The Woman Who Would Be King: A Review

The woman king

I received the book. The Woman Who Would Be King  by Kara Cooney to review from Blogging for Books
I selected this book because I have been enjoying a lot of biographies lately. This book tells the story of the Egyptian woman Hatshepsut who ultimately became King of Egypt. It documents her rise to power during Egyptians 18th dynasty. It tells about her duties in the Temples as well as her political duties in leading Egypt. It chronicles Hatshepsut’s way of handling the political elements in the country of Egypt, enabling it to experienced a lot of economic growth and progress under her reign.
The author tells us that much of Hatshepsut’s story, that was carved into stone throughout the Kingdom of Egypt was literally chiseled away during the reign of King thutmoses III who reigned alongside of Hatshepsut, and following her death.

I must admit I did not enjoy this book.

The content detailing the life of this powerful woman was well presented and clearly portrayed. The author is very informed about this Egyptian king and communicates her knowledge very clearly and in an interesting way. It is very obvious the author has done intense study in preparation to write this story.

The reason I didn’t like the book was the slant under which the author was writing. It seems that the author has a strong feministic leaning that seems to slant the author’s view of the material. I questioned at time on what grounds this author disagreed with so many Egyptologist on many of the assumptions surrounding Hatshepsut’s life. It seemed as if the author wanted to create her into a woman who belonged to our time rather than thousands of years ago. I also struggled with the author’s use of creative liscense in describing the highly sexualized religious practices of the Egyptians during that time.

The Egyptians clearly had a highly sexualized culture, and I am not suggesting those facts be hidden. Yet the creative narrative that was written to build sensationalism was unnessary and almost caused me to not read the book.

I don’t feel that I can recommend this book due to its sexual content
Yet it does give a large amount of detailed information about a powerful leader in Egyptian history.


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