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KING & GODDESS [Mass Market Paperback]

Judith Tarr
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 28 1998 King & Goddess (Book 1)
Judith Tarr takes the strange facts of the life of Queen Hatshepsut and builds from them a novel of great power. Here is the queen who loved her land too much to see it in the hands of one weak king after another--and the woman who loved a commoner, and made him her chief servant, her architect, and her secret paramour.

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Product Details

Product Description

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Read not for history, but for her story... Aug. 15 2002
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly entertaining, but lacking substance Dec 28 2000
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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I really like historical fiction, and especially Egyptian historical fiction. It's amazing that we know so much about a people whose dynasties were contemporary with biblical history.
But Judith Tarr's version of the life of Hatshepsut, the female Pharoah, is so far from the historical "facts" that it is less satisfying as a novelized history than just a fiction story. However, if you ignore the lack of historical basis, you can enjoy a nice novel about life in an ancient palace, with intrigues, poisoning, secret lovers, ambitious courtiers and all the other things that make for a good "beach book." While not the best Egyptian historical novel I've ever read, "King and Goddess" was exciting and pleasant for casual reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The story of Pharoh Hatshepsut. June 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think this is a really good book. I have had a passion for Egypt sence I was a little girl, and always found the story of Hatshepsut very intresting.
I love this book because all the charactures in this book actually lived during the time of Hatshepsut. And all the events in this story could have actually happend like this.
Who ever out there like's the Story of the Queen who made herself king will love this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not That Great.. Oct. 2 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Judith Tarr's version of Hatshepsut's life is more fictious than Pauline Gedge's in "Child of the Morning". If you are interested in learning more about one of the greatest women that ever lived, avoid "King and Goddess", I suggest picking up "Child of the Morning" by Gedge. This version is more historically correct and doesn't build up as much an the strange facts that are known about Hatshepsut...
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