The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen

Written by J. Lynn Else
Review by Steve Donoghue

Lynn Else’s debut novel, The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen, sets its action in the reign of the now-famous Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamen. The richly-detailed narrative centers on the figure of Ankhesenamun, the young princess who became the wife of King Tut and navigated with him the pomp, intrigue, and danger of the royal Egyptian court in the wake of the tumultuous era of the Heretic King, Akhenaten, and his queen, Nefertiti.

All the familiar characters of King Tut fiction are here, from arch counsellor Ay to General Horemheb, all of them fleshed out and presented in wonderful detail. But Else’s most successful fictional creations by far are Ankhesenamun herself, a passionate and believably textured character, and Tutankhamen, who is equally complex and interesting. The result is a tremendously readable novel that is also the first installment of a series.