October 16, 2013

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Nefertiti is probably one of the best known Egyptian rulers.  Most people know her name at the very least.  So a historical fiction about her has to be pretty interesting right?  Right.  It is.  I don't know how accurate this book is in regards to the facts, but it is enthralling.

Nefertiti was born to become a Queen of Egypt.  And she has the ambition to see that it will actually happen.  After the death of the Prince, his younger brother is made co-regent of the realm and Nefertiti is chosen as his second wife, but first in ruling.  At first her beauty captures him, but then it's her wits and political maneuvering that will encourage him to do rash acts and build a new Egypt.  One that both he and Nefertiti hope will cause their names to be remembered for eternity.

This story is actually told through the eyes of Nefertiti's sister, Mutnodjmet (Mutny).  Not as ambitious, she is content to dream about having a family some day and tend her garden.  But Nefertiti wants her around, and her sister's selfishness consistently encroaches on Mutny's happiness.  But she is sensible an caring and the only time I ever see unfairness from her is when she is putting her family first above others.  Nefertiti is a spoiled woman.  She wants what she wants and has to have it, even if it's at the expense of other's feelings and well being.  I grew tired of her at times just because she was so predictable.  And the rest of Mutny's family was kind of like her sister, so you really did feel sorry for her.

As I said before, I don't know how historically accurate this book is.  I haven't read much about Egypt, even fiction, so it was all pretty new to me.  I did find it surprising how much freedom and power women seemed to have.  Regardless, if you treat it as fiction, it draws you in and makes it hard to put the book down.   You want to know what will happen to Mutny.  And to a lesser extent, Nefertiti.  I do think that the book could have been a little less drawn-out.  There are several times where the detail goes on about building something or other and gets kind of boring.  But luckily those areas are far and few between and the majority of the writing is quite good.  There is a sufficient amount of detail about the character and setting to make it feel well developed.

I enjoyed this book and will probably look for others from Moran.  She has a way of presenting characters that make them feel real and interesting.

Copyright 2007
457 pages

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