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Scarab and her brother Smenkhkare are in exile in Nubia, but are gathering an army to wrest control of Egypt from the boy king Tutankhamen and his controlling uncle, Ay. Meanwhile, the kingdoms are beset by internal troubles and the Amorites are pressing hard against the northern borders. Generals Horemheb and Paramessu must fight a war on two fronts while deciding where their loyalties lie - with the former king Smenkhkare or with the new young king in Thebes.
Smenkhkare and Scarab march on Thebes with their native army to meet the legions of Tutankhamen on the plains outside the city gates. The fate of Egypt and the 18th dynasty hang in the balance as two brothers battle for supremacy and the throne of the Two Kingdoms.
Scarab - Smenkhkare follows on from the first book in this series as King Akhenaten, distraught at the rebellion and exile of his beloved wife Nefertiti, withdraws from public life, content to leave the affairs of Egypt in the hands of his younger half-brother Smenkhkare. When Smenkhkare disappears on a hunting expedition, his sister Beketaten, known as Scarab, is forced to flee for her life.
Finding refuge among her mother's people, the Khabiru, Scarab has resigned herself to a life in exile, when she hears that her brother Smenkhkare is still alive. He is raising an army in Nubia to overthrow Ay and reclaim his throne. Scarab hurries south to join him as he confronts Ay and General Horemheb outside the gates of Thebes.
Max Overton's series on the Amarnan kings sheds new light on the end of the 18th dynasty of pharaohs. Details of these troubled times have been lost as later kings expunged all records of the Heretic king Akhenaten and his successors. Max Overton has researched the era thoroughly, piecing together a mosaic of the reigns of the five kings, threaded through by the memories of princess Beketaten - Scarab.
A chance discovery in Syria reveals answers to the mystery of the ancient Egyptian sun-king, the heretic Akhenaten and his beautiful wife Nefertiti. Inscriptions in the tomb of his sister Beketaten, otherwise known as Scarab, tell a story of life and death, intrigue and warfare, in and around the golden court of the kings of the glorious 18th dynasty.
The narrative of a young girl growing up at the centre of momentous events - the abolition of the gods, foreign invasion and the fall of a once-great family - reveals who Tutankhamen's parents really were, what happened to Nefertiti, and other events lost to history in the great destruction that followed the fall of the Aten heresy.
Max Overton follows his award-winning trilogy of ancient Greece (Lion of Scythia, The Golden King, Funeral in Babylon) with the first book in another series set in Egypt of the 14th century B.C.E. Meticulously researched, the book unfolds a tapestry of these royal figures lost in the mists of antiquity.