The Sekhmet Bed
by Libbie Hawker
3 stars - dodgy writing offset by an interesting story
Thirteen year old Ahmose is the second daughter of Egypt's current Pharaoh. She's fine with life in the women's quarters and figures some day she'll be a priestess, given her ability to read dreams.
No such luck. When her father dies suddenly, a soldier named Thutmose is named as his successor, and Ahmose, along with her elder sister, Mutnofret, are named wives #1 and #2. Mutnofret is appropriately PO'd that her little sister got the #1 slot. Ahmose is also not entirely pleased. Not only does she suffer from the jealous manipulations of her older sister, but she's not even going to let her husband consummate the marriage as she's pretty sure she'll die in childbirth.
Years pass, Mutnofret is producing sons, then, at the age of seventeen, Ahmose has a vision regarding her yet to be born progeny and things get totally mixed up.
The story was interesting and I appreciated Ms. Hawker's information about day to day life in the Egyptian royal family.
Sadly, the writing just isn't all that good. The characters are flat and I was never fully drawn in to the scenes or actions. Almost there, but not quite. Given the story, though, I filled in the blanks on my own and I will be adding the second book in the series to my reading queue.
I liked the book better after I read Ms. Hawker's notes at the end. Her remarks about the book, her readers, and ancient Egypt showed an enthusiasm that is hard to resist.