Thursday, August 27, 2009

Julie's Review: The Heretic Queen

Summary: The intricacies of the ancient Egyptian court are brought to life in Moran's fascinating tale of a princess's rise to power. Nefertari, niece of the famed heretic queen Nefertiti, becomes part of the court of Pharaoh Seti I after her family is deposed, and she befriends Ramesses II, the young crown prince. When Ramesses is made co-monarch, he weds Iset, the granddaughter of a harem girl backed by Seti's conniving sister, Henuttawy, the priestess of Isis. As Nefertari's position in the court becomes tenuous, she realizes that she, too, wants to marry Ramesses and enlists the help of Seti's other sister, Woserit. But when Nefertari succeeds in wedding Ramesses, power struggles and court intrigues threaten her security, and it is questionable whether the Egyptian people will accept a heretic descendant as their ruler or if civil war will erupt. Moran (Nefertiti) brings her characters to life, especially Nefertari, who helped Ramesses II become one of the most famous of Egyptian pharaohs. Nefertari's struggles to be accepted as a ruler loved as a leader and to secure her family's position throughout eternity are sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction.

Review: HOLY CRAP! I didn't think that Michelle could out do herself because Nefertiti was so wonderful but The Heretic Queen outshines it. As much as I loved Mutny in Nefertiti, I love her daughter Nefertari even more.

If we think modern day politics are interesting, they don't hold a candle to ancient Egypt. Everyone has an ulterior motive for either helping Nefertari to gain the crown or to lose the crown and it's all very interesting. What interests me the most though is how the ancient Egyptians married so young and had so many kids. I understand that their life expectancy wasn't that long and they had a lot of kids because of the fact that many of them died at young ages.

While the love story enraptured me, it was Nefertari's climb from being an outsider to one of the most powerful Queen's in history that is the real story here. How she fought her way, with some help, to rule at Ramesses side.

I would have liked to have read more about Asha, who I found just as interesting as Ramesses himself. I wonder how long he fought next to Ramesses, or if he was a fictional character?

There were just enough tie-ins to Nefertiti that you said "ah-ha" at certain points, but not enough that you have to read it before The Heretic Queen. Although I do highly recommend, Nefertiti anyway. You can read my review Here.

On September 15th, Michelle Moran's 3rd novel, Cleopatra's Daughter will be released. I am so excited to read it.

I really don't know what else to say without giving the plot away, except read it. Ms. Moran is one talented writer.

Final Take: 5/5


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