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Secrets Of The Sands

Blue Eye of Horus, volume 1

By Chie Inudou 

13 Dec, 2023



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Chie Inudou’s Blue Eye of Horus (Aoi Horus no HitomiDansou no Joou no Monogatari in the original Japanese) is a historical manga focusing on the future Pharoah Hatshepsut. Volume 1 is the first tankōbon.

Years before the story opens, Ahmose established Egypt’s 18th Dynasty by driving the cruel Hyksos from Egypt. Ahmose was succeeded by Amenhotep I and Amenhotep I by Thutmose I. Someday, Thutmose I will die and be succeeded in turn. Luckily for Egypt, Hatshepsut is in almost all ways qualified to take Thutmose I’s place.

Unfortunately for Egypt, the one quality Hatshepsut lacks is one that bars Hatshepsut from ruling traditionalist Egypt.

Hatshepsut is a woman, and Pharaohs are always men. Thus, the next Pharoah will be Hatshepsut’s brother Seti, the future Thutmose II. This would be vexing enough, Hatshepsut being confident she would be a fine ruler, but of the qualities needed in a Pharoah, Seti possesses only that of being male. Otherwise, he is a dismal prospect, a person for whom the privileges of rank are far more important than rank’s duties.

There is no point in appealing to Thutmose I. He is a firm traditionalist. Suggestions from Hatshepsut that she be allowed any role beyond those to which women are regulated are met with curt words and beatings. Hatshepsut is therefore on her own.

Hatshepsut appears to accept her place, taking instruction from a beautiful dancing girl on how best to appear feminine. This is merely a ruse to allay any suspicions about her intentions her relatives might have. She still has her eye on the throne, but to reach it she must first marry Seti.

Seti discovers on their wedding night that his sister will be no submissive wife. Seti resolves to find a secondary wife who will be suitably docile, allowing him to consign Hatshepsut to obscurity. Seti will soon discover he has underestimated his sister.


Interesting discovery while writing this: Word’s default dictionary includes every Egyptian name mentioned. Nice to see there are Hatshepsut fans at Microsoft.

While this is a strictly historical manga1, there’s enough incest in here for a Heinlein novel, which at least makes it SF-adjacent. That said, despite the abundant nudity in this, it’s all period-appropriate, not fan service.

There is the temptation, I suspect, for historical writers to modernize old time societies to please readers. While the manga’s Hatshepsut does possess ambition unusual for the time and place, actual history suggests that the historical Hatshepsut was also ambitious and competent. Modernization is not what’s going on here. The author makes no attempt to present Pharaonic Egypt as a modern society under a patina of quaint costumes and readers should not expect this Egypt to conform to current standards: see, for example, that whole incest deal, not to mention Seti’s treatment of prisoners of war.

Readers can be assured, though, that ultimately Hatshepsut will prevail. The historical record guarantees this. However, the record is fuzzy on many details, such as whether Thutmose II reigned for three years or thirteen or possibly even eighteen. The author has considerable leeway for interpretation. How Hatshepsut becomes Pharaoh remains to be seen. One can be sure it will literally be over Seti’s dead body. Given what a dingus Seti is, his demise will be a relief to his subjects.

Volume 1 was perfectly satisfactory, although I am not sure I will continue with the series. Not because there was anything I especially disliked in this manga; it’s just that heretofore I haven’t finished most of the historical manga series I started.

Blue Eye of Horus does not appear to have an authorized English edition.

1: One suspects the historical Hatshepsut didn’t have blue eyes, or blue hair for that matter.