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King and Goddess
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King and Goddess

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  27 reviews
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.
Paperback, 407 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Tor Books (first published 1996)
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Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle MoranNefertiti by Michelle MoranThe Heretic Queen by Michelle MoranFlow Down Like Silver by Ki Longfellowسینوهه by Mika Waltari
Novels Set in Ancient Egypt
37th out of 116 books — 252 voters
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
58th out of 129 books — 321 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 1,270)
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Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
I'm wavering between a 3 and a 3.5 on this book.

Given that she was such an intriguing and impressive historical figure, there is a very sad dearth of fiction about Hatshepsut. There are perhaps three or four traditionally published novels -- this being one of them -- and a small handful of independent novels (self-published and small press), most of which are just bad.

Compare that with Cleopatra, who was, in my opinion, roughly equal in fascinating-ness, but who's got dozens of traditionally pu
One thing about historical fiction, if it is well done, is the lessons it gives us regarding the cyclical nature of history and historical ploys. Some history is made for narrative having all the excitement needed for page-turning. The reuse, historically, of methods that serve to validate power and authority, such as the 'child of God' story we find in this novel, as well as other uses of propaganda that assure that a leader's power and authority is accepted and respected -- the justification o ...more
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I really wanted to like this book. Hatshepsut is a fascinating figure in Egyptian history - the woman who ruled as a king. She is also something of a mystery. What prompted her to make such a dramatic and unprecedented move? Unfortunately this book really doesn't offer any insights into her motivations or what drove her. It is a good read told from the perspective of Senenmut, her royal steward, adviser, tutor to her daughter Neferure, and ultimately her lover, and from that of Nehsi her Nubian ...more
Amazing..this book was all a historical novel should be: full of action, romance, drama, intrigue, politics, culture and above all the introduction to a fascinating historical figure, Hatshepsut, Egypt's most notorious and successful female pharoah. Although she may not have been the first Hatshepsut was definitely the most memorable as she did what she believed and what no one thought was possible and that was to rule the greatest country in the land by herself as King and Goddess. The novel ta ...more
It was hard for me to imagine the pharoah Hatshepsut as a protagonist after developing an early opinion against her thanks to reading "Mara, Daughter of the Nile" in J-high, where she's the villain. But still, I enjoyed hearing her side of the story and was completely supportive of her taking the throne to be king - and woman - at the same time. She was a strong, capable leader, although I can see how some of the regal things she did to cement her kingship might be interpreted as tyrranical. I w ...more
I loved the personalization of history. This author really did her research and her take on ancient egyptian life and culture is really spot on and kept interesting. This is what drives the novel. Getting to the why of what happened rather than relying on the facts we have, Tarr as made it plausible and a fascinating read. What is lacking is the depth of emotion. She sort of skims over passion and desire and anger. Any kind of extreme emotion just isn't there in the sense of how it is described. ...more
Really not a bad book. Although you have to wait until getting through half of this story before it starts to pick up some steam. And somewhere between the middle and the end there are a handful of short chapters that deal exclusively with a secondary character that completely interrupts the flow of the story.
My big issue, however, deals with the protagonist, Queen Hatshepsut. Usually, the main character of a story is one you root for. But I would describe her character traits as arrogant, vain,
I liked this well enough, primarily for the setting; the writing style I found too distancing from both the characters and the action. it did make me want to revisit my Egyptology books, though.
I first read Judith Tarr's historical fiction years ago, and it is as fresh today as it was then.
Jenny GB
Great historical fiction novel about ancient Egypt. The novel follows the rise of queen Hatshepsut from queen to regent to queen. She easily gains the love of her servants, Senenmut and Nehsi, as well as her people. She is shown as a fierce and capable leader of her people and rules in peace and prosperity. Judith Tarr described her characters so well and really brought them to life, especially Senenmut and Nehsi. The love story is incredibly moving, especially the end of it when the lovers are ...more
I found this to be a richly woven historial novel. Judith Tarr has a way of writing historical women as strong and capable without removing all vestiges of what makes them women. In this tale, a woman declares herself King - a very male role to hold. Through it all, she maintains her independence. The only thing that keeps this from being a 5-star from me is that I feel I've read the same plot from the same author before. Not that it makes it less worthy of reading, just that it feels a lot like ...more
Val Schmitt
I enjoyed it, but the last quarter of the book seemed to drag on a bit.
Mar 07, 2008 Jacki rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs
What I learned from this book is: If you buy a book at a thrift store, then get home and realize it has a Dollar General tag on it, don't panic. It could still be a good book! This was a nice, well-imagined, very readable account of real people in ancient Egypt.
This book was good but not the best I have read. She had such an interesting and influential life I would have liked to know more in detail. If you are looking for more books in this genre I would suggest Michelle Moran. Still I give it a four out of five.
This book was great! I enjoyed learning about the great woman leader of Egypt in 1508–1458 BC - Hatshepsut. This was not a deep book, nor one that was riveting, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Yay for a good historical fiction!
Does quite a good job describing what might have happened during the life and reign of Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt. Was quite engrossing and illuminating. Well written.
Nov 12, 2008 Sarah added it
Excellent read. A little slow to start, but turns out to paint an elaborate picture of what life in ancient Egypt must have been like.
A good novel based on the life of Hatshepsut. Tarr's is different enough from Gedge's Child of Morning that each stands out.
Jul 27, 2011 Ubalstecha marked it as to-read
Great story of Hatshepsut, the Egyptian Pharoh who was also a woman. Tarr tels a wonderful story and it is easy to be drawn in.
I really liked this book. It takes place in Ancient Egypt (which I am fascinated with) and really captures that period.
A fictional telling of the life of the real female pharaoh Hatsheput. Entertaining with vivid imagery.
Jenny Jeffries
Yep, another pleasant 'take me back to Egypt' story, with some imagined insight into life among the pharoahs.
Kristyn Jensen
I love this story from the historical perspective, adding personality just made me love it more
A fascinating novelization of the life of Hatshepsut, the woman king of Egypt.
Jane Glen
Really loved this. Tarr is an outstanding HF uthor. Well-researched!
Another great book about King Hatshepsut.
Ellen marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2015
Kelly Barclay
Kelly Barclay marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2015
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AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
More about Judith Tarr...
Household Gods The Isle of Glass (The Hound and the Falcon, #1) The Hound and the Falcon (The Hound and the Falcon, #1-3) Alamut (Alamut, #1) The Golden Horn (The Hound and the Falcon, #2)

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