Review of The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironside

Lately I've been disappointed by historical fiction set in Egypt. Many authors seem to come at ancient Egypt by way of medieval Europe, which often results in cringe-worthy errors. My gold standard is still Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.

At first I was hesitant about reading Lavender Ironside's self-published novel The Sekhmet Bed. I've had some bad experience with self-published books in the past, but Lavender's book was endorsed by Stephanie Dray, and I love her series about Cleopatra's daughter. So I decided to give The Sekhmet Bed a try.

The novel is about Ahmose, the future mother of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. In the book, she is the 13-year-old daughter of the recently deceased Pharaoh Amunhotep. The old king didn't leave any promising male heirs when he died, and Ahmose is shocked to find herself marrying the next king, her father's friend Thutmose. She's even more shocked to find that she, not her older sister Mutnofret, will be Thutmose's chief queen. Ahmose, who is god-chosen, finds herself in an impossible situation: she fears pregnancy because her best friend died in childbirth, yet she has visions that she will give birth to the next king.

The plot is more complex than that, but I don't want to give everything away. On the walls of her temple at Deir el-Bahri, Hatshepsut recorded a propaganda story about her conception and birth. This novel asks and answers the question: What if that story wasn't propaganda, but the truth?

If you've been searching for an entertaining novel about ancient Egypt, I urge you to pick up this book. Almost nothing is known historically about the main character Ahmose, but Lavender Ironside is still able to create a detailed and highly satisfying novel that any Egyptophile should love. It's the best Egypt-related novel I've read in years.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Buy the book:
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On Wednesday I'll be posting the motherlode of Hatshepsut-related images, and on Friday I'm putting up an interview that I did with the author, Lavender Ironside. She gave great answers to my questions and I hope you stick around to find out what she had to say!

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