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The Empire of Darkness

The Empire of Darkness

A Novel of Ancient Egypt

Translated by: Sue Dyson
Christian Jacq, author of the international triumphs Ramses and The Stone of Light, brings the people and passions of ancient Egypt to life in an enthralling epic novel in three volumes.
Egypt is a shadow of its former self. An army of barbarians mounted on horse-drawn chariots has swept through the Empire, destroying everything in its path. Known as the Hyksos, these "leaders from foreign lands" have reduced the country of the pharaohs to slavery. Only the city of Thebes resists, protected by the widow of the last pharaoh, Teti the Small. But Teti knows that her reign is limited, that it's only a matter of time before her men succumb to the barbarities of the cruel Hyksos. She has an eighteen-year-old daughter, however: Ahhotep. Fierce, beautiful, and courageous, this girl whom history will call "Egypt's Joan of Arc" will never accept defeat. And so she decides to re-ignite the flame of Egyptian resistance. All by herself.
Combining historical fact with a vivid imagination, Christian Jacq tells the enthralling true story of this Ancient Egyptian warrior-heroine. Without the courage and passion of Queen Ahhotep, the Valley of the Kings and the glorious treasures of the pharaohs, including Ramses the Great, would never have existed.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743476874 | 
  • October 2003
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Ahhotep had not moved for more than half an hour. When she saw the last guard walk past the main gate of the palace, the beautiful brown-haired girl took advantage of the few minutes before the guard was relieved and scurried into a thicket of tamarisks, where she hid until nightfall.

Ahhotep was the eighteen-year-old daughter of Queen Teti the Small, and she bore a strange name, which could be translated as "The Moon is Full," "The Moon Has Been Appeased," or even "War and Peace," for, according to the sages, the moon was a warrior god embodying the mystery of death and resurrection. was the only way to... see more

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