REVIEW by John Anthony West, Independent Egyptologist, best-selling author and Emmy Award winner for his NBC documentary “The Mystery of the Sphinx” hosted by Charlton Heston
An extraordinary biographical novel of Egypt's great (and much maligned and misunderstood) Queen Hatshepsut. It provides a unique, in-depth and thoroughly believable portrait of the great female Pharaoh: a woman who, while wielding absolute political power, was at the same time emotionally and philosophically developed and therefore capable of conceiving the enlightened architectural and artistic masterpieces that distinguished her long reign ... all the while glorying in and never losing sight of her own intense femininity.
Truth is the Soul of the Sun (a literal translation of the Queen's throne name, Maat-ka-Re) is also, to the best of my knowledge, the only novel that captures within a single volume what must have been the reality of daily life in ancient Egypt - from royalty to peasantry. It is all there and in three dimensions ... the divinity-driven, Nile-blessed land in all its magical, hierarchical complexity, its profound sacred science, pervasive religious reverence, its exotic unparalleled material richness, its relentless heat, its obsession with artistic perfection and its enviable ability to unabashedly celebrate the erotic ... without for a moment losing sight of the underlying 'esoteric' that fuels it.
Truth is the Soul of the Sun is an exhilarating literary immersion course that captures ancient Egypt in its entirety, the only novel I know of that even gets close.
REVIEW by Steve Donoghue for the Historical Novel Society
Truth is the Soul of the Sun, Maria Isabel Pita's historical novel about Hatshepsut...follows her subject from childhood to twenty years of ruling as Pharaoh Hatshepsut-Maatkare and includes a cast of hundreds along the way. In less adept hands, such a profusion of detail would almost certainly prove deadly (several highly publicized historical fiction tomes of the last few years come to mind), but Pita has a consummate storyteller's skill for pacing, and as a result, this long novel is an absorbing reading experience... it's a tribute to Pita's skills that Hatshepsut herself ends up towering over all other characters in this novel. The decision to follow her through every trial over years bears fruit: readers will close the book feeling they've known this remarkable woman. Highly recommended.
The sixth and final book in the epic historical novel covering the entire life of Hatshepsut, the ancient Egyptian queen who was crowned king and for more than twenty years ruled on the Horus Throne of the Living as the Female Falcon, Maatkare.
Before becoming Pharaoh, Hatshepsut served as God’s Wife of Amun, an important economic and spiritual office created by her grandfather that holds the key to her mysterious and unprecedented power. Maatkare was not only a charismatic political leader, she was a mystic who inspired the wholehearted devotion of brilliant men. One of them was Senmut, a commoner she elevated to unparalleled heights of authority. But her most influential advocate was Hapuseneb, the High Priest of Amun and the Governor of the South. Hapuseneb served under three pharaohs and yet only Maatkare is represented in his tomb.
Hatshepsut’s life is a passionate story of love—for her beliefs, her country and two of its most fascinating men.
The complete epic novel: “Truth is the Soul of the Sun – A Biographical Novel of Hatshepsut-Maatkare” also available as an e-book and as a trade paperback from amazon.com.
About Maria Isabel Pita
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Published August 17, 2010
History, Romance, Literature & Fiction.