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 Pharaohs their life’s work.
There is a nice mix of humanity in the characters: villains are sufficiently despicable without becoming caricatures or cartoonish, they all have faults and histories that are clearly presented and fuel their actions and characters with a familiar feel: people and human nature hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, even if beliefs and technology has. Captivating and easy to follow, I was initially concerned that the events and names would feel too foreign and cumbersome to follow, but each character is unique and clearly presented in a way that keeps them memorable without feeling overwhelmed or confused.
Narration is provided by Amanda C. Miller and I found her narrative style to work well for the story, although a few of her choices for individual voices didn’t always line up with my own preferences. Clear and well enunciated, she managed to imbue a sense of urgency, wonderment, curiosity and vehemence where needed, and not overly emphasize in odd places. My first encounter with this narrator, and I am curious to see what else she has presented.
I was unsure about the story when I started, but it pulled me right in with tension and action that pulled the story forward as it engaged me in needing to know what comes next. As a first in a series, this is a winner that will keep readers happy and encourage many to explore historical fiction in eras other than Regency England.
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 4 Story 5
Title: The Sekhmet Bed
Author: L.M. Ironside
Series: The She-King #1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Narrator: Amanda C Miller
Published by: Running Rabbit Press
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 18 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
Is Ahmose's divine gift a blessing or a curse?
The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt's gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king – a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to the gods which ensures the new Pharaoh his right to rule.
Ahmose's elder sister Mutnofret has been raised to expect the privileged station of Great Royal Wife; her rage at being displaced cannot be soothed. As Ahmose fights the currents of Egypt's politics and Mutnofret's vengeful anger, her youth and inexperience carry her beyond her depth and into the realm of sacrilege.
To right her wrongs and save Egypt from the gods' wrath, Ahmose must face her most visceral fear: bearing an heir. But the gods of Egypt are exacting, and even her sacrifice may not be enough to restore the Two Lands to safety.
The Sekhmet Bed is the first volume of L. M. Ironside's series The She-King, a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt's most fascinating royal families.
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.