Skip to main content

Review: Nefertiti, by Michelle Moran


Nefertiti is a fictionalization of the life of Nefertiti, the famous queen of Egypt and wife of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten. The story is told from the perspective of Nefertiti’s sister, Mutnodjmet, who is privy to everything that goes on in the royal palaces at Thebes and Amarna. Mutnodjmet and Nefertiti are as different as night and day, and soon Mutnodjmet finds herself wishing for a simpler life, away from the scheming machinations of her sister and bother-in-law.

Nefertiti was the kind of book I read in only about three days, it was that hard for me to stop reading! Seriously, I haven't read a novel set in ancient Egypt this good since reading Judith Tarr's Pillar of Fire many years ago. Michelle Moran pulls you into Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet’s story and just won’t let you go. The sisters are interesting contrasts to one another, and I enjoyed the way in which they interacted, sometimes adversely. I also loved the way in which Moran goes into detail about court life at Amarna. For an author of historical fiction set in ancient Egypt, it’s quite a feat to get those details down right, so Michelle Moran deserves commendation for that.

I only had one small problem with the book, which was that I thought the ending was a little messy. But other than that, this is a well-researched and well-written novel about a woman’s lust for power and how that lust can destroy. Here's an interesting tidbit: a little while ago, Sharon Kay Penman mentioned here that she reads historical fiction, and one of the authors she mentions she likes is Michelle Moran! This novel really, really makes me want to read The Heretic Queen. Thanks to Sarah at Reading the Past for sending me an ARC of this book.

Also reviewed by: Caribousmom, Book Addiction, Reading Reflections, The Literate Housewife Review, Becky's Book Reviews, An Adventure in Reading, Books I Done Read, Obsessed With Books

Comments

Marg said…
I;ve read both of Michelle Moran's books on Egypt, and thought they were both really good. She certainly has a bright future ahead of her.

The other thing about her is that she is totally involved in her marketing and with connecting with her fans, in a way that few other authors are.

Over at Historical Tapestry we recently had a week featuring her, and then we have a guest post coming up in the next few days as well.
Lezlie said…
Tarr's "Pillar of Fire" was the Akhenaten/Moses book right? I *loved* that book!!!

Lezlie
Daphne said…
I thought Nefertiti was good but I liked The Heretic Queen more.
nbbaker1102 said…
I thought Nefertiti was great and I just finished The Heretic Queen and loved it even more! I reviewed The Heretic Queen today at:
www.nbbaker1102.wordpress.com
Nicole said…
I haven't read much about Egypt or Nefertiti but this sounds really good. I love reading about historical women and there quests fir power.
Teddy Rose said…
I am really lokking forward to reading this and The Heretic Queen!
thewrittenword said…
Nefertiti was one heck of a book - I told all my book club members to read it too! Glad you enjoyed it!
Ladytink_534 said…
I just ILL'd this from my library. I have a few books ahead of it but I'm looking forward to reading it!
Literary Feline said…
I really enjoyed this one as well. It isn't a time period I know much about, but Michelle certainly got me interested in wanting to know more. I am looking forward to reading The Heretic Queen. Great review!
Laura said…
I've only read great review of this book. I can't wait to read it myself!
Sarah said…
I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it too! I bought The Heretic Queen a couple weeks ago, and it's sitting on my desk waiting to be read.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…