Pharaoh Khufu is battling the Fates. At stake is the inheritance of Egypt's throne, the proud but tender heart of Khufu's beautiful daughter Princess Meresankh and Khufu's legacy as a sage, not savage ruler. As the tale begins, Khufu is bored in his great palace at Memphis. To entertain him, his architect Mirabu expounds on the mighty masterwork he has so far spend ten years building, with little yet showing above ground - what will become the Great Pyramid of Giza. Mirabu and the clever vizier Hemiunu try other amusements as well - but to no avail. Then one of the king's sons fetches a magician with the power to predict the future. The sorcerer says that Khufu's own offspring will not inherit Egypt's throne after him, but that it will fall instead to a son born that very morning to the High Priest of Ra. Furious, Khufu and his crown prince, the ruthless Khafra, set out to change the decree of the Fates - which fight back in the form of Djedefra, the boy at the centre of the prophecy, and his heart's desire, Princess Meresankh. Yet will the unsuspecting Khufu survive the intrigue around him - not only to finish his long-awaited book of wisdom, but to become truly wise?
by : Naguib Mahfouz