The First Pharaoh 10

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In this part of the story so many things happen.

Namer becomes a father, having a son, called Hor-Aha. However, his happiness with his wife becomes threatened when Anhotek advises him to take a second wife as part of a political alliance with Lower Kem. Neith-Hotep doesn’t take this news well, and she even goes away with her son for a while. However, she returns to her husband when he promises that he will send his new wife to Tjeni and he will only consummate the marriage only once. I can totally sympathise with Neith-Hotep, who I think in her brief interventions in the novel is more intelligent than many of the men in the book. Neith-Hotep’s main motivation is what she feels, and she believes it is wrong for her husband to take another wife because she thinks that choice humiliates her. And from the own history of her people she knows that polygamy only triggers bad feelings among the wives, who tend to plot against each other for the husband’s favour. Namer is a man who loves his wife, but he also has  a responsibility for the land he reigns over.

Then things take a turn for the worse. Namer sends Anhotek to Tjeni with Neith-Hotep to supervise what was happening there, but he dies. Some witnesses claim that he was outside in the night praying, and then he fell and hit his head. Namer takes Anhotek’s death the hard way, and as he blames himself for sending him to Tjeni, he turns to the bottle. That changes him, and he even ill-treats his wife when she tries to talk some sense into him. Thanks to Meruka, Namer realizes the wrong of his actions, and he swears never to taste a drop of alcohol. He even makes up with his wife. Things don’t stop there, and after returning from Tjeni, Meruka and Kagemmi arrange to have an official meeting with Namer. There we discover that Anhotek’s death wasn’t an accident. He was killed by some men in Tjeni, who Namer puts to death. Then he also finds out that Ihy, Mersyankh, and Neter-mat have been plotting against him for years. Namer kills Ihy with his own sword; Neter-mat is sent to lead a garrison in a remote area, and Mersyankh is banished from the court. Yet, from Namer’s words we learn that this is not the last we’ll get to hear from Mersyankh, and she will try to go against Namer once again.

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