Behind Palace Walls

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Given the opportunity to join Pharaoh’s harem, would you?

Sheshamun is an adopted fourteen-year-old girl living in a village along the Nile River in ancient Egypt. When Pharaoh’s Royal Wife, Mira, takes note of her familiar features and unique beauty, she suggests Sheshamun become a concubine in the royal harem. Before she departs for Thebes, the young girl receives a chilling warning from a mysterious stall keeper in the local market, “You are venturing into great danger. Beware of those with the same blood, as all is not what it appears to be.”

Once situated in the palace, Sheshamun soon discovers harem lifestyle is not at all how she had once imagined. Though most of the concubines seem harmless to the young girl, she makes a fast enemy of Pharaoh Ramses’ second wife, Senra. Between Senra spewing poison into her husband’s ear and sending a spy after the young girl, Sheshamun learns she must find an ally. Mira willingly offers to be her confidant and help her overcome this relentless foe.

The young girl also quickly learns Pharaoh has complete control of his concubines. Ramses’ son, Prince Ramose, develops a strong romantic interest in Sheshamun; she in turn feels the same. The pharaoh discovers their budding desire for one another, and forbids his son from pursuing her.

The new concubine is dealt another blow when one of her best friends from her village dies. She must choose between obeying Ramses’ wishes for her to stay in the palace, or defying his orders and traveling back to her village for the funeral. Missing her friends and family terribly, Sheshamun picks the latter and runs away from the palace, not realizing how severe the repercussions shall be.

The strong-willed teenager must choose between family and royalty; pride and duty; honor and her own life.

A great deal of research went into the creation of this novel about Ancient Egypt. The author was committed to making sure all details were historically accurate, from the food to the flora and fauna, and the daily practices of the Ancient Egyptians. This historical fiction even contains a topic, though currently taboo in today’s world, was culturally relevant and the key to the survival of the Pharaohs.

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