Daughter of the Moon
That time is not: distance is a resounding message inherent in Janet Keller’s novel of an era rarely fictionalized: The century spanning the fall of the Assyrian and neo-Babylonian empires.
In Daughter of the Moon, Keller relates the life story of Shumua-damqi, a remarkable woman who lived through the downfall of three dynasties. The events which took place thousands of years ago in dying cities seem no less real than events transpiring in the Middle East today.
After surviving the ravages of a fire that left her scarred for life, Shumua-damqi entered the Temple Inanna in the City of Uruk where she learned the scribal art, astrology, astronomy and dream divination and became a gifted story teller-captivating King Ashurubanipal, the last great Sargonid King of Assyria.
When he died unexpectedly, the world was in chaos. Wars were exploding everywhere and many of Assyria’s one-time allies were uniting to destroy Nineveh.
After three years she went to the City of Harran to be close to the Moon God Sinn and the Moon Goddess Ningal in their Temple Elhulhul, House of Joy, where the King’s brother was High Priest.
But Harran was poverty-stricken and the Temple in shambles. When the King’s brother went to Egypt to lead an army in war against the Babylonians, Shumua was named High Priestess of the temple.
She spent the rest of her life in Harran counseling Kings, educating new Priestesses and her son, who eventually became King of Babylon-and restoring the Temple to its former beauty.