The Shepherd Kings

The Shepherd Kings by Judith Tarr

Book 4 of The Epona Sequence
by Judith Tarr
$4.99 (Novel) ISBN 978-1-61138-524-3

White Mare, Black Land: war and conquest in ancient Egypt

For a hundred years the ancient kingdom of Lower Egypt has been crushed beneath the wheels of foreign chariots. Its rightful king has striven to win it back, but failed; the bearded invaders, the Shepherd Kings, whom Egyptians call the Hyksos, cast him down in defeat.

Kemni, kinsman of an old noble house, the Sun Ascendant, was lost in the last battle and presumed dead. But his life was saved by the Pharaoh’s son, and he was taken away into Upper Egypt, where he has become a royal favorite. The Pharaoh has a new plan to win back the Lower Kingdom, and entrusts Kemni with the task of winning new and powerful allies who may help Egypt at last to become whole.

Iry, daughter of the Sun Ascendant, has lost her father and brothers and cousins in the rebellion. Now she is a slave, forced to serve the conquerors–and their old lord is dead. A new master has come to the Sun Ascendant, and he is not like the rest of his people. His mother comes from the distant east, from a tribe in which women rule, and he brings with him a living goddess: the White Mare. The goddess’ presence will bring profound change to both the conqueror and the conquered, and shift the balance of the world.

Originally published by Forge (1999)

REVIEW:

A young Egyptian slave called Iry has been chosen by the White Mare to be her servant. Egyptian rebels hope this means that the Horse Goddess now supports them instead of the invaders. Meanwhile, Iry’s cousin Kemni persuades the Cretan king to support the Egyptian cause while finding himself bewitched by a beautiful priestess. If the Egyptians can master the horse and chariot, then their new alliance has a chance of destroying the foreign conquerors. But what will happen to Iry, who has fallen in love with one of the enemy? Tarr (White Mare’s Daughter) carefully develops her strong-willed, passionate characters and showcases their complex and compelling relationships. —Library Journal

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