The Pharaohs and Queens that Inspired My Novel

Natara Stone, the main character from Descendants of Isis, stems from a long Egyptian bloodline that once served the goddess Isis. In ancient Egypt, women held more rights than women do today. They could divorce their husbands, own their own land, and a few held high power over political matters. However, there were three primary women from ancient Egypt who inspired my series’ plotline and Natara’s own characteristic traits.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was politically savvy and known to have lead prosperous times in Egypt. She began her reign as the regent for her nephew and brother-in-law, Thutmose III, who was a mere baby when he took the thrown. During her first seven years, she was depicted as a woman and constantly gave precedence to her kinsman. However, when Hatshepsut moved toward taking the crown of Egypt, she began being portrayed as a man and updated the rituals of birth and coronation. Hatshepsut stated her mother was called upon by Amun-Ra during her pregnancy and foretold Hatshepsut would becoming pharaoh, making her claim to the thrown a divine right. During her reign of 22 years, Egypt held the largest army, and ruling families enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. She also established successful trade-routes, and numerous construction projects. She died in her 50s from an abscess following the removal of an infected tooth.

In my series, I weave Hatshepsut into the Daughters of Isis bloodline. Her history playing an important role in the novel’s cult and the secret they protect for the goddess they serve. In addition, the few members I present reflect Hatshepsut’s cunning and strength. Traits they require to outwit the Sons of Set.

Queen Nefertari

For 24 years, Nefertari was most beloved of Rameses II’s wives. She married the then 15-year-old Ramses at the age of 13. Though the marriage was politically inspired, their relationship blossomed into an amorous one, where Ramses honored her through monuments and poetry. Nefertari was widely known for her beauty and used it to secure her position in her husband’s standing among his many wives and concubines. Her depictions showing her wearing transparent dresses, lavish makeup and jewelry, and the crowns of Isis and Hathor.

It was Nefertari’s painted images that inspired Natara’s physical characteristics. In one scene, Natara even compares herself to the queen as she looks at her reflection in a mirror. An aspect she is not very fond of. Because, even though she refuses to fault her beauty as the ancient Egyptian queen had, it is Natara’s beauty that draws her closer and closer to danger throughout the series.

Cleopatra VII Philopator

Though her bloodlines are Greek, Cleopatra is the most famous Egyptian Queen in Egypt’s history, as well as the last. She was considered clever with superb political abilities. However, she was never the sole ruler of Egypt in name. She shared her power. First with her two younger brothers, then with her son as co-regent on the throne. She used the Egyptian religion and her knowledge of the original Egyptian language to identify herself with the goddess Isis. But within a year of her reign, her first brother-husband forced her out of Egypt. Cleopatra was not one to give up her rule so easily. At the age of 21, Cleopatra presents herself to the 52-year-old Julius Caesar by smuggling herself in a rolled-up rug. Their affair leading to a son. Caesar openly claimed his son and declared he would marry Cleopatra, despite Roman laws against bigamy and foreign marriage. Until that time, she was declared his consort and accompanied him on his campaigns. Unfortunately, after Caesar’s assassination, neither Cleopatra or her son were named in his will and they were forced to return to Egypt.

This political move sparked the inspiration for the forbidden romance in my series between the Sons of Set and the Daughters of Isis. Their belief being that the such relationships would ignite unease as it had during Cleopatra’s reign. And in my novel, Son of Set, Seth has to make the decision whether or not to defy the Sons of Set’s laws, as Caesar defied Roman’s.

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