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The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,634 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
Queen Ahmose knows her duty: to give the Pharaoh a son. But she is young, and has just watched her closest friend die in childbirth. If the Pharaoh plants his seed in her she will die the same way, in a pool of blood, surrounded by wailing women. She has her husband’s love, but a king must have an heir…and even the Pharaoh’s patience will run out. Meanwhile, a lesser queen ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published July 24th 2011
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The Egyptian by Mika WaltariFlow Down Like Silver by Ki LongfellowRiver God by Wilbur SmithNefertiti by Michelle MoranThe Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Best Egyptian Historical Fiction
22nd out of 139 books — 345 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah (Presto agitato)
Sekhmet: “One who is powerful.”

Sekhmet (Image: Wikipedia)

To the ancient Egyptians, Sekhmet was a warrior goddess with the head of a lion. As The Sekhmet Bed opens, Ahmose, the thirteen-year old younger daughter of the just-deceased Pharaoh, has little in common with a lioness. Her older sister has been groomed all her life to be a Great Royal Wife, while Ahmose prefers to focus on the spiritual. When their father dies without a male heir, Thutmose, one of his trusted generals, is named King.
Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle)
4.5 stars

I'll be honest. Normally I shy away from self-published and independently-published books for the mere fact that I have a very strident and strict editor in my head. When I read books, even mainstream, big house-published books, and find errors, that editor aches to pop out and start flaying the pages with a bold red pencil. Knowing that self-published works suffer even more as they lack the polish a professional editor can achieve, I just don't want to put myself through that kind of a
Sep 16, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Pauline Gedge
Disclaimer: I picked this up as a freebie. It got bumped up my reading list because the author posted some intelligent comments on a friend’s review.

Historical fiction is iffy. Too often characters became saints or sinners and that is it. This book is the first in trilogy and recounts the birth of one of the more famous female pharaohs – Hatshepsut. The focus is on Ahomse, her husband Tut, and her sister/co-wife Nufert.
Here’s the thing, too often the rival is displayed as the evil witch and th
May 05, 2014 Iset rated it really liked it

This independently published e-book was recommend to me by a friend whose literary tastes are mostly similar to my own and whose judgment in such matters I consider sound. Like her, I tend to be a tad wary of small, independently published or self-published works because, broadly speaking, the quality tends to be lower than books from big publishing houses, and a lot more grammatical and spelling mistakes tend to slip by without a team of proofreaders on hand. Mind you, I often spot such sporadi
I'm always a little bit apprehensive about picking up a Kindle book (by which I mean a book published only through ebook distributors), though honestly I'm not sure why. I've read plenty of crap that came straight from New York, after all, and plenty of direct-to-ebooks that turned out great. It's probably just fear of bad grammar, to be honest. And... I think I'm more likely to pick up books outside of my comfort zone when they're free/cheap on Kindle, so there's that.

This book was at once tota
Sep 05, 2013 TheFountainPenDiva rated it it was amazing
Ancient Egypt? Check.
The beginnings of Hatshepsut's rise to power? Check.
Rivalry between siblings? Check. (but understandable).
In short, this was an awesome read and I can't understand why NY passed this over.
Diane Dooley
Nov 28, 2011 Diane Dooley rated it really liked it
Ahmose is a young Egyptian of royal blood. When her father, the Pharaoh, dies without an heir, she and her elder sister are both married off to General Thutmose, that he might rule Egypt via his connection to the royal line.

Ahmose is a more than deeply religious girl. She is chosen of the gods and has the ability to read prophetic dreams. Despite being the younger sister she is selected as the first queen, setting off a traumatic and bitter rivalry with her beloved sister, Mutnofret.

The sisters
Zoe Saadia
Mar 13, 2014 Zoe Saadia rated it really liked it
'The Sekhmet Bed' is an interesting novel set in ancient Egypt, with two royal sisters competing for the throne, each in her own very peculiar way. The prize is very high and they are prepared to go to any lengths to achieve it.

This story develops slowly, but pleasantly. The two main female characters are very vivid and alive. The secondary characters are less so. I gave it less than four stars mainly because of this. I would love to see the male characters livelier, more complicated, more thre
Aug 12, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
A masterpiece of historical fiction. Well-developed characters provide drama and propel the story forward, despite the uncertainties the author confesses in her historical note. This story successfully opens the larger tale of Hatshepsut while also making a cogent whole of the circumstances of her birth and preparation to become the She-King.

Ironside deserves extra credit for treating the religion of ancient Egypt seriously. Too many modern authors are tempted to wink and smirk at ancient belief
Feb 10, 2014 julio marked it as to-read
oh, yes

yes, yes, yes.

soon, my sweet. very soon.
C.P. Lesley
Beautifully written study of the beginnings of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, told from the perspective of Pharaoh Thutmose I's young Great Royal Wife, Ahmose, 14 when the story opens. Ahmose has a special connection to the gods, who have destined her for the role of mother to Egypt's only female pharaoh. The history is well researched but engaging, never overwhelming, and the conflict between Ahmose and her older sister for Thutmose's attention is plausibly rendered. This is self-publishing at its best.
Raja Subramanian
Mar 07, 2015 Raja Subramanian rated it it was amazing
I have always been fascinated by the history of Ancient Egypt and the mystique surrounding it. I love historical fiction. When I came across The Sekhmet Bed by L.M. Ironside, I simply could not resist it. I bought the book some months ago on my Kindle, but got around to reading it just recently.

The Sekhmet Bed (The first book in a 4-book saga) is engaging from the first paragraph itself. Pharaoh Amunhotep passes away without naming a heir to the throne without having a son of royal lineage. Mutn
Mirabelle Hunter
Aug 07, 2014 Mirabelle Hunter rated it really liked it
The Sekhmet Bed is mostly serious, thoroughly researched novel based off of real historical figures with a fictionalized storyline that stays within the realm of reason. This is an important piece of information, because I went into this book thinking (hoping?) there would be some more magical god-related stuff in here, and no cigar.

But as the storyline progresses, this will hardly matter--The Sekhmet Bed is filled with drama, emotional tension, and suspense, and becomes a page turner of sorts,
Toni Osborne
Book 1, in the She-King series

This historical fiction delves deep into the history of Ancient Egypt and provides a modern twist so as readers we can enjoy the entertainment the story is meant to provide.

The series is a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt’s most fascinating royal families. This first novel is about Ahmose, a deeply religious girl, chosen of the gods who has the ability to read prophetic dreams. Married at a very young age to General Thutmose, Ahmose has to share
The Sekhmet Bed
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars, Buy it

Self Purchase, Kindle Edition.

I’m not sure if the characters in the book are based on real people from way back when or not. The story is a page turner and well done. The characters are believable and of course my favorite is Ahmose, who is the main character in the book. I found this to be a well done story with some anxiety provoking moments but nothing too intense that I couldn’t handle. I’ve already purchased the next one in the series to see whe
Gemna Rokpony
Jun 16, 2015 Gemna Rokpony rated it it was amazing
I've read a few self-published books since getting my Nook and discovering an online world of indie books. This is the first one of which I just absolutely cannot understand why it did not get picked up by a publisher.
The writing grabbed me right away and transported me to ancient Egypt. I was engrossed in the story of Thutmose, Ahmose, and Mutnofret. I am very excited to read the rest of the books in this series and hope L.M. Ironside (edited to say the author is now writing as Libbie Hawker)
Jul 08, 2014 Gaele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book
AudioBook Review
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 4 Story 5

My first encounter with a historical set in ancient Egypt, this book manages to present a captivating story with compelling characters, mystical insets and a greatly developed sense of place and time in a story that is easy to follow despite the complexity. Ironside has managed to imbue the story with the history and feel of excitement for the time that I have only witnessed in those who have made Egypt and the Pharoahs their life’s work.

Aug 26, 2014 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book which I could barely put down for meals or to sleep. I immediately downloaded the sequel and am so very glad that there are two more in the series. Who really knew that ancient Egypt as a subject would be so enthralling, well apparently a whole lot of other readers.

Libbie Hawker and L.M.Ironside are the same person with different pen names, and apparently her historical prowess extends to other eras besides very ancient history. I am so thrilled and excited that I can access all
Ahhh this was a very refreshing read. It sort of has the same themes as other historical fiction such as The Heretic Queen (or The Other Boleyn Girl) but I thought it was a lot more psychologically complex than most books with this type of subject. A lot of the struggles between Ahmose and Mutnofret reminded me of non-fiction I've read about present day polygamist practices, and the toll that can take on families that practice it. Also, I LOVED that Ahmose was presented at first as The Obviously ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Crista rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was impressed at how quickly it flowed. The last few books I've read have seemed to drag, no matter what the length of the actual book was, not so with this one. A constant page turner that made me want to continue reading no matter what else needed to be done. The characters are well fleshed out, and while I at first found Ahmose terribly naive and annoying, I rejoiced when she finally wised up and cheered equally when she was put in her place after ov ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me and the characters and unfolding of events in this book provided a new look at an old subject. The early years of the Thutmosides dynasty (1506 BCE) is revealed when the dead king's Second Daughter Ahmose is elevated to the role of Great Royal Wife instead of her older sister, Mutnofret when Thutmose becomes pharaoh. This launches the royal family into religious chaos, rivalry, and intrigue. I cheered for Ahmose for the first have of the book and later felt ...more
Athena Grayson
Mar 20, 2014 Athena Grayson rated it it was amazing
This book fed my soul. I have more to say about it, but I kinda want to do a video. I will edit more at a later date. TL;DR summary: I love how this author takes an historical period close to my heart, and imbues it with real people who are neither towering historical figures nor are they petty, melodramatic modern transplants. And the way she interweaves the presence of the Netjeru into the story (without making them a somewhat literal deus ex machina), shows the baked-in way of dealing with th ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
One thing I love about well-written historical fiction is when the author is able to remind me that people lived, loved, cried, hurt, hated, feared etc. in times and places so very different from our own. I enjoy when the story doesn't feel like it could take place in modern times, but only in the historical time period created within the book. L. M. Ironside did just that, and by doing so has made me interested in learning more about ancient Egypt. Other than a few editing issues, this book was ...more
I enjoyed the first third of this novel but unfortunately was left less than dazzled for the remainder. I rather enjoyed the author's notes in the back of the book, which is probably proof that I prefer Ancient Egypt more as non-fiction, and I agreed with her choices when it came to names and such. However, I think what ultimately resulted in my not liking the book was the author's choice of making Mutnofret the sister of Ahmose, in this case because she liked the tension it created. I, for one, ...more
The Sekhmet Bed is one of the few books I've read set in Ancient Egypt that actually feels like it's set in Ancient Egypt. It's one of the few books where the novel feels populated by Ancient Egyptians, where the characters are real, complex, flawed people. I'm trying to think of who else writes Ancient Egypt that way, and I can only think of Pauline Gedge.

If anything, The Sekhmet Bed shows how weak some of the more recent historical novels set in Ancient Egypt are. On the basis of plots, The S
Sarah Stegall
Nov 26, 2013 Sarah Stegall rated it really liked it
A lot of research went into "The Sekhmet Bed", and it shows; Ironside clearly knows her Thutmosids. "The Sekhmet Bed" is the first book in a trilogy that covers the life of Hatshepsut, and provides a fascinating glimpse of life in 18th Dynasty Egypt. Little details abound, such as the return of Thutmose I from war with his enemy tied to the prow of his ship. Ironside is so committed to technical accuracy that she even uses the ancient names for cities and towns; sites we would call Thebes and Ka ...more
Robyn Leatherman
Dec 31, 2013 Robyn Leatherman rated it it was amazing
In this historical fiction, the Great Pharoah of Egypt of the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep, dies and leaves behind his wife, Meritamun, and two Royal Daughters, Mutnofret (Nofret to friends and family) and Ahmoset (Ahmose) – plus countless second wives, concubines and children from both. There are plenty of sons to take the throne, but Meritamun refuses to allow any of those sons to rule.

Meritamun appoints her late husband's closest friend and Egypt’s military strategist, Thutmose, as the next Phara
D.L. Morrese
Dec 08, 2011 D.L. Morrese rated it it was amazing
Let me start out by saying that I am not well suited or remotely qualified to review this novel. I seldom read historical fiction; I have only a superficial knowledge of ancient Egypt, and stories of family strife and romance seldom engage my interest. Despite all of this, The Sekhmet Bed held my attention.
I downloaded this book mainly because Ms. Ironside is a prolific contributor to Goodreads discussions and I have found her comments consistently well informed and well considered. That, and sh
May 24, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

One of my first thoughts about this book was that it had insta-love. The protagonist, Ahmose, falls in love with the general Thutmose upon their first meeting and marries him shortly after. Fortunately, however, romance was not the focus of the book, and it was actually a much richer narrative than I expected from that not-so-lofty beginning.

Ahmose is the second, younger daughter of a pharaoh who left no heirs upon his death. Thutmose is
Jun 30, 2013 Joyce rated it really liked it
What a stunning debut! The Sekhmet Bed is the story of a young woman in the early Thutmoside dynasty of ancient Egypt, who goes from a pampered princess to the driving force of the royal household in a few short years. Ahmose's transformation from a barely-noticed child to most powerful woman (might I suggest, most powerful person?) in the land is believable and enthralling.

The author has clearly done her research and it shows. The reader gets a real sense of daily life and belief systems of th
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Historical Info f...: Ancient human sexuality 38 82 Oct 07, 2014 06:22AM  
Soul Gems Book Club: July book pick: The Sekhmet Bed 7 13 Aug 04, 2014 04:06PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 2 13 Apr 18, 2014 05:12PM  
Indie Book Club: The Sekhmet Bed: Egyptian historical novel 2 14 Nov 20, 2011 06:50PM  
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Libbie was born in Rexburg, Idaho and divided her childhood between Eastern Idaho's rural environs and the greater Seattle area. She presently lives in Seattle, but has also been a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah; Bellingham, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington. She loves to write about character and place, and is inspired by the bleak natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain region and by the fascina ...more
More about Libbie Hawker...

Other Books in the Series

The She-King (4 books)
  • The Crook and Flail (The She-King, #2)
  • Sovereign of Stars (The She-King, #3)
  • The Bull of Min (The She-King, #4)

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