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King and Goddess Hardcover – August, 1996

3.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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The Daughter of Union County
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Egypt's "most notorious" female king, Maatkare Hatshepsut, is the captivating subject of Tarr's latest novel of ancient Egypt. The story opens as Senenmut, a homely, arrogant young scribe, arrives at the royal palace in Thebes as a gift to the "girlchild" Queen Hatshepsut?the Great Royal Wife of King Thutmose II, who is her half-brother. Hatshepsut and the war-hungry king are living gods. The royal marriage has yet to be consummated, however, because the queen considers the king "a sweaty, panting lout without the least grain of delicacy." Recognizing her duty to produce an heir, she orders Isis, a beautiful maidservant, to prepare the king for her by teaching him the art of lovemaking. When Hatshepsut at last gives birth to a girl instead of the desired boy, the queen refuses to care for her, appointing Senenmut as her daughter's tutor and guardian. The birth of a stillborn son leaves the queen infertile. Her hatred toward the king crystallizes after Isis, now his calculating concubine, gives birth to an heir, Thutmose III. When the king suddenly dies, further intrigue unfolds, leading to Hatshepsut, now queen regent, seizing her chance to gain the throne. Tarr evokes Hatshepsut's ruthlessness as well as her vulnerability, and provides vivid portraits of Senenmut, Thutmose III and other real historical figures. Hatshepsut's courtship of the Egyptians, her peaceful reign and Thutmose III's ultimate revenge against her add up to a dramatic tale.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tarr's faithfully researched historical novels (e.g., Pillar of Fire, LJ 6/15/95) have earned her an appreciable audience. Her latest is based on the life of Queen Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled Egypt some 4000 years ago.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1st edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312860927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312860929
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,913,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If this was my first book about Hatshepsut or about ancient Egypt I would have probably loved it. But I am a big fan of Pauline Gedge and I have read her "Child of the Morning", which was much more interesting and more historically accurate. My advise, if you want to know more about Hatshepsut, pick up "Child of the Morning" and avoid "King and Goddess"
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Format: Hardcover
The idea of this book is wonderful, but in the end, it just didn't pan out. If this book had actually been true to history, I might have been able to overlook the slight lack of skill in its writing, but that just was not possible. Romantic fantasy and made-up nonsense fill Tarr's interpretation of the tale, and it is obvious from her depictions of everyday Egyptian life and ideals that she has never truly studied the subject. The orders of the characters' deaths, proven by archaeological evidence, is not even correct, as well as the character of her husband. I urge anyone interested in Hatshepsut or Egypt to read about this fascinating subject, but choose a more worthy and accurate book to spend your time on.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book. I know that maybe Ms. Tarr did rearrange some facts and/or leave/embellish some information, but that doesn't diminish the story for me. This is a story about a young woman, who knows what she is capable of doing, and then does it. That young woman is Hatshepsut. She is married to her half-brother, whom she despises and whom she knows does not have the skills needed to be a good king. She suffers, not always in silence, because of this. Senenmut is her chief scribe and is visible throughout the story, not only as her friend and advisor but also as her lover. I thought that it was a very touching love story.
The story is filled with people who are intelligent and care deeply about the queen. I felt like I knew the characters, they were so well written. I guess it doesn't bother me about any historical inaccuracies, as long as the story is told well.
There were weak moments--the Puta expedition was one that stuck out in my mind. But overall an interesting book. I will have to look up "Child of the Morning" and see how it compares, since it is getting such good recommendations here.
Enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favorites, and I was crushed when my paperback copy finally became unreadable. The kindle edition answered my prayers!

A compelling, intriguing story of Hatshepsut, who declared herself Pharaoh of Egypt in a time when a woman ruler of Egypt was unthinkable. Backed by detailed research without being slavishly devoted to verifiable historical fact (this is *fiction* after all) we see Hatshepsut's kingship through a web of relationships both personal and political.

I'm so glad to have this back on my shelves, and it's definitely worth a read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was reluctant to read this book because I felt that it was going to be all romance and no substance. From the very first page I was proven wrong. I was captivated by the characters and by Tarr's writing style. This book made me a huge fan of the author's work. I find it especially hard to find good historical fiction, but I found what I was looking for in this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have recently finished King and Goddess, and I was not that impressed with the book. I have always enjoyed historical fiction as a way to learn about history without being bored to tears. Judith Tarr's book falls somewhere in the middle. The book is about Hatshepsut, an Egyptian queen who crowns herself King of Egypt. Although I am sure that the real Hatshepsut was an interesting person, this book does not really capture that aspect of her character. Egypt typically had male Kings, not female. One would expect a terrible uproar or at least some plotting to get Hatshepsut off the throne, however; in this book, the Egyptian reactions are minimal. The book is entertaining, much like watching a miniseries, but it does not seem to capture the spirit of Egypt. I did enjoy the characters, Hatshepsut's Nubian bodyguard, Nehsi and her lover Senenmut. Unfortunately, the book was too much about people and not enough about history. It was similar to Diana Gabeldon's series, where the time the characters lived is just to make the story more interesting. If you want to learn about Hatshepsut, read a different book. If you are looking for an entertaining story about a woman who happened to crown herself King of Egypt, read this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think if you are going to write about a historical person, even if that person lived some 4000 years ago, you should try to research the person and the era. Like many of the other reviewers this book suffers when compared to Pauline Gedge's beautiful recreation of Pharoaoh Hatshepsut's life: "Child of the Morning" which is so much more believable and so much better written. I was willing to see what another author could do with the story, after all, we don't know too many details about her life, only that she was the only female Pharaoh, a really unimaginable feat for that or any era in history! and she ruled for 22 years, and most likely had a commener lover named Semenket...but Ms Tarr did not pull it off at all in my opinion. It was not believable, I did not feel as if I was there.
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