Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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