It's a dark night in Egypt when wailing pierces the stillness. The Pharaoh is dead. Fourteen year old Ahmose is troubled and seeks solace. As the god chosen daughter of the Pharaoh, she knows life will soon be changing. In the darkness, she meets Thutmose, her father's friend and general. The kind man makes Ahmose's skin tingle. In the morning, Thutmose is presented to Egypt as the new Pharaoh. Ahmose will marry him as his Great Royal Wife and her older temperamental and sensual sister Mutnofret will be his second wife. Ahmose will secure his throne as the gos chosen dream interpreter. The role reversal leaves Mutnofret jealous and seething. Ahmose shuns the marital bed in fear of childbirth while Mutnofret delivers three healthy sons. Thutmose has visions of Ahmose's son becoming his heir and the gods confirm this vision. Meanwhile Ahmose struggles to retain her position and sanity. When Ahmose delivers a feisty warrior princess, she questions the gods' visions.
I adored this novel. While Ahmose's early life is confusing, she emerges from it as a confident woman whose enemies fear her. Sharing a husband with your sister obviously presents challenges. Ahmose tries to avoid jealousy, but sometimes succumbs to it. Even though she sometimes used devious means to get her way, it didn't diminish her character.
The relationship between Ahmose and Thutmose was warm, but I found myself wishing for them to fall even more in love.
The heartbreaking turn of events in this novel are devastating, even to the reader. But like Ahmose, this novel perseveres and comes full circle. This is the first in a trilogy and I am anxiously awaiting the sequels. I highly recommend this high drama novel to any historical fiction lover. It just might make you addicted to Ancient Egypt!