writing begins to flourish beautifully Lavish descriptions bring the environment to life the characters gain nuance and the plot becomes intense the attention devoted to it raising the stakes and bringing a sense of immediacy as the reader is much in the moment The expedition to Punt encapsulates this and was undoubtedly the best part of the entire book; richly described and vividly realised During those chapters I found myself wistfully longing for the same level of in depth writing in the rest of the book In fact Libbie could’ve taken just the expedition plot thread started the book with its departure and spent the whole book on this one part of Hatshepsut’s reign realising in glorious detail the tests obstacles and wonders such a journey would bring and I think she could’ve created a book worthy of gushing overI can’t pretend I’m feeling optimistic about the fourth and final book in the She King series The Bull of Min which I will read next simply because I already have it but I really want to discover that her later books learned some of these lessons and I do intend to have a look for myself4 out of 10 Walking Free years ago I thought it showed promise although it had some problems mainly being hampered by the sisters’ rivalry designed to appeal to mainstream publishers and after re reading it recently I revised my rating downwards by a star as I was better able to identify the areas that needed polish That book became the first in a four book series When I read The Crook and the Flail I was delighted that it had chucked the tropey catfighting but the writing felt like it still wasn’t up to scratch I think pacing might be at the root cause of it all or else the limitations of total page count because the story raced along at breakneck speed hardly giving the reader time to get into a scene before moving on As a result the setting felt thinly sketched the cast was small riddled by stock characters with even the protagonists lacking in depth and personality and the plot lacked tension and risk It felt like a mist of implausibility hung over that book Sovereign of Stars is the third book in the series and I approached it with some trepidation after previous experiences Unfortunately once again it was a mixed bag To be sure it had its strong points which I’ll discuss but the negative points – some of which carried over from the previous book – in my opinion outweighed the positiveLet’s address the positive aspects first I am firmly onboard with Libbie’s mother son relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose III In the mid 20th century Egyptologists thought that Thutmose III erased Hatshepsut’s monuments because she had stolen his throne and he chafed under his ‘evil stepmother’ That hypothesis has been LONG since overturned We know now that the erasure came towards the end of Thutmose’s 32 พบรักท่านแม่ทัพ เล่ม 2 year solo reign hardly a deed done in fury and that it was precise in its execution Only public mentions of Hatshepsut as king were removed ones of her as ueen and a few hidden ones of her as king survived all suggesting that Thutmose was not harbouring a grudge and did not want to destroy Hatshepsut’s ka but rather that it was a cold political matter possibly having to do with the ancient Egyptians’ concept of ma’at order or the possible existence of another royal branch descended from primary ueens that had a stronger claim than Thutmose son of a concubine and his own father also being the son of a concubine Despite this many Hatshepsut novels are content to hang on the easy option of presenting a clichéd evil stepmother tale however tired and old it may be So Hawker’s depiction of an amicable relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose is not only a fresh change from usual but it is also historically accurateSpeaking of historical accuracy in the author’s note Hawker admits to altering certain facts in the story – such as moving forward the The Killing of Karen Silkwood: The Story Behind the Kerr-McGee Plutonium Case - Kindle edition by Richard Rashke, Kate Bronfenbrenner. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. year when the obelisks were created and the Eldorado year of the expedition to Punt I don’t have a problem with that; it’s a small change freely admitted to although to be honest I’m not sure what benefit the alteration brought to the story I endorse her decision to bring Hatshepsut on the Punt expedition too It is very unlikely that Hatshepsut did undertake the voyage but the expedition is one of the highlights of her rule as pharaoh and as a writer it is awfully difficult to contemplate writing such a key event and leaving Hatshepsut as Are We There Yet? your protagonist to wait at home As Hawker says it’s Hatshepsut’s daughter Neferure who gets the short end of the stick in this book I don’t object to Hawker making her Hatshepsut’s heir or marrying her to Thutmose In Egyptology the debates around whether either of those two things happened are so up in the air that choosing either way as a novelist must gets a free pass I am not sure whether I like the depiction of her as a disturbed antagonist We know very little of Neferure historically and she disappears in Year 17 of Hatshepsut’s rule so novels of Hatshepsut often end up depicting Neferure as a fragile waif ultimately too delicate to live Hawker gives Neferure much to do than she is usually afforded which I like but it also feels uncomfortably unfair to the real Neferure who most likely was not anything like this depiction However I spotted some other alterations that Hawker doesn’t discuss in the author’s note The book mentions Huni as the “second or third pharaoh to reign after Narmer” This is odd because Huni is in fact the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty – at least eighteen monarchs after Narmer I’m not sure if the author just made a silly slip up or was trying to show that to the people of Hatshepsut’s time over a millennium later such long distant past had become fuzzy and misunderstood The book also names one of Thutmose III’s wives as Meryet Hatshepsut and translates it as “ beloved of Hatshepsut” – except that wasn’t the lady’s name It was Meritre Hatshepsut meaning ‘ beloved of Re foremost among the nobles’ I’m pretty sure the author did this just to simplify things for the reader and draw a connection with HatshepsutPacing was a huge issue in Sovereign of Stars as it was in The Crook and the Flail As an example at one point the book refers to “ those dark early days” when Hatshepsut had to have her food tasted for fear of poison But the problem is it doesn’t ring true “ those dark early days” were barely 80 pages ago and we learned about Hatshepsut using a food taster only as a catch up at the tail end of several months of this In other words the book makes huge leaps in time before Train from Katanga you really have a chance to get into what is happening making statements referring to way back when feel hollow and in this particular case we never actually got to see the danger for ourselves it was only summarised for us through the author telling instead of showing Years jump ahead by leaps and bounds making me feel like I was missing out of huge chunks of essential story meaning the author often told than showed and meaning we often skip along the surface of both the plot and the characters never getting a chance to soak in the setting or delve into our protagonists’ personalities in depth This is the third book where Hatshepsut features as a character and I still couldn’t tell Multi-Level Marketing you a thing about her personality traits One moment Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple is merely ink on papyrus and in the very next chapter the monument is significantly on the way to completion It feels like there are no stakes because events pass so uickly and are resolved before they ever have a chance to become importantIt may be because the pacing doesn’t allow enough time for it or it may be a separate issue of unpolished writing but the plot also feels underdeveloped shallow and unsatisfying Let me take one particular plot point as an example Hatshepsut’s plan to keep the house of women in line falls as flat as a two dimensional universe She’ll deny her daughter the career path she wants in order to keep her in the women’s uarters as some kind of reminder to the women And that will convince them not to join any plots from the nobles against Hatshepsut um somehow? Dissent is already fomenting with Neferure present up to this time so we are told although frankly since we’re never shown any of it I could easily believe that Hatshepsut is simply becoming paranoid – so how will her staying present alleviate anything? This plan won’t do diddly suat except make her daughter furious It doesn’t tackle the root problem at all and is so asinine that I found myself angry that the plot was relying on such weak character stupidity I couldn’t feel any tension or investment in the story when the protagonist is so foolish Hatshepsut constantly talks of enemies but none ever materialise I had to suppress Print, make, wear yawns at times while reading her rants on the topic because I never felt worried for her; in fact this suspicious paranoid was a woman I didn’t recognise as the real Hatshepsut Turning Neferure into the antagonist feels tacked on; as though there wasn’t enough time or space to create a fully fleshed out conflict with the nobles so lacking any antagonist in the story at all Neferure got shunted into the villain role which feels all wrong for herWhatever it stems from this problem consistently mars the first three books of Hawker’s She King series and it affects everything from hurried pacing that feels like I got a handful of rushed snapshots amid gaping chasms of missing material; to environments that feel indistinct and glossed over; to a narrow cast of superficial inch deep characters; to shallow plots that simply do not have the set up to sustain them Honestly if we take this right down to a single conclusion I would have to say that the book is too short and all these elements suffer as a resultThe reason I feel bad about being so brutally honest is because despite all that I am acuainted with just how hard Libbie works as an indie author I obviously wish that a book set in my favourite historical period will be fantastic and amazing and I still maintain even now that Libbie’s writing shows exciting potential When she actually takes the time to slow down the pace and devote considerable precious page space to a plot point the writing begins to flourish beautifully Lavish descriptions bring the environment to life the characters gain nuance and the plot becomes intense the attention devoted to it raising the stakes and bringing a sense of immediacy as the reader is much in the moment The expedition to Punt encapsulates this and was undoubtedly the best part of the entire book; richly described and vividly realised During those chapters I found myself wistfully longing for the same level of in depth writing in the rest of the book In fact Libbie could’ve taken just the expedition plot thread started the book with its departure and spent the whole book on this one part of Hatshepsut’s reign realising in glorious detail the tests obstacles and wonders such a journey would bring and I think she could’ve created a book worthy of gushing overI can’t pretend I’m feeling optimistic about the fourth and final book in the She King series The Bull of Min which I will read next simply because I already have it but I really want to discover that her later books learned some of these lessons and I do intend to have a look for myself4 out of 10


10 thoughts on “Sovereign of Stars The She King #3

  1. says:

    I’m afraid I have to say I’m disappointed again I feel bad writing that when I read Libbie Hawker’s debut book The Sekhmet Bed a few years ago I thought it showed promise although it had some problems mainly being hampered by the sisters’ rivalry designed to appeal to mainstream publishers and after re reading it recently I revised my rating downwards by a star as I was better able to identify the areas that needed polish That book became the first in a four book series When I read The Crook and the Flail I was delighted that it had chucked the tropey catfighting but the writing felt like it still wasn’t up to scratch I think pacing might be at the root cause of it all or else the limitations of total page count because the story raced along at breakneck speed hardly giving the reader time to get into a scene before moving on As a result the setting felt thinly sketched the cast was small riddled by stock characters with even the protagonists lacking in depth and personality and the plot lacked tension and risk It felt like a mist of implausibility hung over that book Sovereign of Stars is the third book in the series and I approached it with some trepidation after previous experiences Unfortunately once again it was a mixed bag To be sure it had its strong points which I’ll discuss but the negative points – some of which carried over from the previous book – in my opinion outweighed the positiveLet’s address the positive aspects first I am firmly onboard with Libbie’s mother son relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose III In the mid 20th century Egyptologists thought that Thutmose III erased Hatshepsut’s monuments because she had stolen his throne and he chafed under his ‘evil stepmother’ That hypothesis has been LONG since overturned We know now that the erasure came towards the end of Thutmose’s 32 year solo reign hardly a deed done in fury and that it was precise in its execution Only public mentions of Hatshepsut as king were removed ones of her as ueen and a few hidden ones of her as king survived all suggesting that Thutmose was not harbouring a grudge and did not want to destroy Hatshepsut’s ka but rather that it was a cold political matter possibly having to do with the ancient Egyptians’ concept of ma’at order or the possible existence of another royal branch descended from primary ueens that had a stronger claim than Thutmose son of a concubine and his own father also being the son of a concubine Despite this many Hatshepsut novels are content to hang on the easy option of presenting a clichéd evil stepmother tale however tired and old it may be So Hawker’s depiction of an amicable relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose is not only a fresh change from usual but it is also historically accurateSpeaking of historical accuracy in the author’s note Hawker admits to altering certain facts in the story – such as moving forward the year when the obelisks were created and the year of the expedition to Punt I don’t have a problem with that; it’s a small change freely admitted to although to be honest I’m not sure what benefit the alteration brought to the story I endorse her decision to bring Hatshepsut on the Punt expedition too It is very unlikely that Hatshepsut did undertake the voyage but the expedition is one of the highlights of her rule as pharaoh and as a writer it is awfully difficult to contemplate writing such a key event and leaving Hatshepsut as your protagonist to wait at home As Hawker says it’s Hatshepsut’s daughter Neferure who gets the short end of the stick in this book I don’t object to Hawker making her Hatshepsut’s heir or marrying her to Thutmose In Egyptology the debates around whether either of those two things happened are so up in the air that choosing either way as a novelist must gets a free pass I am not sure whether I like the depiction of her as a disturbed antagonist We know very little of Neferure historically and she disappears in Year 17 of Hatshepsut’s rule so novels of Hatshepsut often end up depicting Neferure as a fragile waif ultimately too delicate to live Hawker gives Neferure much to do than she is usually afforded which I like but it also feels uncomfortably unfair to the real Neferure who most likely was not anything like this depiction However I spotted some other alterations that Hawker doesn’t discuss in the author’s note The book mentions Huni as the “second or third pharaoh to reign after Narmer” This is odd because Huni is in fact the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty – at least eighteen monarchs after Narmer I’m not sure if the author just made a silly slip up or was trying to show that to the people of Hatshepsut’s time over a millennium later such long distant past had become fuzzy and misunderstood The book also names one of Thutmose III’s wives as Meryet Hatshepsut and translates it as “ beloved of Hatshepsut” – except that wasn’t the lady’s name It was Meritre Hatshepsut meaning ‘ beloved of Re foremost among the nobles’ I’m pretty sure the author did this just to simplify things for the reader and draw a connection with HatshepsutPacing was a huge issue in Sovereign of Stars as it was in The Crook and the Flail As an example at one point the book refers to “ those dark early days” when Hatshepsut had to have her food tasted for fear of poison But the problem is it doesn’t ring true “ those dark early days” were barely 80 pages ago and we learned about Hatshepsut using a food taster only as a catch up at the tail end of several months of this In other words the book makes huge leaps in time before you really have a chance to get into what is happening making statements referring to way back when feel hollow and in this particular case we never actually got to see the danger for ourselves it was only summarised for us through the author telling instead of showing Years jump ahead by leaps and bounds making me feel like I was missing out of huge chunks of essential story meaning the author often told than showed and meaning we often skip along the surface of both the plot and the characters never getting a chance to soak in the setting or delve into our protagonists’ personalities in depth This is the third book where Hatshepsut features as a character and I still couldn’t tell you a thing about her personality traits One moment Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple is merely ink on papyrus and in the very next chapter the monument is significantly on the way to completion It feels like there are no stakes because events pass so uickly and are resolved before they ever have a chance to become importantIt may be because the pacing doesn’t allow enough time for it or it may be a separate issue of unpolished writing but the plot also feels underdeveloped shallow and unsatisfying Let me take one particular plot point as an example Hatshepsut’s plan to keep the house of women in line falls as flat as a two dimensional universe She’ll deny her daughter the career path she wants in order to keep her in the women’s uarters as some kind of reminder to the women And that will convince them not to join any plots from the nobles against Hatshepsut um somehow? Dissent is already fomenting with Neferure present up to this time so we are told although frankly since we’re never shown any of it I could easily believe that Hatshepsut is simply becoming paranoid – so how will her staying present alleviate anything? This plan won’t do diddly suat except make her daughter furious It doesn’t tackle the root problem at all and is so asinine that I found myself angry that the plot was relying on such weak character stupidity I couldn’t feel any tension or investment in the story when the protagonist is so foolish Hatshepsut constantly talks of enemies but none ever materialise I had to suppress yawns at times while reading her rants on the topic because I never felt worried for her; in fact this suspicious paranoid was a woman I didn’t recognise as the real Hatshepsut Turning Neferure into the antagonist feels tacked on; as though there wasn’t enough time or space to create a fully fleshed out conflict with the nobles so lacking any antagonist in the story at all Neferure got shunted into the villain role which feels all wrong for herWhatever it stems from this problem consistently mars the first three books of Hawker’s She King series and it affects everything from hurried pacing that feels like I got a handful of rushed snapshots amid gaping chasms of missing material; to environments that feel indistinct and glossed over; to a narrow cast of superficial inch deep characters; to shallow plots that simply do not have the set up to sustain them Honestly if we take this right down to a single conclusion I would have to say that the book is too short and all these elements suffer as a resultThe reason I feel bad about being so brutally honest is because despite all that I am acuainted with just how hard Libbie works as an indie author I obviously wish that a book set in my favourite historical period will be fantastic and amazing and I still maintain even now that Libbie’s writing shows exciting potential When she actually takes the time to slow down the pace and devote considerable precious page space to a plot point the writing begins to flourish beautifully Lavish descriptions bring the environment to life the characters gain nuance and the plot becomes intense the attention devoted to it raising the stakes and bringing a sense of immediacy as the reader is much in the moment The expedition to Punt encapsulates this and was undoubtedly the best part of the entire book; richly described and vividly realised During those chapters I found myself wistfully longing for the same level of in depth writing in the rest of the book In fact Libbie could’ve taken just the expedition plot thread started the book with its departure and spent the whole book on this one part of Hatshepsut’s reign realising in glorious detail the tests obstacles and wonders such a journey would bring and I think she could’ve created a book worthy of gushing overI can’t pretend I’m feeling optimistic about the fourth and final book in the She King series The Bull of Min which I will read next simply because I already have it but I really want to discover that her later books learned some of these lessons and I do intend to have a look for myself4 out of 10


  2. says:

    LM Ironside is proof that indie publishing is a force to be reckoned with Granted I've got horror stories but often than not the independentself published books I've come across have been top notch Ironside's She King historical fiction series has truly kept me spellbound and it's going to be tough waiting for the next book I found that I enjoyed her take on ueen Hatshepsut Here is a powerful yet flawed ueen seeking to do the right thing according to 'maat' or truth It was also interesting to see the relationship between herself and coregent Thothmes In many books it's often been depicted as adversarial which was used to explain the defacement of her monuments and temples after she disappeared However modern archaeologists aren't so certain it was Thothmes who ordered such defacing actually it depends on which one you askNeferure was so tragic and I felt sorry for a young woman not suited to rule the way her mother did In an interesting way she reminded me of her ancestor the Heretic King Akhenaten in that both were concerned with spiritual matters rather than temporal onesEagerly awaiting the next book


  3. says:

    Crossposted on BooklikesIn her afterword to this third volume of the She King Series Ironside apologizes for playing a little fast and loose with history She doesn’t play as fast or as loose as Philipana Gregory and unlike Gregory that afterword discusses the changes and presents the reality In many ways the apology is unneeded Let’s be far no historical fiction is going to be 100% completely accurate because in some cases that would be boring In many ways historical fiction is about the reader and writer finding common ground on changes The Other Boleyn Girl is a trashy novel that I kind of liked It wasn’t the change in history that bugged me; it was Gregory’s afterword where she tried to argue that her historical changes were the actual truth That is a legitimate gripe So Ironside no need for the apology In fact I am willing to forgive Ironside so much for one simple – the relationship of Thutmose and Hatshepsut This is one of the few if not the only fictional books about Hatshepsut that presents Thutmose and Hatshepsut as partners or having mutual respect for each other Usually it is Mr “You Stole My Throne” versus Miss “Of course Because You Are Cruel Stupid Idiot” or some such variation Considering that recent scholarship changes this view it is nice and interesting to see the different relationship here Honestly if Ironside wanted to turn Hatshepsut into a transformer I would be cool with that as long as the relationship stayed the same Okay maybe that would be a change too far In terms of plot the story is far concerned with the uestion of power and doing what is right as opposed to the great historical battles Of most interest is the journey to Punt and this journey has one of the changes that Ironside talks about her in afterword That was well played There is a short novella after this book but the ending isn’t really a cliff hanger2014


  4. says:

    Sovereign of Stars the next instalment in L M Ironside's She King series is an utterly fantastic read It is engaging but still offers a seemingly authentic Ancient Egypt and populated with complex characters with complex relationships Following on from the previous instalments in the She King series The Sekhmet Bed The Crook and Flail Sovereign of Stars tells the story of Hatshepsut – Egypt's most renowned female pharaoh – during her years as kingGood news everyone you're not going to have to listen to me complain and rant about how Ironside handled Hatshepsut's relationship with Thutmose III Far too often in fiction about Hatshepsut this relationship is depicted as bitter rivals with one thrown into the role of irredeemable villain and the other as the wronged but rightful king Instead Ironside gives their relationship a depth rarely seen depicting their bond as a mother and son bond There are times when Hatshepsut and Thutmose clash yes but it's done in a believable way a natural progression of their characters and their relationship This is so rare in Hatshepsut fiction that I was tempted to give Sovereign of Stars five stars solely for that effortBut Sovereign of Stars earned that five star rating in other ways Once Ironside's depiction of Ancient Egypt feels realistic and authentic It's very rare that this feat is pulled off in Ancient Egyptian historicals yet Ironside's Egypt feels so natural and real that it's simply extraordinary This is not only true for the setting but also the people who populate itIronside's characters are rich and detailed given flaws I loved that despite Hatshepsut being the daughter of the god Amun was still given flaws – she's paranoid and prideful to the point of arrogance neglectful of her daughter and I liked that Thutmose III was not just reduced to a war hungry wannabe soldier as he so often is that Neferure was unlikeable but also sympathetic Neferure's relationship with her mother Hatshepsut was a roller coaster of a ride multifaceted and difficult Neferure is a slippery figure in Egyptian history with no one knowing uite what happened to her or the roles she played in Hatshepsut's court Ironside's choices may be controversial but they make for such an interesting story that I personally can than live with I enjoyed that Neferure's fate was left up in the air though part of me longs for retributionIn all honesty if I hadn't read the historical notes beforehand I wouldn't have noticed that Ironside did set a few events earlier in time But knowing I didn't mind this especially as Ironside did explain in the notes why she did it and these changes do propel the story forward I did take issue with the decision to send Hatshepsut to Punt I accept that there's a very slim possibility that Hatshepsut travel to Punt with during the famous expedition there in her reign But like I said it's a very slim possibility along the lines of well we don't have any evidence that she did but we have nothing explicitly stating that she didn't and I didn't feel the story really justified the change from history I understand why it's tempting for any author writing about Punt to try and find a way around the fact that Hatshepsut in all likelihood didn't travel to Punt The Punt expedition is a pretty big deal especially when we talk about Hatshepsut but if you play it by the book you have to deal with the fact that Hatshepsut is pretty much an observer and bystander having a hand in the decision and the planning but then only witnessing the departure and the triumphant return But while I'm glad that Ironside was able to give us a vivid recreation of Punt and introduce us to Ati I didn't really feel like Hatshepsut's journey to Punt added much to the story except to allow Thutmose and Neferure to act out while Hatshepsut was away and to foreshadow the disasters to come for Hatshepsut Despite this small niggle Sovereign of Stars is completely brilliant a sheer joy to read I am little saddened that this seems to mark the end of Hatshepsut's story but I look eagerly forward to reading The Bull of Min next year


  5. says:

    The story of Hatshepsut first woman pharaoh in the Thutmose Dynasty was compelling and informative She ruled for 22 years and oversaw extensive constructions while dealing with intrigue and enmity among the nobles and courtiers Relationships among the royal family especially Hatshepsut's aunt and daughter and with her closest advisers were complex and rich She was a powerful and determined woman but also with vulnerabilities and deep emotions Other characters were also well developed and believable and action takes you through battles and travels to distant regions The author held true to historical fact in portraying Hatshepsut and Thutmose III as cooperative co regents instead of falling into temptation to paint her as the evil stepmother A tragic element was added through the beleaguered relationship with her only child Neferure who disappears from historical record in her late teens The ending felt gloomy with the great ueen slipping into the pit of despair Let's hope the seuel finds a satisfactory resolution


  6. says:

    I loved this third installment of this series I finished it too uickly This is one of those stories where you want it to be longer because you want to keep reading about the characters because you feel so involved in the story I love the character development and the rich Egyptian history details Truly can't get enough Can't wait to read the final installment but sad that it will be the final installment


  7. says:

    This is the third book from the series The She King In this story Hetat triumphantly rules as She King and beside her Thutmose the III Together they ruled over Egypt as both eual Pharaohs And they co ruled over Egypt together to secure both their seats on the throne Hetat's daughter is internally torn as she feels that the God of Amun does not want her love even though she had been dutiful as the Wife of Amun She endures much and finally figures out the reason Amun had not come to her even though she was said to be dedicated and God chosenI didn't enjoy this book as much as I had enjoyed the previous two books However after reading the other two books you are left yearning to learn what is to happen next which is why I had purchased the 4 book series I'm hoping the fourth book is better


  8. says:

    That ending TT I think my only complaint with this book is how Neferure went for a dive off the deep end She killed her own father for crying out loud Everything else everyone else was absolutely perfect Especially Thutmose oh I loved him And his new wife Thank heavens for strong capable men and strong capable women like them Now to grab the final book and finish the series


  9. says:

    Another fascinating tale Libby does it again Egyptian court intrigue and masterful descriptions so powerful you can almost seetastefeelhear the palace garden and scenery throughout the book


  10. says:

    this one just got pushed to the backburner it got really dark near the end poor Hatet