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The Crook and Flail

(The She-King #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The son of the god must take her rightful place on Egypt's throne.

Hatshepsut longs for power, but she is constrained by her commitment to maat – the sacred order of righteousness, the way things must be. Her mother claims Hatshepsut is destined for Egypt's throne – not as the king's chief wife, but as the king herself, despite her female body. But a woman on the throne
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published March 10th 2013 by Pettysingle Press
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  717 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Sarah (Presto agitato)
The Crook and Flail is the sequel to L.M. Ironside's The Sekhmet Bed. When Thutmose, the Pharaoh, dies, most presume his heir will be his only surviving living son with his secondary wife Mutnofret. His Great Royal Wife Ahmose has different ideas, insisting that Thutmose designated their daughter Hatshepsut to be the next King. It is no surprise that this is controversial, and Hatshepsut finally agrees to give up her claim in the interest of peace. Her half-brother Thutmose II becomes King, ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

I feel like I ran a freakin' marathon - geez, this book took FOREVER to finish, and it's only 277 pages!

There is so much I could deep dive into this, but I'll leave most of that for the full review. If you want the short of it: the book compromises the story by bringing up plot points just to drop them a page or two later or to have a character zip by to say he/she wrapped that up. Every time we have a hint of the much needed drama, it's wrapped up almost immediately afterwards.
Where do I start with this review? I just want to start by fangirling because seriously, The Crook and Flail is amazing. I'm writing this review and having this great internal debate about whether it's better than Pauline Gedge's Child of Morning, and you know what? I think it might just be.

If The Sekhmet Bed was the Origins of Hatshepsut story, The Crook and Flail is the Hatshepsut: Before She Was King story. Throwing light on a Hatshepsut rarely seen, it's absolutely fascinating to see how
Richard Coady
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series (The Sekhmet Bed) I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Crook and Flail. Happily, I wasn't disappointed.

Let's not mince words here. This is a great book. I have rarely read a novel with such flawless characterisation. Having read Ironside's first book, this didn't come as a surprise to me (if you haven't read The Sekhmet Bed yet, you really should), but if anything the writing is even more accomplished here. You can tell that
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I was not a great fan of book one largely due to baby drama, which is of absolutely no interest to me. I was also concerned because by the end of book one, Hatshepsut was a rather unlikable and annoying child to me, what type of young adult/adult would she prove to be?

Thankfully The Crook and Flail has no baby drama and I am happy to report that Hatshepsut was a fully rounded human being with flaws and overall believable characterization. In fact, I rather liked Hatshepsut. (I also
Well there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that in this second book in the series there’s no more cat-fighting and no more baby drama. Hurrah. And, even better, instead of female-on-female hate which is a trope I am thoroughly sick of in historical fiction, Hatshepsut actually gets on with and makes considerable effort to befriend the other women in the harem, which is a much more realistic view. Hatshepsut as a protagonist, is much more active and has much less tolerance for ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: roadrallyteamb
4.5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed the second book in Ms. Ironside's She-King series, even more than the first book which was also really good. While reading, I was constantly wondering why the heck a bigger publishing company hasn't snapped this author up already! It really is that good.

The character of Hatshepsut was so well-written and characterized. I loved how strong and confident she was, yet in many ways humble and flawed. She felt like a real person to me- complex and possessing many
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Hurry up with the third novel in this series. Hatshepsut has just taken her rightful throne. Sad to say but half-brother Thothmose won't be missed--what a brat.
Jennifer Roach
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
You might see "spoilers" below - if you can call historical facts and theories spoilers...

Continuing from my last review of The Sekhmet Bed, I went straight into this book from the first and was continually drawn to these characters. I missed Ahmose in much of the book, but was glad that she made appearances at all the right times. I had read that Thutmose II lived into his twenties, so was a bit surprised that he would die so soon, and that his character never really developed as I would have
Amy Carr
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in this series and I often find that the second book ends up being not quite as interesting as the first and third because the author is developing the plot for what will happen at the end of the story. I did NOT find this to be true with this book. The book kept me reading the entire time. I loved this book. This gives a slightly different twist to the story of Hatshepsut than I had read in a previous book and I do like reading a different perspective. Also from what ...more
Debra Giuffrida
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the She-King series. I like this one better than the first. The writing is stronger and it draws you in better. I won't go into details cause I want you to read it for yourself. If you love fiction set in Ancient have to read this book. Wonderful settings, good characterizations.
C.P. Lesley
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I like this book even more than its predecessor, to which I gave five stars. Indie writing/publishing at its best. I won't say more than that, because I have since become a friend and colleague of the author. I will note only that if I dislike a friend's book, I say nothing. If I say that I like something, I mean it—whoever the author happens to be.
Dani Bonam
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of the She-King Series, the continuation to The Sekhmet Bed.

At the end of The Sekhmet Bed, the Pharaoh finally goes to the temple in secret with his daughter to claim her his heir. This secret is kept for over ten years. When the Pharaoh finally died, Ahmose the Great Royal Wife became Regent of Egypt and did everything she could to hold her daughter's place at the throne.

At the time, many did not want to accept a woman as Pharaoh and it stirred some controversy between
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great character development! Hatshepsut leaves childhood behind and begins to grow into her power. One of the things I like best about this series is the authors did a good job of keeping the characters realistic. They are flawed, they make mistakes, and most importantly don't act like a modern-day person plunked down in ancient Egypt. The authors toe a fine line here - Hatshepsut has thoughts and motivations that are alien to the reader, yet she is still relatable.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-ancient

The sisters of the first book are minor characters here, so we don't get anymore of that cringe worthy cliche cat fighting. Hatshepsut is an interesting character to watch as she makes her way upwards, but my one complaint is things often came just a little too easy for her as most of the people around her fall all over themselves to help. Still, its an exciting journey to watch her fight her way to the throne and an enjoyable read.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is a hard thing, not to admire Hatshepsut, both as a pharaoh, and as a woman. She was everything that a good ruler should be, and she did everything right, despite the significant gender bias of her time.

And this book, this book is a perfect example of what Hatshepsut has always been to me: a powerful, wise, kind woman who ruled for the betterment of her people. A role model, even today.

Forget Cleopatra. I want more about Hatshepsut.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
What a fun book. I love stories with strong female characters and this was no exception. It was very entertaining, lots of intrigue and unexpected developments. My only beef, and this could have just been my digital copy, is that there were a lot of grammatical/proofreading errors that were easy to see and should have been corrected. Nonetheless, a cool story.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having been to Egypt and heard this story I was very anxious to read about Hapshepsut. I loved this book. It made me able to be in Egypt when the story was happening. I admit to liking most novels about ancient Egypt but this author is one of the best. Start with the first book and follow them all.
Alice Crittenden
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Mediocre writing and soft porn

I tried to read the entire book, but couldn't because the storyline has fits and starts, often stalling out. When it became apparent that the "male and female ka's" of Hatshepsut were being revealed by her actual sexual encounters, I gave up.
Trejon Dunkley
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, egypt, 4-stars
3.5 stars. I round up
Raja Subramanian
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series of 4 books. Hatshepsut, the daughter of Ahmose, the widow of the late pharaoh Thutmose, is considered the God Chosen one. She is convinced that Hatshepsut is destined to be a pharaoh in spite of her being a female. Hatshepsut, too, appears to be just physically feminine while aspiring to do all a man can do - especially in statecraft and leading a country. Imagine that female even harboring thoughts of becoming a pharaoh as early as 1486 BC! Of course, history ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
it was really good, and i enjoyed it. v much enjoying the series. (i was really not in a "reading mood" this month ) but that was just a "me" thing - not a book thing.
Suzan Harden
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To me, Hatshepsut is one of the most fascinating women in history. She ruled Ancient Egypt at the height of its power. First alone, then as co-ruler with her step-son (possibly nephew) Thutmose III. There's growing evidence that shows she may have ruled the country in her brother/husband Thutmose II's name.

This volume is The She-King saga covers the reign of Thutmose II. Again, sibling rivalry is at the forefront of the story, but it pits Hatshepsut against those who would use Thutmose II for
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kobo, series
This is the second novel by L.M Ironside about the women of Ancient Egypt. Our central focus is Hatshepsut, destined to one day be one of the greatest pharaohs in Egyptian history. We do get to see glimpses of that greatness in this book which mostly focuses on the reign of Thutmose II. Not only does Ironside fuel the old rumor that Hatshepsut's vizier Senemut was her lover( I also agree!), but she also suggests that Hatshepsut might have been bisexual. All the love scenes were tender and never ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The second book in the series even better than the first one, how can that be? All I know is that I raced through it, putting other very good books aside.

Is it the Thutmosides that are so riveting or is it the author's vivid style of writing about them? Whatever it is I will grad the next one as soon as I am finished this review.

Hatshesput was awesome but no more awesome than her mother, Ahmose. Their life style choices, although contextual with the era were so modern, or is that the author's
Carol Lueck
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hatshepsut, destined to become Pharoah of Egypt, even though she is a "woman", is a character one cannot forget. The story is intriguing right to the very end. This is a young woman who takes risks that endanger her life and her relationships with her family and yet she is dedicated to what she believes to be the will of her God. I read the book on my e-reader and the only thing I missed while reading the book was that there was a glossary at the end. I searched wikipedia for terms while I was ...more
Crossposted at The Fish Place.

Excellent second volume in a series about Hatshepsut. In this one, the famous pharaoh must outwit nobles and her own brother. Well in some ways, the plot is very easy to foresee, many times the writing overcomes this, and there are several powerful passages.

It is more a book of court intrigue and power plays than action and war. The characters are largely flawed, and no one really is simply the bad guy. The idea of Hatshepsut with male kas comes into play quite
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buddy read? 1 1 Apr 25, 2017 11:39AM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The She-King (4 books)
  • The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King, #1)
  • Sovereign of Stars (The She-King, #3)
  • The Bull of Min (The She-King, #4)
“My soul will not sleep
For want of my sister
The river runs between us
And I am sick with loss.
My pool is broken
By ripples unending,
For the wind has blown her far away,
The wind has blown her far away.

Oh, sister, your perfume
Is like honey dropped in water.
Like spices and pomegranates,
You stain my mouth with longing.
My pool is broken
By ripples unending;
The wind has blown your odor far away,
The wind has blown your odor far away.

The gods have made your love
Like the advance of flames on straw,
My longing like the downward stoop
Of the falcon in bright flight.
My pool is broken
By ripples unending.
I will fly to you on wind far away,
I will fly to you on wind far away.

I am a hunted goose, a hunted one;
The beauty of your shining hair
Is a bait to trap me in your net;
Your eyes, a snare of meryu-wood.
Gratefully I fall
Into ripples unending.
Hunt me, sister, far away.
Hunt me, sister, far away.”
More quotes…