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 defies maat, and even Hatshepsut is not so bold as to risk the safety of the Two Lands for her own ends.
As God's Wife of Amun, she believes she has found the perfect balance of power and maat, and has reconciled herself to contentment with her station. But even that peace is threatened when the powerful men of Egypt plot to replace her. They see her as nothing but a young woman, easily used for their own ends and discarded. But she is the son of the god Amun, and neither her strength nor her will can be so easily discounted.
As the machinations of politics drive her into the hands of enemies and the arms of lovers, onto the battlefield and into the childbed, she comes face to face with maat itself – and must decide at last whether to surrender her birthright to a man, or to take up the crook and flail of the Pharaoh, and claim for herself the throne of the king.
Libbie Hawker's saga of the Thutmoside dynasty continues with The Crook and Flail, the anticipated sequel to The Sekhmet Bed. You can also find this title in The She-King: The Complete Saga, a four-volume ebook bundle.