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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