Warrior

A woman wearing a white gown with stylised papyrus flowers stands between two Egyptian pillars and looks out at cloudy sunset covered with hieroglyphs.Title: Warrior
Series: The Amarna Princesses #3
Release Date: 13 March 2023 for direct orders. 20 March on all other retailers.
Genre:
Pages: 242
ISBN13: 9781922852052
ASIN: B0B7KSM5XJ
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The Catalyst has woken and danger is closer than ever before.

Reunited at last with Hennie and the girls, Tey discovers all three are changed from when she last saw them.

As their pursuers find them yet again, Tey realises they must be leaving a trail behind them. She just can’t figure out how. It is only when she learns the Catalyst’s identity that she will understand the truth. But can she decipher the Oracle’s wisdom in time to save those she loves?

Join Tey and the princesses as they journey across the ancient world in search of a safe place to call home.

For readers of historical fantasy who enjoy women having adventures against a background of 18th Dynasty Egypt.

 


Also in this series:

I had been separated from Hennie and the girls for three quarters of a year before I found them again. The message Tuthmose left on his windowsill led me to the island of Suakin, all the way across the Red Sea. They lived in a little house near the beach, just like I had always pictured us having, only I didn’t have to build it.

At first, I was so pleased to be reunited with Hennie and the girls that I didn’t notice anything was wrong. They were all alive, nobody was visibly injured, and they seemed happy to see me. It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed the changes.

I supposed I should have expected it. After all, we had been apart for months. Not just the six months I served with Oracle in exchange for her wisdom, but the additional weeks I spent trying to find them. Suakin was a journey of several weeks by sea from Egypt and then Meresamun, who had let me stay in her home, fell deathly ill. I was further delayed when I too fell ill and another month passed before I could resume my search. By then, I had almost given up hope of ever finding them again until Nef stumbled on me in the market place.

It was the change in Hennie I noticed first. Her paleness, her hunched shoulders, the way she stopped to catch her breath after even the shortest walk. She leaned against the doorframe as she watched me inspect the vegetable garden. It didn’t need weeding or digging as whoever had been looking after it — Nef and Seti presumably — had done a good job, but I was accustomed to being busy. In truth, I wasn’t yet strong enough to do much myself, but I could at least occupy my mind with planning what needed to be done.

I pretended I wasn’t watching Hennie as I waited for her to speak. She held one hand to her belly as if it hurt. Her face was tight and her eyes shadowed.

“Hennie.” I gave up pretending to work when it became clear she wasn’t going to speak first. “Sit down. What is it?”

“I am so pleased to see you again,” she said. “I had to come out and look at you. Make sure I had not imagined you.”

“That is not what I mean. What ails you?”

“Oh, Tey.” She gave a heavy sigh and took a long time to answer. “I am glad you have come back now. I don’t think I have much time left.”

“Don’t say that.” In my surprise, my voice was louder than I  intended. “Hennie, tell me. What is it? Are you unwell?”

“I have a pain in my belly. At first, it was not so bad, but now it hurts all the time. Sometimes it is hard to breathe through the pain.”

“Have you seen a healer?”

“Tuthmose asked around, but couldn’t find one who spoke Egyptian or the language of the Sand Dwellers, or even Akkadian, which the girls tell me they can speak a little. There didn’t seem much point in a healer I couldn’t understand.”

I had been surprised to find Tuthmose still here. By the message on his windowsill, I figured he had travelled with them, but I had not expected him to stay once he saw them to safety.

“Besides,” Hennie continued, drawing me from my thoughts. “There is nothing a healer can tell me that I don’t already know. Something eats away at my insides. I can feel it. I will be on my way to the West very soon.”

“I will find you a healer,” I said. “There must be something that can be done.”

“Have you ever thought about your judgement, Tey dear?”

“I cannot say I have.”

“It has been on my mind a lot. I picture myself entering Osiris’s hall. Seeing the row of baboons, the forty-two judges. Osiris on his throne, green-faced and wearing his tall white crown. Anubis, Thoth, the scales bearing the Feather of Truth. Ammut waiting to learn whether she will be permitted to eat my heart.”

“You will not face judgement any time soon.” It was as if she had already given up. “I will go out now and find a healer. You will see, Hennie. There will be a treatment, some tonic or potion to fix whatever ails you.”

“Tey, dear.” Hennie reached for my hand and squeezed it. “Don’t fuss. I know this is new for you, but I have had some time to come to terms with it. My journey to Osiris’s Hall draws near and I have accepted it. I am only pleased you have returned in time to care for the girls. Tuthmose promised to look after them if you didn’t find us, but it is not the same. He is not family, no matter how kind he has been to us.”

He had found a house for them and purchased it with one of the gems Hennie gave him. It had two chambers of a reasonable size and he built a third so the girls would have the bedchamber of their own they had longed for. An unnecessary extravagance, in my opinion, but it was already done. I wondered at his motive. Why would any man take responsibility for children who were not his own? It wasn’t like he and I… My mind shied away from thinking about the possibility of what might have happened between him and me. If I wasn’t so stubborn. If I didn’t already have too much responsibility.

“I hope they don’t grieve me too hard,” Hennie said. “You must remind them I am not really their grandmother. But wait until I am gone. Let me pretend they are my own for a little longer.”

“They are yours, Hennie. You and I are the only family they have, and you must not give up. I will go out right now to find a healer.”

“Leave it be, my dear.” Hennie squeezed my fingers again, then tucked her hands into her lap. Maybe she hoped I wouldn’t notice how her hand trembled. “We all go to the West eventually and this is my time. I have been so thankful to spend these last few years with you and the girls. It has been like having a second chance at life and I never expected that. So thank you, Tey. Thank you for arriving on the doorstep of a lonely old woman and pretending to be her daughter-in-law.”