Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Julie's Review: Nefertiti

Summary: 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. ~amazon.com

Review: I don't know what else to say about Nefertiti: A Novel that you probably haven't already read in the blogging world, except that it is mesmerizing. I've never been one to be enamored with Ancient Egypt and my knowledge of Nefertiti was limited, to say the least, but I can now say that my historical fiction reads will more than likely include novels written about Nefertiti or Ancient Egypt. What I truly loved about this book was the point of view that it was written from, Nefertiti's younger sister Mutnodjmet, aka Mutny. Through her eyes we get to meet Nefertiti before she goes off to marry Amunhotep IV. Right off the bat you know that Nefertiti is destined to be great not only because of her beauty but because of her confidence in herself. Nefertiti was chosen to marry the young Prince to reign him in and she does exactly the opposite, she feeds into his need to be loved and to be different than his father. Along the way she begins to realize just how much power she has over him and wields it to her advantage. What I do know about Nefertiti was that she was beautiful and the book just reinforced that ideal.

While Nefertiti and Amunhotep were very interesting and powerful, it was truly Mutny's life that I became involved in. To me she was a real person and a real voice of the royal family. In the book you meet her as a young girl who has no idea what she is in for and is often used in her sister and father's politics; to a young woman who knows what she wants and it willing to sacrifice her family political games for her own happiness. She was the moral center to the novel. If one can fall in love with a character, then I definitely did with Mutny. She's strong, honest and loyal. After being banished from the palace she does return when her sister beckons her back where as most people might not have been so kind. I drank in the love story between her and General Nakhtmin; only to be left wanting more.

The novel ends in a way that wraps up the story but yet leaves you wanting more. It's a good thing that Ms. Moran has the sequel out, The Heretic Queen: A Novel, because this time period in history is just too juicy not to devour. It also states on her website (Michelle Moran)that she's writing a 3rd book, Cleopatra's Daughter, which looks just as fantastic as Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen.

I know I love a book when I dream about it. Sure I read before bed most nights, but not every book affects me this way and Nefertiti did. There were some nights that I would dream about the characters in the book and wake up a bit startled.

It's pretty obvious from my review that I would highly recommend this novel. In fact even if you are not a lover of Historical fiction, you can enjoy it for the relevance of politics and romance in the book. Somethings you never grow tired of reading about.

Final Take: 5/5

3 comments :

Jenn January 20, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

I've always loved allure of Ancient Egypt, so I think this book would be a good fit for me. I'll have to add that to the pile.

Staci January 21, 2009 at 6:20 AM  

I've read some other favorable reviews of this book and after reading yours I'm going to move this book up in my list!! Sounds fascinating and I've not been to Egypt in a long time (via a book) so that is looking pretty inviting!!

Marg January 25, 2009 at 5:49 AM  

I have really enjoyed both of Michelle Moran's books. She writes in such a readable voice, and chooses really interesting characters and times to write about. Looking forward to the third book immensely.

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