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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


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!!!

Daphne said…
I thought Nefertiti was good but I liked The Heretic Queen more.
Anonymous 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:
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!
Anonymous 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 Johnson 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.

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