AUTHOR'S NOTE

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Against a sweeping canvas of empires and kingdoms, The Lost Valor of Love explores the themes of honor, courage, sacrifice, mortality, the supernatural and the transcendence of love beyond the boundaries of space and time

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Against a sweeping canvas of empires and kingdoms, The Lost Valor of Love explores the themes of honor, courage, sacrifice, mortality, the supernatural and the transcendence of love beyond the boundaries of space and time.

Set during the early reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, The Lost Valor of Love tells the untold story of Istara, the Hittite empire's intelligent yet powerless young queen-in-waiting who changes the course of history through one incredible, selfless act.

Made a hostage to the Pharaoh Ramesses II, the trajectory of her life rapidly spins into a new direction when she embarks on a forbidden affair with an Egyptian commander who is inexplicably bound to her beyond the boundaries of time itself. When he sacrifices his soul to save her life, she comes face to face with the gods where she learns her destiny is far from complete.

 When he sacrifices his soul to save her life, she comes face to face with the gods where she learns her destiny is far from complete

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The Lost Valor of Love is the first book in the Transcendence series of historical fantasy novels.

Over five years of academic research and several trips to Egypt were undertaken to write this book. In addition, trips to the various museums (The Louvre, Copenhagen's Glyptoteket, The British Museum, The Egyptian Museum, Cairo) that house the only statues of several of the Egyptian characters in this book were also visited--some of them many times. Last, but not least, with the help of an Egyptian archaeologist friend, I was able to gain an even deeper understanding of life in ancient Egypt by exploring long-lost ruins and temples forgotten by time.

Despite the wealth of historical records and evidence of ancient Egypt's phenomenal existence, there is, by stark contrast, almost nothing left of its greatest enemy, Hatti. Less than one hundred years after the events of this book, the Hittite civilization completely collapsed, leaving behind almost no trace of its existence; for a long time we only knew of Hatti through the records of Egypt. Since then, fragments have been found, though the physical evidence is still scant. Under the punishing weight of three millennia, its once great cities crumbled away, their foundations lost in the waving grasses clothing the northern mountains of Turkey.

The once formidable city of Kadesh is now nothing more than a hill in the middle of fields, situated roughly twelve miles southwest of present-day Homs, Syria. It has not failed to occur to me that this part of the world has suffered far too much violence and tragedy; the parallels between what happened at Kadesh and what is happening in our present world much too close for comfort.

To this day, archaeologists are still searching for the Hittite version of what happened at the Battle of Kadesh. Historians have suggested that if Egypt had been defeated at Kadesh, the world's history would have turned out substantially different. Egypt's supremacy would have ended prematurely, changing the balance of power in the remaining empires and affecting the rise of later ones, making it not unlikely the world we live in today could have turned out quite different to the one we know.

Until the Hittite record is found, we only have Ramesses II's version, which strains credulity-he claims the gods came down and fought alongside him as he faced the hordes of the Hittites alone, all his men having fled in terror. This story has been an attempt to retell the historic events of that time with life breathed back into the people who lived and loved in that opulent, glamorous, dangerous world.

Apart from the characters of Istara, Rhoha, Edarru and the immortal gods, the characters in this book are based on real historical figures, places, and events. Every effort has been made to follow the history of the 13th century BCE with the greatest possible integrity.

I hope you enjoy it, and as always your thoughts are warmly welcomed.

Dedication

For Marcelle

My constant friend in a fleeting world

Acknowledgements

My most heartfelt thanks go to Kath Stansfield whose editorial reviews, emails, support, and little kindnesses over the past year helped to bring this book to its fulfilment. When I stopped believing in myself, she told me not to give up, sending encouragement and giving me the courage to push this story to publication. To have such incredible support from an author I admire so deeply has been a wonderful, precious gift. My gratitude is enormous.

To my husband, Anders, who has been terribly, awfully, heinously neglected as I agonized over every. single. word. Who bought me more screens, (at three now), and keyboards when the letters wore away, and then a laptop so I could keep writing while in the hospital. Who fed the cats and watered the garden, who spent evenings letting me work out complexities of the plot while he listened, saying nothing, drinking his wine, waiting, patient, a knowing smile on his face.

To Chris O'Byrne, print designer and copy editor, who patiently worked through all the fine details of layout and grammar. There were a lot of emails. A lot. Sometimes at 4:00 a.m., which he answered right away. My hero.

To Debbie O'Byrne, graphic designer, for making the maps exactly like I imagined them to be and for creating a cover I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was lucky to meet you. One day, I hope we'll get to have a Starbucks together for real.

To Linda Pohl, thank you for your beta reads and feedback in 2014; your support and thoughtful ideas helped to make this story into what it finally became.

To my moral supporters, for cheering me on every step of the way: Lisa Buchanan, Antonia Bezinović, Cecilia Peltola, Alison Wright, and Ronny Morris. You didn't have to, but you did. It meant a lot. A whole lot.

To my wattpad readers who wrote to me to tell me how much they loved the book, who couldn't wait for updates, and even sacrificed sleep to read through the night. You sent the book to number one where it remained for four days straight. If I ever needed proof of concept, you granted me that. I love you guys.

And finally, to Marcelle, my best friend, who read the very first draft all the way back in 2006 and in 2013 said, "Just self-publish; it's going to be fine. Don't worry, I promise I will buy a copy." And then she smiled, as though she knew a secret.

Map, glossary, cast of characters and chronology of the timeline

can be found at the back of the book.

Copyright © 2017 by E A CARTER

The moral right of the author is hereby asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent buyer.

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