I think if you are going to write about a historical person, even if that person lived some 4000 years ago, you should try to research the person and the era. This book suffers when compared to Pauline Gedge's beautiful recreation of the same historical period and the same person: that of Pharoaoh Hatshepsut. Pauline Gedge's "Child of the Morning" is so much more believable and so much better written and researched. I was willing to see what another author could do with the story, after all, we don't know too many details about her life, only that she was the only female Pharaoh to REALLY rule, not a figure-head but a true leader of the world's then most important and wealthiest nation--a really unimaginable feat for a woman in that or almost any era in history. Hatshepsut ruled for 22 years, and most likely had a commener lover named Semenket...not to give away any more plot about either book, but comparing the same basic story line, Ms Tarr did not pull it off at all in my opinion. It was not believable, I did not feel as if I was there, and the characters seemed flat, like people in a poor TV movie. NOTE: since the time that each book was written, the mummy of Pharaoh Hatshepsut was found. This was amazing, as she and her history had been "erased" after her death by the following rulers, who wanted ALL signs of a woman leader completly wiped off the face of the earth and very nearly did so.
I was reluctant to read this book because I felt that it was going to be all romance and no substance. From the very first page I was proven wrong. I was captivated by the characters and by Tarr's writing style. This book made me a huge fan of the author's work. I find it especially hard to find good historical fiction, but I found what I was looking for in this book.