I am very excited to welcome Stephanie Thornton here to A Bookish Affair today!
Hatshepsut: Warrior Queen?
As if in a dream, Hatshepsut stepped down from the chariot and walked to the dead man. The lavender intestines quivered as she pulled the ax from his stomach with a sickening squelch. She stared at his right hand.
“Don’t, Hemet. Someone else will do that.”
“Egypt’s men died today. Pennekheb died today.” She clenched the handle of the ax. “This is the only thing I can do for them.”
Stepping on the man’s outstretched forearm, Hatshepsut hacked into the dead man’s wrist.
One thing that surprised me (and by surprised, I mean I was awed by her jaw-dropping awesomeness) when I started reading about Hatshepsut was a record by her court official Ti that he saw Hatshepsut “destroying the land of Nubia” and still another where a man named Djehuty claimed he witnessed her out retrieving the spoils of war after that very same battle.
So here’s your little known fact regarding Egyptian spoils of war: They collected the hands of their enemies, presumably for an official tally of the dead and possibly also to mark the enemy in the afterlife.
So while it’s entirely likely that Hatshepsut accompanied her army south into the sands of Nubia, it’s also feasible that she retrieved a hand or two herself. This was a woman who for whatever reason, was willing to usurp her stepson’s throne and proclaim herself pharaoh. What’s a bloody hand or two along the way?
After Nubia, Hatshepsut focused less on outward military conquest, and instead on peaceful trade expeditions. While her stepson Tutmose III (the very stepson she unseated), would go on to acclaim as ancient Egypt’s Napoleon, Hatshepsut brought back forgotten luxuries from the mysterious land of Punt, namely incense and the famed myrrh trees she planted in the forecourt of her temple at Deir el-Bahri. (The stumps of those trees can still be seen today, which is beyond awesome).
Hatshepsut was an accomplished woman by anyone’s standards: a princess, queen, and then pharaoh in her own right. Still, one of my favorite visions of Hatshepsut is of her as a conqueror, dressed in her blue military helmet, picking over a desert of dead Nubians and relieving them of their hands.
You can win a copy of "Daughter of the Gods" (U.S./ CAN only)! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!
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Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Monday, April 28
Review at Unabridged Chick
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, April 29
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, April 30
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Thursday, May 1
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, May 2
Review & Giveaway at HF Book Muse – News
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, May 5
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Connection
Tuesday, May 6
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, May 7
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Friday, May 9
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, May 12
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, May 13
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, May 14
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, May 15
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Monday, May 19
Review at Tower of Babel
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, May 20
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Wednesday, May 21
Review at Manga Maniac Cafe
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, May 22
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Review & Giveaway at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, May 23
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
I didn't know they took hands!ReplyDelete
This post has certainly piqued my interest to read this book. I have added it to my TBR list.ReplyDelete
Your wonderful feature captivated my interest in this novel. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)comReplyDelete
From the little I knew of Hatshepsut I was not aware that she traveled with her army. Still, the chopping scene provides a great visual image. That's why it's historical fiction not a documentary. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.ReplyDelete
Sounds a little gory but it sounds good! I really haven't read much of this period, but this look like a good place to start!ReplyDelete
I have read the novels of Pauline Gedge, Michele Moran and Judith Tarr and loved their HF views on Ancient Egypt. I'm anxious to read Ms. Thornton's interpretation of Hatsheput. Why did women become to believe themselves the "weaker sex"? Would not our ancestors be ashamed to see what we have become?ReplyDelete
I didn't know Egyptian armies marked the dead by taking a hand. But it is a sensible way to tally the dead enemy.ReplyDelete
I first learned of Hatshepsut, this great Egyptian leader, through the novels of Pauline Gedge, many years ago. I have followed every documentary, that Zahi Hawass made about ancient Egypt, ever since. Thank you for the giveaway.ReplyDelete
a definite must-read for me!!!ReplyDelete
I appreciate your trying to make the hand-taking known to more people. My fascination with Egypt and its history and mythology began when I was around 8 years old. This book is definitely on my TBR and I would be thrilled to win a copy!ReplyDelete