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At the close of ancient Egypt?s ambitious Eighteenth Dynasty, power, art, and learning have reached a zenith. Due to the nation?s yearly flooding, steady harvests, and plentiful gold, Egypt is the richest nation in the world. Ruling over this paradise is Pharaoh, considered a god-on-earth by his people. But on the death of Amunhotep III, his son, known to history as the Heretic King Akhenaten, enters into a war with the powerful priesthood of Amun and claims ownership of the souls of his people. He raises a new god for Egypt to worship, and banishes the ancient gods from the land. The consequences of this will lead to the downfall of the ruling dynasty, the very family that had made Egypt into a mighty empire. The delicate and beautiful third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Princess Ankhesenamun knows nothing but power and luxury. Her mother Nefertiti rules Akhenaten?s heart and other wives as her father rules the land. But when Nefertiti fails to give Akhenaten the son he desires, the princess?s pampered world begins to fall apart. And at the height of Akhenaten?s triumph over his people, an unexpected tragedy strikes the land, giving those oppressed a new reason to fight. Soon the chaos outside the King?s House explodes within, tearing the royal family apart. Watching from the shadows is Prince Tutankhamun. His mother was a princess, but she died after his birth, and he has grown up on the edge of the king?s favor because of Nefertiti?s strong influence. The crown, which he feels is his by right, is expected to go Nefertiti?s oldest daughter, but Akhenaten refuses to name an heir. Attended as the son of a god but isolated from his family, Tutankhamun spends his days surpassing his tutors, gaining his omnipotent father?s attention only by extreme achievement or reckless courage. Though dominated by her oldest sister, Tutankhamun?s born rival, young princess Ankhesenamun is drawn to the proud and mysterious black-eyed boy. As events in her home become intolerable and terrifying, Ankhesenamun finds that the prince her mother and sister fear is the only one that she can trust. Broken by the burden of a war with his own people, Pharaoh begins to lose control. Paranoid and accustomed to utter indulgence, he wields his absolute authority with ever more brutal hands. He betrays his young daughter in the cruelest of ways before his sudden death leaves the royal family without a king, and beset on all sides by their own countrymen. Ankhesenamun wants nothing to do with the ensuing power struggle between the Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti, and the First Daughter and her lover. But as a beautiful young king?s widow, her hands are bound to the throne. Horrified at the prospect of another unwanted marriage, Ankhesenamun turns to Prince Tutankhamun, and they flee the palace. But Tutankhamun is destined to be Pharaoh, as he has always known. Murder makes him a king at age ten, and he persuades a fragile Ankhesenamun to be his Great Royal Wife. Though Akhenaten has destroyed his family?s hold on power, Tutankhamun fearlessly takes up the crown. He pledges to make everything right again, not only for his enraged and traumatized people, but for the princess he loves with a fierce, possessive loyalty. Encouraged by his counsellors, Tutankhamun breaks his father?s laws and calls back the ancient gods to Egypt. In return, the gods bless the young king with the love of his people and a tranquil home. Ankhesenamun regains her strength, and sets out to command her palace and learn the ancient rites of Egypt?s goddesses. Though challenged by a mysterious and painful affliction that threatens to cripple him in only a few years, Pharaoh is determined to become a warrior and resurrect the mighty imperial army of his ancestors. As the pair grows to maturity, they break free of the horrors of childhood and discover a love so powerful it?s blinding. It seems that all is well in Egypt, but as Pharaoh and his wife enchant each other, new enemies rear up against them. Corrupt courtiers and a powerful empire growing out of the north, as well as snake in the very heart of the king?s home all threaten the young king and queen of Egypt, and Tutankhamun must become increasingly ruthless to battle them all. When a horrible act of terror and defiance against the king brings Tutankhamun face to face with his father?s ghost, he loses faith in himself and must decide what sort of man he will be. Ankhesenamun adores her young husband, and she is determined to be nothing like her mother. But though blessed with a child, she has fatal complications with her next pregnancy. She battles with love and fear daily, and after another tragic loss, she questions if she wants more children. Her marriage is strained by Tutankhamun?s growing comfort with the darker sides of power, and she is determined to keep him from losing his soul like Akhenaten did. She wants nothing more than the life she has with Tutankhamun, without any interruption from the ghosts of the past. Just when Ankhesenamun and her husband learn to accept fate and enjoy their blessings, Tutankhamun dies a tragic death while fighting Egypt?s fiercest enemies. The pampered and delicate young queen is left alone, and as she brings her husband to his final rest, she discovers the terrifying truth that her husband?s death might have been set up by enemies in her very home. Caught in a viper?s nest of greed and betrayal, Ankhesenamun must plunge into a world of intrigue and corruption if she means to avenge her family and save her people from a usurper. Hanging her own life in the balance, she must play a subtle and deadly game of power in order to destroy a killer.

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