|Nefertiti: A Novel
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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 by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods, overthrow the priests of Amun, and introduce a new sun god for all to worship.
From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds—and brave enough to tell the queen—is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.
Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet has never shared her sister’s desire for power. She yearns for a quiet existence away from family duty and the intrigues of court. Her greatest hope is to share her life with the general who has won her heart. But as Nefertiti learns of the precariousness of her reign, she declares that her sister must remain at court and marry for political gain, not love. To achieve her independence, Mutnodjmet must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt—while also remaining loyal to the needs of her family.
Love, betrayal, political unrest, plague, and religious conflict—Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in vivid detail. Fast-paced and historically accurate, it is the dramatic story of two unforgettable women living through a remarkable period in history.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Bored and Disappointed
I pre-ordered this book because I love Egyptian history and was looking forward to learning more about Amunhotep's and Nefertiti's reign. I just finished the book and thought it was dreadful. The central character was not Nefertiti, but her sister who was the only sympathetic character in the entire novel. Nefertiti and Amunhotep were portrayed as completely deranged, sociopathic even. I found it very hard to believe that anyone would follow them and renounce the God Amun in favor of the God Aten. Granted, history tells us that this had actually happened during their reign, but there was nothing to me to demonstrate any of their charm or ability to persuade especially something as meaningful as changing who or what a country worships!
The writing was not inspired in my opinion. There were barely any inner monologues or description of anything around them. It was told mostly through conversation and I was so tired of reading the conversations that I grew bored with most of it. There were also mistakes in the text that distracted me. There was this one place when Mutney had told someone she was 14 then the next scene she and Nefertiti are arguing and Mutney screams that she is 13. I know that's a minor thing, but extremely annoying. Very rarely will I stop reading a book once I get halfway through it so I finished it, but can't recommend it. ...more info
- Egypt comes to life
Moran does a beautiful job of endowing these iconic ancients with believable dialogue and actions. A joy to read... and it's great she left it open for Part II. I'll definitely check that out when it comes.
Nefertiti is a page-turner and you'll never look at a hieroglyph the same way again....more info
This is one of the best historical fictions I have read. Not only is it timely, as the King Tut exhibit makes its way around America, but seeing Egypt from a woman's perspective makes it especially enjoyable. ...more info
- Sucked me in
Fortunately this book was free to me via our great 'Per Medjat'. It is a very good romance novel read, but if you know anything at all about Egyptology IMHO it is a waste of reed. Enjoy!...more info
- A dramatic narrative of strong women living in ancient times, unforgettably narrated by Cassandra Campbell.
Nefertiti: A Novel is the unabridged audiobook that brings to life the political intrigue of ancient Egypt. Written with rapt attention to historical detail, Nefertiti: A Novel follows Nefertiti and her younger sister Mutnodjmet as they are raised in an influential family as potential wives for powerful rulers. Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, a young pharaoh distinguished by his instability and heretical desires; though she is beloved by the people, when strives to produce a son she overlooks plots against her husband's rule. Mutnodjmet, who does not share her sister's craving for power, anticipates the ill shift in politics and wishes to marry for love, not political gain - a choice that will put her at odds with her sister. A dramatic narrative of strong women living in ancient times, unforgettably narrated by Cassandra Campbell. 13 CDs, 16 hours....more info
- The Content was as Good as the Cover
Michelle Moran was born in California. Michelle published her first historical fiction novel, Jezebel while she was still at University. She has travelled around the world - including to Israel, where she participated in an archaeological (just the sort of thing I would have loved to have done in my younger days), dig that inspired her to begin writing historical fiction. She lives in Southern California.
I had not read the author before and broke my own golden rule, never to be seduced by the cover of a book. This one is so beautifully done that I was drawn like the proverbial moth to the flame. Fortunately the content of the book also appealed to me as I am a lover of all things Ancient Egyptian.
The book follows the lives of two sisters. Mutny, a shy young girl who is whisked with her whole family into the limelight of a palace in Thebes, where the shy and unassuming girl finds herself in rooms more beautiful and ornate than she could ever have imagined existed. All this transpires because her sister Nefertiti marries the Crown prince of Egypt.
This is not Mutny's world and she soon becomes disillusioned with it and also with the behaviour of her willful sister Nefertiti who has people bowing and scraping to her simply because of her radiant beauty. In fact her beauty alone entrances anyone she meets, except her sister Mutny. Soon it is only Mutny alone who is not bewitched by Nefertiti's beauty.
As Nefertiti and her husband set out making a legacy for themselves, even the army is used to build a city in their name. While all this happening Egypt's neighbours begin to gather and encroach on Egypt's borders. Not until it is almost too late does Nefertiti act to try to save her nation....more info
- Enjoyable fun read but a bit soft on accuracy
A few years ago I did a Listmania on ancient Egyptian books I had read & really enjoyed, both fiction and non-fiction. My favorite, and most recommended was a non-fiction book: "Akhenaten:Egypt's False Prophet" by Nicholas Reeves,an Akhenaten and Amarna expert. He covers all the known facts about Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutanhkamun, Tiyi,Ay, the city of Amarna and the attempt to overthrow the old gods, especially Amun, and replace them with the Aten. Its a fascinating and well written book, with lots of illustrations, and photographs of the sculptures, masks, paintings, jewelry that have survived from that long-ago time. The book by Ms Moran was a good book but she never touched onto the subject of Akhenaten's unusual appearance: which most Egyptologists think was real, not symbolic. Most think he suffered from some genetic disease (possibly Marfan's syndrome) that caused him to have elongated arms, legs, a long face, wide hips, female like breasts, and possibly poor vision. The fact that he insisted upon being drawn, painted and sculpted as he really looked was part of his radical change in thought and tied in to his religious "revolution". If there was something symbolic regarding Akhenaten being made to appear distorted and ugly, then it makes no sense that Nefertiti and the princesses were shown as young and beautiful. Tiye, Akhenaten's mother, was shown as a middle-aged woman, appropriate for her age. Tutankhamun, the son by Kiya, was seldom shown in public during Nefertiti's lifetime, which makes sense, later of course, he was shown as a young and attractive boy, 9 years old when he became pharaoh. Perhaps I'm being too nit-picky, because Ms Moran was writing a fictionalized book. But, when setting a book in a certain historical time and place that is well known and studied about, it seems the author should try to incorporate the well known facts into the story. For example, you wouldn't have a story about King Henry VIII driving in a car, as opposed to riding horses in tournaments when he was young. Certain things are known about the family of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and by ignoring them, I think Ms Moran made what could have been a very good book much less good....more info
- Horrible historical blunders! A Junior High Teen Novella!
After having a hopeful outlook on this book, (we do need more Ancient Egyptian books on the shelves), this one, Nefertiti started out bad, and just became WORSE!
I found the premise of having two sisters Nefertiti and Mutnodjemt just tedious. Nefertiti comes off as being a snotty, overindulged child, while "Muty" is happy to be shuffled off into the background during the whole story. Acting as a "spy" for her parents, trying to counter Kiya's and her father, the High Vizier's machinations? What? And HERB GARDENS? Is this the middle ages? So lavender really WAS grown in Egypt??? Huh? I was laughing out loud at the descriptions of the palace with it's gilt and gold walls and furnishings. The palace of Malkata was built of mudbrick! And was probably painted with scenes of daily life, not statues and gold works all over the walls, and tapestries???
I just shook my head ruefully and got to the middle of the book and had to just close it and write it off as another blunder in historical fiction. Oh, perhaps Kiya really was that evil? And Nefertiti's desperate urge to "produce a son," becomes grating on the nerves! "Oh, I have to one-up my RIVAL!" In all actuallity, Kiya and Nefertiti in real life probably would have never had anything to do with each other, both probably having thier own quarters at Amarna and harems.
Also, the "fighting" over Akenaten is just hilarious! No mention of any deformities of the king, or such. Nefertiti just comes off as a huge snob, and "Muty" is a weak kneed milksop.
Enjoy if you like fluffy puffed up fake fairy tales!...more info
- Bringing the dead back to life...
(Review is for 2007 Hardcover.)
I found this book difficult - if not, at times, outright impossible - to put down once I'd started it. Michelle Moran did a wonderful job of evoking Nefertiti, fleshing her out from a pretty bust in Berlin to a proud woman who was a talented seductress and schemer, and above all else ambitious.
Her story is told through the eyes of her sister, Mutnodjmet. Mutnodjmet is a quiet girl who just wants to live a "normal" domestic life, but is drawn into the world of royalty and intrigue by her family's ambition. The love and affection of the two sisters is strong, but Nefertiti is extremely jealous and wants all of the attention of her sister focused toward her. Mutnodjmet's father is one of the highest-ranking men in Egypt and rarely shows affection for his second daughter; her mother is a well-married commoner and often seems oblivious to the affairs of the palace. However, stray comments here and there show that she often knows far more than Mutnodjmet expects.
Egypt really comes to life in this novel. Moran's words are evocative without becoming tedious; she uses just enough description to build up images of temples and palaces in your mind without weighing down the narrative with lengthly, complex descriptions. Her words conjure up the blue of the sky and the breeze on the Nile as the royal barge floats down the river, and the relationships of the characters are a joy to read.
I don't know a lot about the history of Egypt at this time, but I definitely would like to learn more now. But I probably have picked up a bit more than the average American in my day so a few things did leave me curious:
- Horemheb eventually becomes Pharaoh, and history records that he had a wife named Mutnodjmet. Did Moran marry Mutnodjmet to the wrong army general?
- From what I've seen of his portraits, Amunhotep was not an attractive guy. Everyone talks about how handsome he is. I wonder if the perception was that skewed (one sees what they want to see) or if this is just some "dressing" for the historical fiction.
- Love, Love, LOVED This Book!!!!
I had been seeing ads for this books everywhere - from the NYT to BookBrowse - so finally I picked this up and I finished the entire book in two nights!!!!! Yes, people, it's really that good. The story is about two sisters who are taken from their rural home in Akhmim to the large and glamorous city of Thebes. Moran beautifully captures what the Egyptian court must have been like, infusing life into what most writers portray as backwards and boring. The Egyptians were much more advanced than many writers give them credit for, with sinks and toilet seats and perfumes. And they were human as well, with petty jealousies and ambition and desires. This is the first book that made life in an ancient world real for me.
Please, Ms. Moran, continue the story. I HAVE to know how Mutny ends up with General Horemheb instead of Nakhtmin. Your writing is so vivid I really didn't want the novel to end, and I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!!!! ...more info
- If You've Ever Wanted To Be Transported Back To Ancient Egypt Then This Is The Book For You
As the title says, if you've ever wanted to be transported back in time to ancient Egypt, then this is the book for you. Moran's vivid descriptions of herb gardens, flowers, sand, the Nile, food and - of course - jewelry will make you feel like you're living 3000 years ago and watching, like a fly on the wall, the nefarious political goings-on in Nefertiti's time.
I picked up this book before a flight from San Francisco to Australia, and was practically finished by the time I arrived. Most flights are long and horrible - cramped seats, bad food - but this was the best flight I've ever had. Instead of being trapped in a plane, I was walking the deserts of ancient Egypt, holding my breath to see if life would turn out well for Mutny and she'd get to marry the general of her dreams. Of course, in real life, she marries a different general, and Moran says on her website that this other marriage (which was hopefully short, since I LOVE Nakhtmin, who Mutny falls in love with against Nefertiti's wishes), will be explained in her second book.
I for one can't wait for book 2, and it can't come out fast enough for me!...more info
- The Other Boylen Girl in Egypt
I love anything about ancient egypt, but felt this was a similar tale of two sisters, that could have been staged in any court time period in history. I would regularly have to remind myself what historical time it was set in. A nice read, but not a must....more info
Mutnodjmet tells the story of her sister, Nefertiti as she rises to be Queen of Egypt no matter the cost. Mutnodjmet is only 14 years old at the start of the story but she seems to be wise beyond her years. She is the one who actually paid attention to the tutors while Nefertiti was always practicing her charm and feminine power over men.
When Nefertiti is chosen to be the new Chief Wife of the Pharaoh she will do everything in her power to keep him to herself and keep his other wife at bay. She goes along with Amunhotep's ideas of praising the new god Aten and taxing the priests of Amun, he wants to rid Egypt of the priests all together, an idea he has had for quite some time against the wishes of his mother and other high council members.
Beauty and charm are on Nefertiti's side, Mutnodjmet must do something she is really torn over, and what will be the outcome of Amunhotep's plans for the New Egypt? Nefertiti is power hungry, will that be her demise?
Michelle Moran's debut novel, Nefertiti was actually a pretty good read. It has drama, family disputes, and romance. The dialect was not how I see ancient Egyptians speaking, and I think there was not enough "ancient flair," it seemed like someone in present day telling the story most of the time. Nefertiti was interesting to read, and I didn't find it boring, a little slow at times but still a nice history lesson written by Ms. Moran. I can't say I loved the story, but it may be the best story someone else has ever read. 3 Hearts
Contact Michelle: [...]...more info
- Awesome !!
Who can resist the intrigue and mystique surrounding ancient Egypt? In her historical fiction, Nefertiti, author Michelle Moran takes us beyond the pyramids and the myriad of other Egyptian wonders and focuses on one of the better known queens of Egypt. Told from the perspective of Nefertiti's sister, the book describes the outrageous behavior of the characters - behavior that includes jealousy, greed, murder and the politics of the time period. Our civilization holds no patent on crime and corruption!
While this is a work of fiction, the research that went into writing this book is phenomenal! This is a real page turner but be careful...the author is highly skilled at transporting the reader from reading to traveling down the Nile on a barge.
Too bad I'm only allowed a maximum rating of 5 Stars - it deserves all that and more. I can hardly wait for the sequel and I hope Ms Moran is hard at work on yet another installment....more info
- Nefertiti - The Wife Who Became Pharaoh
Being as big of an Ancient Egypt fan as I am a Tudor fan I had lofty expectations for this book, and was blown away by how well written it was. Nefertiti becomes Queen to one of the craziest Pharaoh's Egypt has seen and raises herself up higher than any women ever had. The story follows her through her life from her home in Akhmim, to the changing court of Amarna, and finally back to the traditional court of Thebes.
The story is told from the perspective of Nefertiti's younger sister Mutnodjmet as she walks the line between her family's ambitions, the increasingly erratic behavior of the Pharaoh, and her own desires to have a husband and family. If you think Tudor politics were bad, check out what happened in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh Akhenaten! According to the author, the story is told from the sister's perspective because you can feel more for her, whereas Nefertiti is difficult to feel sympathy for. I have to slightly disagree with this. I definitely felt connected to the story of Mutnodjmet and all that she went through in her life: there were times that I cried and times that were funny. By the time I got to the end of the story I felt very strongly for Nefertiti and she even evoked a few tears.
This book was very well researched and all aspects of Egyptian life are well described: gods, religious practices, food, lifestyle, gardens, palaces, homes, city life, people, etc. It's important to note that as this is historical fiction some facts, people, and places have been changed for easier flow of the story or understanding of the reader, but the author does a fine job of detailing this in the back of the book as well as on her website.
If you want more Q&A information about this book you can go to the official website of the author and book [...]. There is a lot of great information on this site.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone interested in Egyptian history. It is well researched and fun to read. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Heretic Queen.
5 out of 5 stars. ...more info
- Nefertiti Rocks
The moment I finished this book, I read it again. And again. And again. Nefertiti is just as real as her sister Mutny is throughout the book.
If you have any interest in ancient Egypt READ THIS BOOK! You will enjoy it!
I cannot wait to get my hands on Moran's next book!
- Teenage Queen
As a woman from the ancient world, only Cleopatra surpasses Nefertiti in name recognition. Her bust has become one of the most easily identifiable objects from the reigns of the Pharaohs in Egypt. Michelle Moran's Nefertiti is the story of the daughter of Vizier Ay, who became the Chief Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, co-regent with her husband, and as some have speculated, the successor pharaoh to Akhenaten.
Most parents of a teenager have said at least one time, "The world does not revolve around you." However, in the case of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, it actually did. At the ages of 15 and 17, these two young people rose to the highest position in Lower Egypt (nearest the Mediterranean) and eventually ruled all of Egypt and its far-reaching empire. The phrase, "palace intrigue," might very well have been invented in their court.
Nefertiti's story is told through the eyes of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, who avoids the limelight as much as her sister seeks it. Mutny, a believer in the Egyptian god, Amun, watches as her brother-in-law, Akhenaten, turns his back on the powerful Amun in favor of a minor god, Aten, who he declares to be the one god that all will worship--or else. To honor Aten, Akhenaten abandons the traditional capital of Thebes in favor of a new city, Amarna, which rises out of the desert for the glory of Aten, Pharaoh, and Nefertiti. Everything else, including guarding Egypt's borders, is neglected while a frenzy of building takes place. Their images are everywhere, and this obsession with their own glorification foments unrest among the people and a rebellion within Pharaoh's army.
As entertaining as this novel is, the relationship between Nefertiti and her sister, Mutny, wears thin. Mutny is the sister who goes along to get along, and Nefertiti is the conceited, overbearing, selfish older sister who gets everything she wants, including having her sister on call at a moment's notice. By the time Mutny is summoned to the birthing pavilion for the delivery of her sister's fifth and sixth child, you are tired of Mutny being Nefertiti's lap dog.
Little is known of how these two royals died. However, history records that there was plague in Amarna at approximately the time of Akhenaten's death. There is no exact date for Nefertiti's death, and her tomb has never been discovered. With so little hard evidence at hand, the author is able to write her own ending to their reign, and it's a humdinger with feathers flying everywhere.
In Nefertiti, Miss Moran takes us behind the scenes of life in a royal palace with its beautiful clothes, exquisite adornments, exotic scents, obsequious servants, and endless procession of favor seekers who want to be noticed and rewarded by pharaoh. She has captured the excitement of the Egyptian court at a time when Egypt was the greatest power on earth, and Nefertiti was its queen.
- Nefertiti: more of bipolar hollywood starlet than a queen
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, a "retelling" of Nerfertiti's life told from the viewpoint of her sister, Mutny. However, my title up there displays my precise opinion of Nefertiti's portrayal. I got feelings of deja vu and found myself comparing her the famed Marie Antoinette. As long as her bust was being done, Nefertiti could care less about what happened to her people or kingdom and in the end, her arrogance brought upon disease and death. I LOVED Mutny tho and I laughed and cried with her and I really look forward to reading the next novel, which I believe focuses on Mutny's daughter. In this novel, Mutny does an excellent job of showing the readers the Egyptian kingdom, customs, traditions, and what life with Nerfertiti must have been like from childhood on. Personally, the way the gals are portrayed in this novel, I think Mutny would have made a much better and more caring queen and the next time I get out my Nefertiti halloween costume, I will say I am her sister! ...more info
- Beguiling, Spoiled, Imperial, always a woman.
I have always been fascinated with Ancient Egypt and especially Nefertiti. This book is a work of fiction; however, it is fiction that is so steeped in known history as to make a very believable tale. I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I highly recommend, it's a great read and wonderful characters. Makes you understand the "heretic pharoah" much more than Hollywood ever could. Read and enjoy....more info
While this is a very interesting novel and written totally from a woman's perspective, I unfortunately did not find it as captivating as NEFERTITI: THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. Perhaps that is because the aforementioned book was a mystery, whereas the book in question was more biographical in nature. I was however, intrigued by the gradual growth of the character of Nefertiti, and the cunning used by her to siphon power from her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten. The character and mental instability of Akhenaten was also explored, and that too, like this unique view of Nefertiti, was a fascinating "MAYBE" about Heretic King.
Over-all, this is a fine piece of craftsmanship, and provides a quick read for those of us who are enamored with Ancient Egyptian society. I have as yet to find a really good novel about King Tut, but if anyone who reads this review is familiar with one, I would sincerely appreciate a "heads-up". Nonetheless, read this book.
- All that a historical novel should be!
Accept this book as a novel, a work of fiction, and simply enjoy it. I couldn't put it down. Well-written and thoroughly researched, Nefertiti is actually the story of the famous Queen's sister, Mutney. Through her eyes we watch Nefertiti make a Faustian bargain for a life of power and privilege. The author's attention to detail made me feel as if I was actually visiting ancient Egypt. I especially enjoyed the characterization of the mysterious heretic king, Ankhenaten. He was portrayed not as a misunderstood prophet, but as simply crazy. Which he probably was! ...more info
- Review by Mirella Patzer - Historical Fiction Author
Nefertiti: A Novel
In the eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt (1351 to 1331 B.C.) one woman, Nefertiti, rises to power and infamy in the annals of history. The story of Nefertiti's life unfolds through the voice of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.
Nefertiti is beautiful, ruthless and narcissistic who seeks affluence and supremacy. Mutnodjmet, the younger sister, is pretty, level-headed, and pragmatic and she has no desire other than to live a simple life surrounded by a loving family.
At an early age, Nefertiti marries Prince Akhenaten who becomes heir to the throne after the mysterious death of his more capable older brother. Mutnodjmet is assigned to be Nefertiti's companion, eyes and ears, and voice of reason. Akhenaten is a youth bent on forcing his own religious views onto the people. It is his mother's hope that Nefertiti be the sound of reason and restrain his impulsive, reckless actions and thoughts. Instead, his ego, and that of his new wife, Nefertiti, knows no bounds as together, they raise their status, create a new god named Aten for all to worship, and build an entire city to glorify.
Nefertiti's obsessive dependence on Mutnodjmet is so extreme, that it threatens her own future happiness. While Nefertiti becomes more and more involved in building her and her husband's fame, Mutnodjmet seeks to escape her sister's clutches. Conspiracy and treachery abound throughout this novel.
Michelle Moran brings to life multi-dimensional characters through rich dialogue and intricate historical detail. Highly credible, the story captivated from start to finish. The level of research into this period and Nefertiti's life is impressive. For all aficionados of ancient Egypt, this is a must have book that will not disappoint. It has my highest rating and I will be eagerly anticipating future books by Michelle Moran.
Heinrich the Fowler: Father of the Ottonian Empire
- Fascinating Book
I have never read anything like it. This book is a wonderful description of historical Egypt as well as a fascinating tale of Nefertiti and her family, the love, the mystery, the power struggles and the deceit. I thoroughly enjoyed every word....more info
- You wouldn't be able to put this one down!
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (9/07)
"Nefertiti" is destined to become a classic. This is the first time that I have ever read a historical fiction novel of this caliber. Michelle Moran tells you her version of Nefertiti's story in ancient Egypt, through the eyes of her sister Mutnodjmet. It is quite obvious that she extensively researched ancient Egyptian history to write this tale.
Mutnodjmet is the practical, wise sister. Nefertiti is the beautiful, charismatic one. She is chosen to be the queen of the pharaoh Amunhotep. It is hoped that she will help keep him stable. Instead, she also gets caught up in his desire for greed and status. The pharaoh is about seventeen-years-old at this time. He has ideas of rejecting the god Anum and overthrowing his priests in favor of the sun god Aten. To convince his followers to do this, Nefertiti relies on her charisma and charm and Aten tries to buy them with gold.
They try to create themselves as gods. They start building a city to rival all other cities in Egypt and perhaps the world. Instead of using images of their gods, Nefertiti and Amunhotep use images of themselves. They are so desperate to create this city, that they have soldiers working as builders. Other places under their rule are being attacked by their enemies and losing. In spite of this, the soldiers continue to build. They are very resentful of not being able to defend the people. A rebellion begins to form. Amunhotep begins to become paranoid and is unable to trust anyone, except his beloved Nefertiti.
Nefertiti has to contend with her husband's first wife Kiya and her meddling father. She is desperate to produce a male, so that he will be pharaoh someday instead of Kiya's son. Instead she produces six daughters. She takes drastic action to safeguard her future. In doing so, she helps almost destroy Egypt.
Mutnodjmet is thirteen when the story begins. She feels overshadowed by her sister's beauty. She falls for a high-ranking soldier; however, her family tries to forbid their love. Her sister does not want her to have her own family because she fears being abandoned and left alone. Her sister's husband does not trust her love and is afraid he will try to overthrow him. This would put Mutnodjmet in power.
Mutnodjmet has no desire to rule over anyone. She desires a simple life with children and the love of her life. She loves working as a healer with her herbs. Her sister does everything in her power to thwart her dreams. She must learn to take a stance for herself and she does. When Nefertiti and Amunhotep's influence begins to wane because of their insane selfishness and greed, Mutnodjmet steps in to try to help resolve what is happening. She has her hands full.
"Nefertiti" is an incredibly well-written story. This is one of those books that you won't want to end. I really hope that there will be more to follow. Ms. Moran has a gift for vivid detail. I was easily able to picture ancient Egypt with its sites and sounds at the time. I also got caught up in Mutnodjmet's life. For someone so young, she had tremendous responsibilities and expectations placed upon her. "Nefertiti" is a novel that should not be missed. Enjoy this one.
- Nefertiti is near perfection!
I believe that Ms. Moran had a formidable job trying to take the research of the Amarna period (or should I say the lack of available material) and turn it into a gripping novel. While some diehard people will quibble and say parts of the novel are patently untrue, her story came alive and if nothing else made me try to learn more about this interesting woman, her sister, and Akhenaten. It was a remarkable period in Egypt's history, and this talented storyteller made me want to learn even more. I spent hours on the computer researching after I finished the book. Although quite hefty (I took it on a plane to Brazil--wouldn't recommend that to anyone who doesn't want to lug around what eventually felt like a ten pound book), the read was quite fast and entertaining. One of my top picks this year!
- Magnificent Story. Thrilling Characters.
Some of the reviews here have bones to pick about inaccuracies with the story, yet the reviewers don't even have THEIR facts straight. This was a beautifully researched novel, with characters that will keep you turning the pages and wishing, as another reviewer put it, that the book was twice as long.
I found this book while surfing the internet and coming across a forum where people were recommending it. I'm really glad I listened to them and not some of these reviewers who have their own facts wrong about Egypt. The story beins in the town of Akhmim where the queen of Egypt vists and tells Nefertiti that she will become her son's wife. From there, everything a reader can want happens in the book: ambitious social-climbing, plotting, love, war on the horizon, lots of betrayal, plague (YES, ancient Egypt had plague, for the reviewerr who said there wasn't).
This is an amazing first novel (it would be an amazing tenth novel). And I will pre-order the sequel as soon as it comes out.
Wonderful book Miss. Moran. Thank you!!! ...more info
- An absorbing tale that flows like the Nile.
In my opinion, if you are a lover of fiction set in Ancient Egypt - and especially involving the famous Pharoahs and their courts - then a novel can deemed to have succeeded when its quality is such that you feel you have been transported to that time, walking among the people it describes and experiencing the events with them. In that respect, Michelle Morans splendid debut novel qualifies.
I rarely have found a novel written from the perspective of a protagonist who is not the central focus of the story - in this case the world is seen through Nefertiti's more balanced sister "Mutnodgmet" - to flow as well as this one. But MM has cleverly used this characters charming, sensible, caring and down to earth qualities to carry the story in a manner that keeps the reader onside: no easy feat when her petulant, spoilt sister, equally power drunk husband Pharoah Akhenaton and the rest of the power mad family and unabashed hanger ons and their excesses have you preferring the ground would open up and swallow them all.
Outside Mutnodjmet there are some likeable characters one can identify with such as her secret admirer General Naktmin, the court sculptor Thutmose (the sculptor of that famous bust in Berlin), Horemheb, and the body servants Ipu and Merit, to name a few. But its the cunning and manipulative title character Nefertiti who dominates as you'd expect and her self indulgent and unrestrained vanity sets the tone for the behaviour of many of the characters around her. The authoress has made her someone you can totally loathe but still love to follow and thats no mean skill.
Michelle Morans writing style has a lucid quality to it that allows the story to flow. Her use of dialogue frames her characters nicely and breathes life into their persona making them feel alive. Its also quite biting and witty at times but never boring. I dont like to compare authors but no one out does Pauline Gedge for bringing the characters and imagery of Ancient Egypt to life in fiction (though Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George is close) but they are far more experienced writers and without doubt Michelle Morans work certainly has exhibited her great potential with this debut novel. Her work has elements of both and makes a quality addition to anyones collection of top Ancient Egyptian fiction. Highly recommended. 4.5 but rounded up given its a debut novel and an extraordinarily difficult subject to tackle being Nefertiti.
- Great Book
The was a great book from start to the end i could not but it down...more info
- Good as well as different
Most books on ancient Egypt only cover the pharaohs. This one gives a good insight into their queens, especially such a mysterious woman. ...more info
- Sadly disappointed
I enjoy reading historical fiction as generally the storyline is infused with either facts or hypotheses about the life and times of the main character. I was hoping for some real depth of plot and character in this book similar to what Margaret George achieved with Cleopatra. Unfortunately this book fell far short of the scope, character development and richness of detail that George is able to achieve in her works. While I did find the relationship between the two sisters fascinating, the book was really more about Mutney than it was Nefertiti. I felt the story exhibited a real lack of focus on the main character once it was established that she had the drive, magnetism and ability to manipulate people and situations. Mutney seemed to me to be a more sympathetic and central character from the start of the book to its end. If you must read the book then I would strongly recommend waiting until you can take it out from the library or buy it in paperback. For those of you interested in something more than a "Lifetime movie-like" version of historical fiction, try Cleopatra or Henry VIII by Margaret George....more info
- Couldn't put it down...
As an avid reader of historical fiction, I found this book to be very intriguing and addictive. The cover was what caught my attention in the bookstore, and I decided to give it a go. It started a bit slow for me, but picked up very quickly after a few chapters.
The amazing part of this novel was how it really brought history and its characters to life. The characters felt real and believable, and were very animated in my mind as I read through the novel.
Another great thing was that the author didn't spare the reader any angst; this was not a happy book. It had it's moments that made you feel good as the reader, but for the most part it was filled with strife. This was another reason it had a very real feel.
Obviously, this author is very knowledgeable about the era and subjects she wrote about, and this is clear throughout the novel. It takes a skilled writer to put together a book like this.
Overall, it was an amazing read that I couldn't put down after I got into it. I am still thinking about... it is one of those stories you really wish you could experience in life, but this book is almost as good....more info
- Same book????
I bought this after reading the rave reviews. I wonder if they even read the book. It reads like a dime store novel and Nefertiti is a cross between Paris Hilton and Leona Helmsley. And any historical background of ancient Egypt is missing. It could have taken place in Las Vegas. Don't waste your money. Buy George's "Cleopatra" instead.