Ancient Egypt

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    Egypt was at the height of its powers in the days of Ramesses the Great and the young king confidently predicted that his House would last for a Thousand Years. Sixty years later he was still on the throne and one by one his heirs had died and the survivors had become old men. When he at last died, he left a stagnant kingdom and his throne to an old man--Merenptah. What followed laid the groundwork for a nation ripped apart by civil war. 

    The northern tribes rebelled and joined forces with the Sea Peoples, invading from the north; while in the south the king's eldest son, angered at being passed over in favour of the younger son, plotted to rid himself of his father and brother. An ageing king takes to the field to fight for the House of Ramesses.


    Score: 4.83 (votes: 6)
    6
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    Merenptah is dead after only nine years on the throne and his son Seti is king in his place. He rules from the northern city of Men-nefer, while his elder brother Messuwy, convinced the throne is his by right, plots rebellion in the south. 

    The kingdoms are tipped into bloody civil war, with brother fighting against brother for the throne of a united Egypt. On one side is Messuwy, now crowned as King Amenmesse and his ruthless General Sethi; on the other, young King Seti and his wife Tausret. But other men are weighing up the chances of wresting the throne from both brothers and becoming king in their place. The House of Ramesses crumbles under the onslaught.


    Score: 4.83 (votes: 6)
    6
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    • Large Novel 100,000+ words

    The House of Ramesses falters as Tausret relinquishes the throne upon the death of her husband, King Seti. Amenmesse's young son Siptah will become king until her infant son is old enough to rule. Tausret, as Regent, and the king's uncle, Chancellor Bay, hold tight to the reins of power, and vie for complete control of the kingdoms. Assassination changes the balance of power and Chancellor Bay attempts a coup... 

    Tausret's troubles mount as she also faces a challenge from Setnakhte, an aging son of the Great Ramesses who believes Seti was the last legitimate king. If Setnakhte gets his way, he will destroy the House of Ramesses and set up his own dynasty of kings.


    Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    4
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    • Large Novel 100,000+ words

    If there was one thing that filled Ramesses III with pride, it was that he was descended from Ramesses the Great. Elevated to the throne following a coup led by his father Setnakhte during the troubled days of Queen Tausret, Ramesses III set about creating an Egypt that reflected the glory days of Ramesses the Great. He took on his predecessor's throne name, he named his sons after the sons of Ramesses, he pushed them toward similar duties, and he thirsted after conquests like that of his hero grandfather.

    Ramesses III assumed the throne name of Usermaatre, translated as 'Strong is the Ma'at of Re' and endeavoured to live up to it. He fought foreign foes, as had Ramesses the Great; he built temples throughout the Two Lands, as had Ramesses the Great, and he looked forward to a long, illustrious life on the throne of Egypt, as had Ramesses the Great.

    But it was not to be. Ramesses III faced troubles at home; troubles that threatened the stability of Egypt and his own throne. The struggles for power between his wives, his sons, and even the priests of Amun, together with a treasury drained of its wealth; all forced Ramesses III to question his success.


    Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    3
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    • Large Novel 100,000+ words

    A chance discovery in Syria reveals answers to the mystery of the ancient Egyptian sun-king, the heretic Akhenaten and his beautiful wife Nefertiti. Inscriptions in the tomb of his sister Beketaten, otherwise known as Scarab, tell a story of life and death, intrigue and warfare, in and around the golden court of the kings of the glorious 18th dynasty.

     The narrative of a young girl growing up at the centre of momentous events--the abolition of the gods, foreign invasion and the fall of a once-great family--reveals who Tutankhamen's parents really were, what happened to Nefertiti, and other events lost to history in the great destruction that followed the fall of the Aten heresy.

     Max Overton follows his award-winning trilogy of ancient Greece (Lion of Scythia, The Golden King, Funeral in Babylon) with the first book in another series set in Egypt of the 14th century B.C.E. Meticulously researched, the book unfolds a tapestry of these royal figures lost in the mists of antiquity.


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    Scarab-Smenkhkare follows on from the first book in this series as King Akhenaten, distraught at the rebellion and exile of his beloved wife Nefertiti, withdraws from public life, content to leave the affairs of Egypt in the hands of his younger half-brother Smenkhkare. When Smenkhkare disappears on a hunting expedition, his sister Beketaten, known as Scarab, is forced to flee for her life. 

    Finding refuge among her mother's people, the Khabiru, Scarab has resigned herself to a life in exile, when she hears that her brother Smenkhkare is still alive. He is raising an army in Nubia to overthrow Ay and reclaim his throne. Scarab hurries south to join him as he confronts Ay and General Horemheb outside the gates of Thebes.

    Max Overton's series on the Amarnan kings sheds new light on the end of the 18th dynasty of pharaohs. Details of these troubled times have been lost as later kings expunged all records of the Heretic king Akhenaten and his successors. Max Overton has researched the era thoroughly, piecing together a mosaic of the reigns of the five kings, threaded through by the memories of princess Beketaten-Scarab. 


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    Scarab and her brother Smenkhkare are in exile in Nubia, but are gathering an army to wrest control of Egypt from the boy king Tutankhamen and his controlling uncle, Ay.Meanwhile, the kingdoms are beset by internal troubles and the Amorites are pressing hard against the northern borders. Generals Horemheb and Paramessu must fight a war on two fronts while deciding where their loyalties lie--with the former king Smenkhkare or with the new young king in Thebes.

    Smenkhkare and Scarab march on Thebes with their native army to meet the legions of Tutankhamen on the plains outside the city gates. The fate of Egypt and the 18th dynasty hang in the balance as two brothers battle for supremacy and the throne of the Two Kingdoms.


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    Tutankhamen is dead and his grieving widow tries to rule alone, but her grandfather Ay has not destroyed the former kings just so he can be pushed aside. Presenting the Queen and General Horemheb with a fait accompli, the old Vizier assumes the throne of Egypt and rules with a hand of hardened bronze. His adopted son, Nakhtmin, will rule after him, and stamp out the last remnants of loyalty to the former kings.

    Scarab was sister to three kings and will not give in to the usurper and his son. She battles against Ay and his legions under the command of General Horemheb, and aided by desert tribesmen and the gods of Egypt themselves, finally confronts them in the rich lands of the Nile delta to decide the future of Egypt.


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    General Horemheb has taken control after the death of Ay and Nakhtmin, and forcing Scarab to marry him, ascends the throne of Egypt. The Two Kingdoms settle into an uneasy peace as Horemheb proceeds to stamp out all traces of the former kings. He also persecutes the Khabiru tribesmen who were reluctant to help him seize power. Scarab escapes into the desert, where she is content to wait until Egypt needs her.

    A holy man emerges from the desert, and demands that Horemheb release the Khabiru so they may worship his god. Scarab recognises the holy man and supports him in his efforts to free his people. The gods of Egypt and of the Khabiru are invoked and disaster sweeps down on the Two Kingdoms as the Khabiru flee with Scarab and the holy man. Horemheb and his army pursue them to the shores of the Great Sea, where a natural event or maybe the hand of God alters the course of Egyptian history.


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    Three thousand years after the reigns of the Amarnan Kings, the archaeologists who discovered the inscriptions in Syria, journey to Egypt to find the tomb of Smenkhkare and his sister Scarab, and the fabulous treasure they think is there. Unscrupulous men, and religious fanatics, also seek the tomb, either to plunder it or to destroy it. Can the gods of Egypt protect their own, or must they rely on modern day men and women of science?


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