The Maya Papyrus

Written by Richard Coady
Review by Richard Tearle

Thuya is the wife from Hell. She has ambitions far beyond her station and even her husband dare not go against her despite the dangers. She engineers the marriage between her daughter, Tiye, and the Pharaoh Amenhotep. Not content, however, with achieving a new and very high status, she ensures, by her flagrant manipulation of her daughter, that the dynasty she has founded will continue. Her sons, Aye and Nakhtmin, are placed close to the Pharaoh and it is Maya, son of Aye, who is our narrator.

His tale is one of four Pharoahs – one a madman – wars, incest, skulduggery, power struggles and murder. Included among the cast of characters are Tutankhamen and his renowned beauty of a mother, Nefertiti.

Not only has Richard Coady created a wonderful character in the matriarchal Thuya and a masterful villain in Aye, but also a wonderful study of the godlike persona of the mad Pharaoh Amunophis. We are also shown the absolute power of kings – and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. And throughout all this is the increasing threat of the warlike Hittites lurking in the background.

The writing style is thorough and easy to read through all of the 668 pages, whilst the cover is simple but effective. The only downside would be the price, a little expensive for a paperback – worth every penny though!

Whether or not you have an interest in Ancient Egypt, I recommend this magnificent book.