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Nefertiti by Michelle Moran


by Michelle Moran

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4 ½ Stars

Historical fictions at its best.
This was my first book by Michelle Moran, but it won't be my last. Actually, it was so good I'm starting The Heretic Queen in 3, 2, 1… ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
I've read a couple of Michelle Moran's other historical fiction novels, both written after Nefertiti, which was her debut novel. I did not like it as well as Cleopatra's Daughter or Madame Tussaud.

Partly it's because so many of the characters are SO unlikable in this book. Nefertiti is a selfish b***h. Her husband, the young Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (who changed his name to Akhenaten), is paranoid and asinine.  On the other hand, Nefertiti's younger half-sister, Mutnodjmet (unrealistically called "Mutny" in the book), the narrator, is almost too good to be true.

I got tired of Nefertiti's constant competition with Kiya,, the other main wife of the Pharaoh (and apparently the mother of King Tut). At 480 pages, the book really dragged in places, with little happening.

I know next to nothing about ancient Egypt, so I can't quibble on whether or not the story was historically accurate. There are many interpretations of Nefertiti's story, given that it comes mostly from excavated images. As with Cleopatra's Daughter, so little is known about Nefertiti and her family that it is easy to build a novel around those few facts.

Michelle Moran's website provides a lot of background information for the novel, including a family tree (albeit not interactive as the website indicates), which is fortunate as the one in the e-book is impossible to read. A Q&A page answers some questions about the inspiration and research for the book, and what the author changed or conjectured. This IS historical fiction, not history.

Being a debut novel, this book is poorly written compared to Moran's later books. However, this novel did succeed as historical fiction in that it made me want to learn more about Nefertiti.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[I borrowed and returned this e-book from a public library. This review also appears in Bookin' It.] ( )
2 vote riofriotex | Jan 25, 2015 |
"And what do you think information can do?" I called after him.

"In the wrong hands," he replied over his shoulder, "it can do anything."

Thankfully this book was from the point-of-view of Nefertiti's sister, Mutnodjmet, because based on the portrayal of Nefertiti in this book if it had been from her point-of-view I would have given up on this early on in the book. In this book Nefertiti was like the Ancient Egyptian version of a soap opera diva. I couldn't stand her arrogance, selfishness, and the way she treated her sister. I kept wishing Mutnodjmet would stop letting Nefertiti boss her around. Later on in the book Mutnodjmet did seem to get somewhat of a backbone but the story was less enjoyable whenever Nefertiti was around.

Nefertiti was not the only character that lessened my enjoyment of this book. Amunhotep was a spoiled little brat. His antics, and Nefertiti's, got to be just too much at times. I really enjoy reading books about Ancient Egypt but when my annoyance with two characters begins to overshadow the story then there is a problem.

I cannot comment on the historical authenticity of the story as I have little knowledge of the historical figures in the book. What really saved this book for me was Mutnodjmet. I loved reading about her and loved where she ended up at the end. ( )
  dpappas | Sep 5, 2014 |
Ancient Egypt meets the Tudors! Michelle Moran makes Nefertiti a lot like Philippa Gregory's Anne Boleyn and Mutnojmet like Mary Boleyn from The Other Boleyn Girl. Still this is one of my favorite novels and the sequel Heretic Queen is just as good.
  CarriePalmer | Apr 5, 2014 |
Nefertiti for the CW crowd. ( )
  ComicGirl178 | Mar 14, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michelle Moranprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again. --Egyptian proverb
To my father, Robert Francis Moran, who gave me his love of language and books. You left too soon and never saw this published, but I think, somehow, you always knew. Thank you for knowing, and for your magnificent life, which inspired me in so many ways.
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If you are to believe what the viziers say, then Amunhotep killed his brother for the crown of Egypt.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307381749, Paperback)

A National Bestseller!

“Meticulously researched and richly detailed . . . an engrossing tribute to one of the most powerful and alluring women in history.”
Boston Globe

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This fictionalized life of the notorious queen is told from the point of view of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet. In 1351 B.C., Prince Amunhotep secretly kills his older brother and becomes next in line to Egypt's throne: he's 17, and the 15-year-old Nefertiti soon becomes his chief wife.He already has a wife, but Kiya's blood is not as royal, nor is she as bewitching as Nefertiti. As Mutnodjmet, two years younger than her sister, looks on (and falls in love), Amunhotep and the equally ambitious Nefertiti worship a different main god, displace the priests who control Egypt's wealth and begin building a city that boasts the royal likenesses chiseled in stone. Things get tense when Kiya has sons and the popular Nefertiti has only daughters, and they come to a boil when the army is used to build temples to the pharaoh and his queen instead of protecting Egypt's borders.… (more)

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