I’ve recently started researching and planning a series of three novels based on a very specific period of about 30 years in Egypt’s ancient history. I haven’t written a book like this before. While I have read quite a lot of historical fiction and I know what I like, I don’t really know what other readers of the genre like.
As an author, my foremost goal is to create stories that people love. In order to do that, I need to know what it is that makes a historical fantasy book sing.
About the book
Before we go much further, let me share a few basic points of the setting and plot of this story.
It is set in the Second Intermediary Period, a time of division in the great lands of the Nile. The Lower Nile (the delta and northern sections of the river) was under the control of a group of Canaanite rulers who imitated the Egyptian Pharaohs and blocked their trade routes. The Upper Nile (the southern section of the river) was ruled by Kush, these two groups had a strong alliance.
Stuck between the Hyksos and Kush sat the 17th Dynasty, ruled by Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao. Tao was deeply unhappy with his position, he saw the Hyksos and Kushites as inferior to him, and insults flung at him did not help.
One day he received a letter from Apopi, the Hyksos king, demanding that he “suppress” the hipopotamus pools in Thebes (the seat of the 17th Dynasty) because they made a lot of noise and kept Apopi awake at night. This was a terrible insult. The hippopotamuses were an important part of the ritual life of the Egyptians and Avaris, the Hyksos capital city, was more than 400 miles away.
Tao started a military campaign against the Hyksos, cutting off their trade with Kush and attacking their villages.
Tao and his two sons waged a multi-generational war against the Hyksos and Kush and eventually, after 30 years, Ahmose managed to drive the foreign rulers out of Egypt and heralded in the period of growth and power known as the New Kingdom. I plan to write one book covering the reign of each Pharaoh.
This is where you come in
I need some feedback.
Does this sound like an interesting book? Would you read it?
Would you prefer if I stuck closer to history, or if I used a little license to embellish the story?
Would you prefer one viewpoint character per book or multiple?
Ancient Egypt is a magical realm, would fantasy elements be out of place in a historical novel? Not dragons and fairies, mind you. I’m thinking curses that work, Gods that can effect the mortal world, that kind of thing.
Please feel free to give me your thoughts, here in the comments, or via email (angela dot meadon at gmail dot com), or any other way that you know how to contact me. All opinions will be considered, but might not be used.
Thank you for your time.