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Egypt's Second Born

Egypt's Second Born

Bullied by his brother and disregarded by his father, young prince Amenhotep seeks to belong.

Not expected to live as a babe, Amenhotep beats the odds only to find a life always in his brother's shadow and cast out from his father's glory. 

Does Amenhotep succumb to the shadows of his father's great palace or does he rise above the ridicule to forge his own path? ​Find out in this heartwarming tale of two royal brothers and their journey to love one another despite past wrongs and shortcomings.

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Main Tropes and Themes

  • Coming of Age
  • Scars
  • Dysfunctional Family
  • Forgiveness
  • Brother's Love
  • Seeking Peace

What is this story about?

Bullied by his brother and disregarded by his father, young prince Amenhotep seeks to belong.

Not expected to live as a babe, Amenhotep beats the odds only to find a life always in his brother's shadow and cast out from his father's glory. 

Does Amenhotep succumb to the shadows of his father's great palace or does he rise above the ridicule to forge his own path? ​Find out in this heartwarming tale of two royal brothers and their journey to love one another despite past wrongs and shortcomings.

Who is this story for?

Perfect for fans of Michelle Moran, Amy Tan, and Stephanie Dray.

Anyone who loves inspirational stories and Ancient Egyptian historical retellings, this Lost Pharaoh Chronicles prequel offers a compelling and imaginative take on the early life of the prince would become known as the heretic king.

With its richly detailed world-building and complex characters, Egypt's Second Born is a must-read for anyone who loves tales of brotherly love, forgiveness, and endurance.

Grab this gripping historical drama today.

Content Disclaimers

Author Rating:

The author rated this book for ages 14+ for bullying and ancient ritual sacrifice.

Chapter 1 Preview

A Lost Spar

Amenhotep stumbled backward and tripped on his leather sandal, sending him into the packed sand. His fighting stick bounced away from him. His brother’s training weapon halted a fingerbreadth from his nose as his back burned from the sun-drenched sand. The heat of the day boiling his cheeks hid the fury in Amenhotep’s face. 

Thutmose pointed his fighting stick toward the ground and shook his head, chuckling, “Tutor, when can the Crown Prince have a real opponent? How will he be a warrior-Pharaoh when he has to fight”—Thutmose waved his hand toward Amenhotep—“this?!” 

Amenhotep’s jaw clenched. He took hold of his brother’s fighting stick and jumped up to face him again, yanking the training weapon from Thutmose’s hand. 

“I am a real opponent!” 

He swung the stick toward Thutmose’s head, but Thutmose ducked the attack, grabbing the stick as it passed by. With one fluid motion, he pulled the training weapon out of Amenhotep’s grip and sent Amenhotep sailing back into the dirt again with a kick to Amenhotep’s rear end. 

Amenhotep lifted his head and spit out the sand dust that had entered his mouth upon impact. Sand on his back, sand on his front: humiliating. Every muscle ached in Amenhotep’s body despite the sun’s healing rays. He wrenched an arm out from under his body and slammed a palm into the ground to act as leverage. 

A few giggles made their way to Amenhotep’s ears as he remembered his sisters were watching, along with some of the children of the noble elite. The noble boys who were training for Pharaoh’s Army also watched, but they sat silently as instructed by Sebni, the Overseer of the Tutors.

“No, you are not, Brother.” 

Thutmose smirked and looked up to his father watching from the entrance of the royal harem’s training yard. Pharaoh stood tall with his hands folded behind his back. His lips held a proud curl to them, but as his eyes drifted to his second-born son pushing himself up a fifth time, his lips flattened into a straight line.

The burn from Amenhotep’s cheeks spread to his ears as he rose to a knee, facing his brother. His long arms on either side of his body were readying for an attack. 

“Yes. I. Am!” 

Amenhotep pushed off the ground, his fingers digging into the sand to propel himself forward. His body slammed full-force into Thutmose’s waist and knocked Thutmose down into the dirt with him. Amenhotep wanted to punch Thutmose in his perfectly round face, but he had to get him on his back first. He struggled to remember his lessons as the gasps came from the audience. As he thought, he held on as tight as he could to prevent Thutmose from gaining the upper hand, knowing Thutmose would remember his lessons.

His gaze drifted to the Aten rising over the royal harem’s eastern wall. 

Please, O Great Aten-disc! Give me strength! Let me win! 

The ache in his fingers and the burn in his thighs and biceps were almost too much, but he pushed away the pain and focused on keeping his palms together and his legs tightly wound around his brother’s body. 

I need to win. I have to win. I have to please Father. 

Thutmose was strong and held much more endurance than he could ever hope to have. Even if he could keep him trapped, Thutmose would eventually wear him out. 

But Sebni might call the spar and label me the victor if I can just keep him down, if I can just keep my grip on him. 

His hands weakened and his palms popped apart, leaving the interlock of his fingers as the only means of keeping his brother under his control.

Just a bit longer. 

His gaze shifted to the Aten. His father watched them, hands folded behind his back. The corners of his mouth lifted.

This is it! 

He glanced to Sebni, who should have been walking toward them, but he stood on the side watching them. That was when Amenhotep realized Thutmose had snuck a leg free. His heart raced faster than it had before. It seemed as if the thump of his heart could punch Thutmose in the back of the head. Amenhotep tightened his thigh wrapped about Thutmose’s captive leg, hoping he could hold him just for a bit longer. 

Call it! Sebni, please, call it. 

Amenhotep’s two thumbs broke their connection—

No. No, no, no . . . 

—followed by two little fingers and then his third fingers. He twisted his middle and pointer fingers over each other, hooking at the knuckles. The agonizing strain from his grip coursed down his forearms and into his elbows. Every breath his body took told him to let go, but his mind did not falter. His tongue mastered the desire to cry out in pain.

I would rather break my fingers than let Thutmose win yet again! 

But just as Amenhotep’s resolve strengthened, Thutmose wrapped his free leg around Amenhotep and wriggled an arm free. 

Amenhotep already could feel the elbow coming for his shoulder before it actually hit. Thutmose was twisting to face him. Amenhotep let out a yell, but, despite the sting, he managed to hold his brother in place by digging his fingers into Thutmose’s back. But after a swift side punch to Amenhotep’s thigh and two more blows from Thutmose’s elbows, one to the chest and the other to his stomach, his body failed him. Thutmose had outmaneuvered him yet again. 

With his knees on Amenhotep’s shoulders, Thutmose sat atop his chest and laughed out loud. He let out a heavy sigh as the audience joined in on the laughter. With a purse of his lips and a cock of his head, he gave a disapproving head shake. 

Amenhotep glowered at his brother, his face now illuminated by the Aten: perfect, not even a bead of sweat. His mouth breathed no heavy pants for air. It was as if he had just awoken from a good night’s slumber a moment before. 

I hate you, Amenhotep thought as his chest heaved in a quick cadence under the weight of his brother’s body atop it. He wanted to punch him in the face, but Thutmose’s lower legs had pinned his arms, and his hands were trapped by Thutmose’s feet.

Thutmose raised a fist to strike Amenhotep in the face, but he halted his hand just above Amenhotep’s nose, signaling the end of the spar. The rush of air and sand from his quick jab flew into Amenhotep’s eyes. 

“Younger brother”—Thutmose’s fist became flat as he patted his brother’s sandy face—“I am only a year your senior, but in so many ways, you are still yet a child.” Thutmose pulled Amenhotep’s sidelock, hard. “As father says, ‘Egypt should be glad Thutmose is to be Pharaoh and not you.’”

Amenhotep’s hands curled into fists as hot tears pricked his eyes. He was helpless to do anything.

His brother must have seen the glisten in his eyes, for a curt “Weak” dripped in disgust from the Crown Prince’s lips. 

Thutmose put a hand on Amenhotep’s forehead to stand up and pushed unnecessarily, sending Amenhotep’s head into the dirt.

Thutmose faced the audience and put his hands up in victory, receiving the applause. Amenhotep got up and turned to leave, but, in doing so, tripped and fell . . . again. 

Thutmose laughed the loudest among them all. 

Amenhotep’s cheeks again hid their hue under the boil of the sun as he lurched forward and ran from the training yard. 

Laughter chased him out of the nearest exit. Before he turned to go down a corridor, he peered over his shoulder to see if his father still stood at the entrance. He was not there, but a quick glance back to the yard revealed why. 

Pharaoh now stood next to Thutmose, laying his hands upon his shoulders and speaking to the audience, “ . . . the future of Egypt is bright with the Crown Prince Thutmose . . . ” 

Amenhotep did not need to hear any more from his father; it was always the same. He pulled his sagging shendyt tighter around his waist and wiped his nose with his forearm as he watched them from the shadows. He stepped into the corridor and left without his guards. 

He went to his courtyard—the one he had claimed—that served as his retreat when Thutmose bested him or when he needed to be alone. He had a private courtyard attached to his bedchamber, but he liked this one better. The acacia tree provided just the right amount of shade and sunlight for him to lie under. 

His body, tired and aching from the spar, sank back against the tree’s trunk. He lifted his hands in front of his face. He winced at the burn in his fingers. In an attempt to straighten them and curl them, the perceived flame only intensified. He swallowed the lump in his throat, and his hands drifted to his lap.

His arms shook with either fatigue or anger—he was not sure which. Leaning his head back, he read the words of the gods on the wall surrounding the courtyard. It seemed they always spoke of how great his father was and is and will be forever. Thutmose’s image had started to be included next to his father’s image. But at least in this courtyard, his arrogant brother had not disgraced its walls yet. When his arms stopped shaking and only held their usual ache, he ran his fingers in the dirt next to him and found some small pebbles lying around. 

His fingers gripped one of them, and he curled it into the palm of his hand, ignoring the searing burn that raced through his extremity.

“Always the same!” he yelled under his breath as he sat up and sent the pebble sailing into the wall. 

“Just once”—his back sank again into the acacia tree—“just once, I want to beat my brother at something.” 

His face looked up to the sunlight falling through the leaves. 

“Amun-Re, Aten, heal my body so that it may fight well against Thutmose . . . I want father’s admiration too.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, hoping the Aten would take away the aches from that morning’s spar. The sun’s rays felt good on his skin, and the healing warmth surged throughout his body. The slight breeze from under the tree’s shade cooled his brow.

Product Information

eBook File Size: 1.6 MB

Paperback Size: 5" x 8"

310 pages

Includes: Exclusive Cover and Interior Formatting

Printed on-demand by Lulu Direct

Book Information

Publisher: LLMBooks Publishing
Published: March 2021
ISBN-13: 979-8643863182
Genre: Historical Fiction


Audiobook Information

Narrated by: Eli Snuggs
Series: The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles Prequel, Book V
Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
Release date: 02-02-23
Language: English

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  • (★★★★★)

    "Egypt's Second Born offers a compelling journey back into the first great civilization of humanity and shows us the structure and societal shape that made the Egyptians so dominant in that span of millennia but would also play a part in its ultimate downfall." - Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

  • (★★★★★)

    "...another highly compelling historical family drama that has plenty of highs, lows, and relatability to offer its readers... One of the things which never ceases to amaze me when I review Merewether's works is the innate sense of humanity that runs through her characters, drawing parallels with modern emotions so that we can relate to lives quite unlike our own." - K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

  • (★★★★★)

    " exceptional, fascinating, and distinctive historical novel...truly superb." - Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite