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I think we had at least half a dozen legitimate companies by which I mean companies that even someone like me could instantly recognise inquiring about the rights," Thompson told io9. It was all rather overwhelming but in a completely badass way. I liked them right off, and their vision for the book.

The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson

I also liked that they weren't a huge studio. All of that has remained true and I feel very lucky that they're my partners in this adventure. Type keyword s to search. Kelly Thompson.

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The book released digitally in September of and print in November of So many Kickstarter projects — especially books — struggle. Thompson: I think the most obvious thing that helped me was the incredible professional artwork I had by comic book artist Stephanie Hans. She did a gorgeous cover image that really spoke to people and got them curious about our project. I had spent years writing about comic books for free both on my own blog and then as a freelancer on Comic Book Resources reviewing books and writing a column called She Has No Head!

Kelly Thompson's crowdfunded superhero novel is coming to the big screen.

I was very fortunate that the audience I'd been slowly cultivating over years followed me to a more creative endeavor. I also think the fact that the book was completely done with the exception of some editing helped give people who didn't already know me confidence in pledging to a new author. One of the things that first struck us about TGWWBK was the bevy of beautiful artwork you had for the book, some of which by pretty major artists. How did you manage this?

Kelly Thompson's The Girl Who Would Be King optioned for film

Thompson: I knew Stephanie Hans — the cover and interiors illustrator — both as a friend and colleague through my own work writing about comics and her incredible work in comics. We were friends, or at least friendly and I simply solicited her to be the professional artist for my cover. I knew she would give me the professional visual edge I needed. She was gracious enough to be interested and I sent her the book, she loved it and so we were off. Though their work is not included in the book, friends and comic book colleagues Ross Campbell and Meredith McClaren also both donated illustrations to the project, gorgeous stuff that I was able to sell as limited edition prints and swag.

I also knew both Ross and Meredith through my and their work in comics. I spent years writing about comics, mostly for free, but it certainly paid off in the incredibly talented and lovely people it connected me to. You've been kind enough to credit the io9 review for some of TGWWBK's recognition, but did it really affect sales much?

Thompson: To be honest, for a self-published book like mine, the review on io9 was a huge sales boost. I saw a big jump immediately for my digital sales on Amazon and we eventually hit 1 on Amazon Kindle and that of course raised our profile immensely. We also sold a significant number of orders from my webstore for the limited edition hardcovers as a direct result of the io9 review. Thompson: Logan Pictures was I think the first company that got in touch and it was fast.

Very fast. Egyptologists remain divided about the identification of her mummy; there are a number of candidates for the valuable corpse that would reveal the wear and tear life dealt her. Instead her story must be pieced together from thousands of broken fragments—temples, ritual texts, administrative documents, countless statues and reliefs of herself, her daughter, her stepson, her favored courtiers—a scattered portrait of human life. Egyptology reveals the trappings of kingship, but it is very hard to locate the king.

Egyptian kings were meant to be living gods on earth, shrouded in idealism and dogma, and those in power played their politics close to the vest—the throne took precedence over any individual and his or her emotions, wants, or desires. Gossip was almost unheard of among the elite and powerful of ancient Egyptian society; public scandal was never recorded into official documents or even unofficial letters. The lives of these mortal gods could only be spoken of in hushed tones.

Hatshepsut was around twenty years old when she methodically consolidated power and catapulted into the highest office in the land. Her youth was unremarkable in a world where tuberculosis, dental abscesses, diarrhea, food poisoning, parasites, cholera, and childbirth might regularly kill a woman; adulthood began early and life ended early Tutankhamen famously died while still a teenager.


Hatshepsut remains the only ancient woman able to claim power when her civilization was at its most robust. During the Eighteenth Dynasty , the Egyptian empire experienced a renaissance—gold poured into the country like water and new building projects were underway, including many of the sprawling temples of Karnak and Luxor so enthralling to tourists today. Karnak saw structures in sandstone for the first time, and it was here that she added no fewer than two pairs of red granite obelisks, miracles of human ingenuity and energy. And she achieved this in Egypt, where the very theological tenants of royal power stood against a woman claiming such a position—and where, close to twenty years after her death, the success of her reign could well be the reason that many of her statues, images, as well as her hieroglyphic name were subject to annihilation.

A ccording to Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty documents, an Egyptian woman was afforded such seemingly modern freedoms as an ability to step beyond the walls of her household, own her own property, and obtain a divorce—yet she remained nothing without connections to her father, husband, or brothers.

Documents from Egyptian villages dating from a similar period tell us that a widow was one of the most vulnerable members of society, subject to being thrown out of her own home by a daughter-in-law, but court proceedings also record charges of rape and abuse brought by women against men, and Egyptian women practiced the power to file legal complaints for mistreatment. A royal woman had less rights than the average Egyptian, it could be argued, since it was impossible to divorce a king, the Golden Horus himself. During the Eighteenth Dynasty, when Hatshepsut lived, royal women could only marry within the boundaries of the palace itself, shuttering dozens of women in a golden prison.

Some Egyptian princesses even had the misfortune of extremely long-lived fathers, a circumstance that forced them into marriage with their own fathers, lest they age beyond their childbearing years. This failing was likely a bitter disappointment for Hatshepsut, but it was also a twist of fate that would pave the way for her inconceivable and serendipitous rise in fortune.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this hallowed position, she served as a priestess of the greatest importance. It was a lot of power for a ten-year-old girl to take in. The result of this marriage was at least one daughter, a girl named Neferure, and perhaps another daughter who died young.

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Thutmose III, an infant, suddenly sat upon the throne of Egypt, perhaps gnawing on his crook and flail during lengthy religious ceremonies, and was not expected to live long given the high rate of infant mortality. The Egyptians had a solution for such political complications, appointing a regent to oversee the affairs of state until the young king came of age.

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In the case of Thutmose III, however, the mother seems to have been an inappropriate regent. At around sixteen, she ruled unofficially on behalf of a mere toddler king. Soon she would formally take the throne. For over twenty years she would rule unmolested, but she never ruled alone. Although we have thousands of temple reliefs, obelisks, pylons, gateways, statues, and inscribed papyri describing this young king, his character and relationship to his aunt Hatshepsut remain shrouded in mystery. Thutmose III was not her child, but it seems that she safeguarded him nonetheless, rearing him for future rule.

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