Monday, December 31, 2012

Alice's Review: Nefertiti

Summary: 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.

Review: Michelle Moran is a masterful storyteller.  That is the first thing you should know.  The second thing is this novel is incredible.  Had it not been for the List Swap Challenge, I would not have picked up this novel on my own.  I would have passed this up when browsing through the bookstore.  I literally rolled my eyes heavenward when Julie suggested it convinced she was trying to torture me with this nonsense.  I was not looking forward to 400 pages of 1351 BCE.  In Egypt.  With odd names I can’t pronounce.

The magic of Ms. Moran is that within 10 pages I was hooked, totally and completely hooked.  Right away, I held onto Mutnodjmet, Nefertiti’s younger sister, and didn’t let go.  Nefertiti is about two sisters, so different in their wants and desires.  Bound together by love and blood, one sister had a sense of entitlement while the other a command to please at the risk of her own happiness.  Their relationship spanned though their joys and tribulations.  Nefertiti’s rule over Egypt is merely the setting while the sisters’ bond is really the star in this novel.

I really enjoyed how different the two sisters are.  I loved how headstrong and manipulative Nefertiti is.  She can fiercely rule a kingdom but her deepest desire is to be loved and exalted, especially by her younger sister.  Mutnodjmet wants her own happiness, her own life.  She knows the only way for that to happen is to break the selfish stronghold Nefertiti has on her.  To be happy, she must hurt Nefertiti.

I love when I start reading a novel, crossing my fingers that I can get through it, and end up gobbling up every single page, loving where the story is leading me.  I learned about a time I knew very little about.  In the end, I really enjoyed it.  Julie was right about Nefertiti.  (And she usually is.)  Give me a book about sisters, even set in Egypt, and I will love it.  And I did.  

Final Take:



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