Review – The Lost Queen: Ankhsenamun, Widow of King Tutankhamun by Cheryl L. Fluty

10280976She was the last surviving member of the glorious 18th Dynasty, Queen of a golden empire that stretched from the 4th cataract of the Nile to the banks of the Euphrates: Egypt at the height of its glory and power. But Ankhsenamun and her brother-husband, Tutankhamun, the product of centuries of inbreeding, were unable to produce a living heir to the throne. Now, with word of the untimely death of her young husband, she must consider a drastic alternative means of conceiving an heir. Later still, with her aging grandfather on the throne, faced with the intolerable prospect of being forced into marriage with Egypt’s strongman, General Horemheb, and the strong possibility of being murdered by his jealous and power-hungry principal wife, she contemplates yet another drastic step: applying to Egypt’s arch-enemy, the King of the Hittites, for one of his sons to marry.

Astonishingly, we have both sides of this remarkable correspondence in the archaeological record. Ankhsenamun wrote to Suppililiuma, King of the Hittites, asking him to send one of his sons for her to marry so that she did not have to marry her “servant”. After sending a delegation to enquire into the legitimacy of this proposal, Suppililiuma sent his son, Prince Zenanza, to Egypt, but he was assassinated along the way. General Horemheb later took credit for the act. Ankhsenamun then disappears from the record. Her fate is a mystery. Did she die? Was she murdered? Or did she, just possibly, escape? If so, where did she go, and who helped her? This is the story of what may have happened. It is also the story of the birth of the Biblical Moses, and explains the real significance of his name.


The Lost Queen is an semi-interesting historical fiction novel about a little known Egyptian queen, Ankhsenamun. Ankhsenamun was the daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. She married her half-brother Tutankhamun at a young age. After his death she simply disappeared from the historical record.

I found this book on sale and downloaded it for my Kindle. I had just finished my obsession with Michelle Moran’s Egyptian trilogy and needed more Egyptian-based historical fiction to hold me over until the release of her next book.

I gave the novel 2.5 stars, although I feel like I’m being a bit harsh. It wasn’t all that bad. However, there are times when the novel is completely unbelievable. I understand that historians don’t know much about her, so Fluty didn’t have much to work with. But, a romanic relationship with a Hebrew trader and biblical references to Moses seem to stretch the truth a little too much. I may just be me though. I usually enjoy historical fiction that stays more closer to the historical record. All in all, it is an enjoyable read if you ignore some of the implausible situations.

2.5 Stars

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February TBR

It’s February! January started off so promising for me and then real life got in the way. I’m hoping to get back on track and read more. I have completely revised my TBR. Some books I planned to read in January have been taken off, I plan on getting to them later. I am really focusing on what I have on my Kindle because that’s what I’ll be taking with me on my trip to Japan. I can never sleep on long flights, so here’s to lots of plane reading!

What I Am Reading:

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
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Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

** I’m half-way done, it’s just been slow moving for me. It’s frustrating because I flew through the first book!

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Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

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Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.


Cruel Crown consists of two prequel novellas (Queen Song and Steel Scars) and a sneak peak at the first four chapters of Glass Sword, the sequel to Red Queen.

Queen Song tells the story of Coriane, an unhappy young woman from a poor noble Silver family. When her family moves to the capital, she falls in love with the future king. However, Coriane must be careful with her thoughts as certain nobles opposed to her rise in status can read her mind and use it against her.

I liked Queen Song as it gave a more well-rounded image of the woman only mentioned in Red Queen. Her story is simply heartbreaking, constantly feeling alone and isolated. At about 50ish pages most of the story focused on her life before meeting Prince Tibe and I wish Aveyard would have focused more on her life as the Queen. There is still so much I want to know!

Farley, a freedom fighter in the Scarlet Guard, has her story told in Steel Scars. The story introduces Farley as an established member of the Scarlet Guard who are trying to move their operations into Norta. I didn’t really connect with Farley or any of the characters. In Red Queen she’s a really fascinating and mysterious character. Here, I felt weighed down by the constant reports and code names. I did enjoy that was Mare’s brother was significantly featured.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the Glass Sword preview. I never read the sneak peak in any book. Either give me the whole book or nothing at all, but I guess it will get many people excited about the release on February 9th. Overall, I enjoyed learning more about these two women and I can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next in Glass Sword! 

3 Stars

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OwlCrate

25818163As I wrote earlier, this weekend was full of book goodness! My OwlCrate subscription box for January also arrived. The theme for this month was “Magic”. This is what the box contained:

  • A Professor Snape POP figure from Funko
  • A Patronus Lip Balm by Geek Fire Labs (the mint and white chocolate flavour is just delicious!)
  • 2 designs by Evie Bookish: a bookmark inspired by The Raven Cycle and a quote art print from the Throne of Glass series
  • Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley plus an exclusive letter from the author and a paper doll kit

I hadn’t heard of the book before, but the synopsis sounds really interesting. It’s a fantasy retelling based on the lives of the Brontë sisters. In the novel, the siblings have the ability to escape into the worlds of the stories they invent but soon those worlds begin to take over their real lives.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This Week I’m Waiting On….

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

The novel is a sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn, a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. Romantic. Angsty. Rich. Stunning. Magical. I could go on. Basically, I cannot wait for May 3rd.

Also, two novellas, The Moth and the Flame and The Crown and the Arrow, will be released in March!

“I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.”

23308084I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

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TBR Pile Reading Challenge – January Update

image2The 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is hosted by Bookish Lifestyle. It can be of any genre, length, or format of book as long as it is a book that’s been sitting on your self for some time. Short stories and novellas do count! The only stipulation is that the book must have been released in 2015 or earlier. No books from 2016.

Wow! The month is almost over? How did that happen? I have been swamped with work (grading, grading and more grading) and I haven’t been able to read as much as I hoped to. Here’s hoping for more reading opportunities in February!

What I Planned On Reading:

  • City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  • Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch

What I Actually Read:

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
  • The Grisha Series novellas (The Witch of Duva, Little Knife, The Too-Clever Fox) by Leigh Bardugo

Did Not Finish (as of yet):

  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The theme this week is “free choice” so I decided to go with my all time favourite YA book quotes. It was hard to narrow them down. Maybe I should have just complied a list of quotes by Leigh Bardugo?

  1. “You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” ― Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass
  2. “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
  3. “Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
  4. “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.” ― Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity
  5. “Because once you’re afraid of one thing, you can get scared of a lot of stuff.” ― Ava Dellaira, Love Letters to the Dead
  6. “The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.” ― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen
  7. “You don’t realize how much you miss something till it comes back to you, and then you wonder how you went so long without it.” ― Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin’s Curse
  8. “Cherish what you have, for in an instant it can be gone. And when it’s gone, let the memory not be a weight that drags you down, but a bright light leading you forward.” ― Juliet Marillier, Raven Flight
  9. “When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm
  10. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone