I, the Sun

Fiction - Historical - Personage
576 Pages
Reviewed on 10/29/2017
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Author Biography

Writing the biographical novel "I, the Sun" was one of my greatest challenges and joys. When I read the first-person annals written by this king, he spoke to me like no other. My greatest satisfaction, once the work was done and sold to a publisher, came in a letter from ORM Gurney, who remarked to my then-publisher, Bantam, that "The author must be a student of Gutterbock's. She is familiar with every aspect of Hittite culture."
This book brought me more than a challenge in scholarship. Suppiluliumas was a brilliant leader, strategist, tactician; a passionate lover who fathered more than 40 "kings." His story brought the ancient world to life for me, and I hope it will for you. I have written, created, and edited mover 40 books, and I, the Sun remains a favorite.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

With I, the Sun, Janet Morris comes close to a biography of the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas, whilst creating a captivating story, and that is a brilliant achievement in fiction where only one character, Titai, a slave girl, is fictitious. At the opening, Tasmisarri, heir to the dead ruler King Arnuwandas, is shown as a rebel, determined to go his own way despite brutal punishment, and it is that resolve which carries him forward to kingship. Tasmisarri/Suppiluliumas survives assassination attempts before he is of an age to rule, and he becomes a mighty warrior conquering forty nations to expand his empire. He marries, takes concubines, and records the births of many children, but will he ever win the woman he truly loves?

The fascination of I, the Sun is an intriguing, beautifully-written story with a basis in historical fact. It is a representation of an era unchallenged by modern morality, and it is that which will attract fans of both historical and literary fiction. To read it is to dip more than a toe in the water; it’s total immersion in a period almost fourteen hundred years before the birth of Christ. Acts of courage are tempered by injury, agony, and death. Women live according to their station, anything from queens to sex slaves. However, the Hittite king has his softer side. “Titai, only say that if you behave with love in your heart toward me, you will come to my aid.” I, the Sun by Janet Morris is a treble five-star novel.

Dr. Jerry Pournelle

"I, the Sun is a masterpiece of historical fiction. It tells a great story while accurately creating the world of the Hittites and their best known emperor." -- Dr. Jerry Pournelle

Dr O.R. Gurney

"The author is familiar with every aspect of Hittite culture." -- O.R. Gurney, Hittite scholar and author of "The Hittites"

Joe Bonadonna, Black Gate Magazine

I, The Sun
By Janet Morris
Perseid Press (534 pages, October 27, 2014, $29.95 in trade paperback)
Cover art: The Seal of Suppiluliumas
This masterpiece of historical fiction was based on the actual writings and historical records of Suppiluliumas I, the great Hittite king who dominated the Middle East around the 14th century, BC. He rebuilt the old capital of Hattusas, and from there exercised his Imperial Power over the Hittite heartland, controlling the lands between the Mediterranean and Euphrates. But he was not a king to sit back on his throne and pull the strings of his minions, advisers and subjects. No, he was hands-on, and long before he became king he made his way in the world, fighting and whoring and playing politics. His military career included dealing with the eastern kingdom of Mitanni, and regaining a solid grip on Syria. [...]
In I, The Sun, Janet Morris weaves a brilliant, sprawling tapestry of events in the life of this great king of the ancient world, whom we first meet when he is known by his birth-name, Tasmisarri. This historical novel, cleverly written in first-person to stand as the official autobiography of Tasmisarri/Suppiluliumas, begins with the death of his father, the Great King Arnuwandas. Since Tasmi cannot sit the throne until his majority, his uncle Tuthaliyas inherits the crown. But so much can happen until Tasmi comes of age, and so, to keep his own brothers from killing each other -- and him, and thus seizing the throne, Tuthaliyas adopts Tasmi and makes him his heir. [...]
From that moment on young Tasmi is [...] caught up in court intrigue, surrounded by enemies and sycophants, becomes embroiled in one military engagement after another, and grows to become a major player in the game of empires. [...]
Janet Morris truly nails the history; the settings, traditions and customs of the various people in this part of the ancient world, the very grandeur of their era ring true with the vivid poetry of her writing. This is a well-executed and thought-provoking historical novel, filled with character drama, romance, tragedy, action, plot and counter-plot. There is a certain power that comes through while reading this novel, a power derived from knowing that this is real life as it was lived nearly 2000 years before Christ, told to us by a master of storytelling and history. -- Black Gate