While author Kara Cooney is a professor of Egyptian art and architecture at UCLA and her bona fides include; co-producing the comparative archaeology series Out of Egypt, with her husband Neil Crawford and a stint as curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, what she delivers for her first book is hardly a scholarly treatise on the life and reign of Hatshepsut.
Cooney’s The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt reads at times like historical fiction. This isn’t to say that Cooney doesn’t deliver the goods; clearly there is a level of research and understanding that she brings to the story, just without the hints of text-booky-ness.
While many professors have a built in know-it-all quality, Cooney does not shy away from questioning what we know about Egyptian history, or in this case her-story, and posit a few “what if” questions.
If you’re looking for an in depth historical document with footnotes and bibliographies, might I suggest looking elsewhere. If what you seek is an entertaining take on history that won’t have you searching out a fresh hit of caffeine or needing to be wired on Red Bull, then grab this one history buffs and interested readers alike.