Released January 2010
Her Majesty the King

A tale of kings and queens, a bloodstained struggle for the throne and forbidden love…

When power was absolute and life was short…

A young woman was destined to rule the world’s first empire.

Hatshepsut, the gifted and beautiful daughter of the Pharaoh, vows to accept whatever fate the gods have decreed for her. When just fourteen, she kills a marauder, is betrothed to her loathsome brother and becomes the most powerful priestess in Egypt. She falls in love with Senenmut, the brilliant commoner who is torn between his yearning for Hatshepsut and his duty to protect her. When her father dies, Hatshepsut must make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Egypt.

Her Majesty the King is the story of Hatshepsut’s turbulent path to the throne. She battles bigotry, heartbreak and betrayal in the glittering but treacherous world of Egypt’s royal court. Hatshepsut and Senenmut’s forbidden passion is one of history’s greatest untold love stories. In a novel based on real people and events, author Patricia L. O’Neill cracks the mystery of the female Pharaoh’s rise to power with painstaking research using the original ancient sources. Her Majesty the King is a triumphant blend of historical fact and heart-stopping emotion—historical fiction that will draw you in and hold you spellbound.


'If my brother had lived, I'd be marrying him today' is the opening line of one of the most compelling reads in a long time. Based on the facts of ancient Egyptian history, the story of the woman who would eventually become one of the most revered and powerful leaders of her time unfolds.

We meet Hatshepsut as a young girl mourning the death of her favourite brother, the brother she should have married to ensure the royal line of the Pharaohs of Egypt. We agonise with her as she faces up to the true reality of having to marry the brother she actively detests and applaud her strength as she faces the reality of the pathway carved out for her by the sudden death of her father, who passes the royal ka to her on his deathbed.

Beautifully written, the historic facts are interwoven throughout the story in such a way that the tapestry, lives and loves of Ancient Egypt are once again brought alive.
Janet Mawdesley, Bluewolf Reviews

'Her Majesty the King' was independently and unanimously picked by all members of the judging panel as the standout manuscript of the competition….this story had it all: an exotic location, romance, horror, a great heroine and other memorable characters to love and hate, as well as informing the reader about an interesting period in history.'
Judging Panel, 2008 NSW WC/ NHP Genre Fiction Award

'entertaining...a feast for the imagination...(Her Majesty the King) has all the excitement of an epic fantasy, but the facts are solid.'
Ian Nichols, The West Australian

'From a forbidden passion with her steward Senenmut to harrowing execution and death scenes, this book is rich in the detail of ancient Egypt.'
Cecily Ryan, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

'The historical detail of this book is breathtaking. Costumes, religious rituals, cuisine and royal customs are intricately produced. Hatshepsut’s inner realisation of her kingship is also convincingly portrayed. … if you enjoy wealth, a beautiful and intelligent heroine, dashing lovers, elaborate ceremony, sexual intrigue and dramatic death scenes, then this book is bound to satisfy.'
Liz Corbett, The Historical Novels Review, (May 2010 edition)

'(Her Majesty the King) is a peach of a historical novel… O'Neill's non-fiction shows the rare knack of making the inexplicable seem normal. This talent has transferred to her fiction. How else could you read about the incestuous relationships between royalty and have them make some rational sense in the historical context. That said, O'Neill crafts a wonderfully engaging story around a set of characters that are not out of place in any epic fantasy novel. Mad kings, heroic commoners and sweetly mischievous queens take centre stage, but parading around are a cast of engaging characters that help draw you into ancient Egyptian life. The cover told me I would be spellbound. I didn't believe the blurb (sorry Trish) but I was wrong. I literally could not put it down. Her Majesty the King delivers a rich and satisfying reading experience.'
Stuart Mayne, Editor, Aurealis Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, ‘aurealisXpress’, May 2010

'A riveting tale of devastation, heartbreak and survival...A beautifully written and delightfully paced historical novel.'
Snjezana Bobic, Fantasy Book Review (UK)
click here to read the full online review

Readers' Comments*

Denise (29 April 2010)
If it's intrigue and romance in an historical setting that gets you in then Her Majesty the King is a compelling read for you… This novel is an education in the history, culture, social mores, religion and politics of the time around 1484 BCE in Egypt. Together with this aspect and the romantic story within, it works. After all, what better way to understand a period of very complicated history than in a novel full of intrigue, violence and sex…

Janette (28 April 2010)
…a ripping good yarn…I did think the opening line of the book is one of the best I have ever read. The book is obviously brilliantly researched which adds to its appeal. Overall, I thought it was a really good read, and would recommend it to others.

Raimunda (25 April 2010)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, and as I have been to the Valley of the Kings, I was able to identify with aspects of the novel. The characters were all well portrayed, and Hatshepsut presented as a very powerful woman.

Di R. (23 April 2010)
…This was a highly entertaining read that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. The story seemed to have everything: a wonderful heroine, romance, violence and intrigue and characters that one either loathed or loved.

N.A. (14 April 2010)
Did not know what to expect, but thoroughly delightful read—informative combining fact and fiction along with a thrust of a very modern female…

V.M. (7 April 2010)
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Every page brought a new adventure. If only ancient history was this interesting at school!

Mary (2 April 2010)
Very enjoyable read... gave me a deeper, historical perspective of the Egypt I've seen... definitely a book worth passing on, couldn't put it down as I always wanted to know what was happening next.

Christine (29 May 2010)
I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction, but I found myself drawn into the story and the characters. I also learnt a lot about this period in history which was surprising when so much is written about Ancient Egypt already. It's also great to have an Australian writer promoted like this and I can’t wait for the second book.

D.G. (29 March 2010)
I enjoyed the book - especially the storyline and the characters… However, while I am not easily offended… I found some of passages to be unnecessarily explicit…

G.W. (27 March 2010)
Have just read this wonderful book…thank you for a great read and I am looking forward to the next volume.

C.G. (25 March 2010)
Absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the history but most importantly how it was portrayed quite modernly. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a great read for a raining afternoon.

L.T. (16 March 2010)
Great read it's like living in the past with each page read and you don't want to be anyone but the King. Talk about your first ‘Glass Ceiling’ woman.

R.R. (16 December 2010)
Can you tell me when The Horus Throne will be available? I have just finished reading Her Majesty the King and loved it.
*Readers’ comments have been edited for brevity and typos.

More Books by Patricia L. O'Neill
© Patricia L. O'Neill · All Rights Reserved