Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Here is another book I received from Three River Press. When I got it, I wasn’t sure if it was for me. While I do like historical fiction, I wasn’t that interested in Egypt thousands of years ago. But, it turned out to be a fascinating read. I really did enjoy it.
This book is the story of Neferiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, as they ascend into power in ancient Egypt. The story is told from the point of view of the sister, Mutnodjmet, which I found interesting considering the title of the book. While the book is mainly about how Neferitit rose in power and became Pharoah of Egypt, I found myself more interested in her sister and her life. Mutnodjmet is a very strong character who is honest, in a dishonest place. As the narrator, Mutnodjmet talks about the difficulties she faces as Nefertiti’s sister and what is expected of her as the “sister of the Pharoh’s chief wife.” I found her to be an endearing character whom I rooted for instead of Nefertiti.
This book covers Nefertiti’s reign, from Nefertiti became the young king’s wife until her death. The author does a good job describing the cities of Egypt as well as its culture. I could picture it all in my head and it didn’t seem as unfathomable as I thought it would be.
I did find all the references to the different gods hard to follow, at times, but it got easier as the book progressed and starting focusing on two or three main gods. There is quite a few characters and the author does provide a family tree in the beginning of the book. I found myself flipping to it a great deal to keep track of all the characters. It was very helpful. Without it, I think I would have become too bogged down trying to remember all the Egyptian names that I may have lost some enjoyment.
The author has written a follow-up to this book, called The Heretic Queen. This one is due out in August and is suppossed to be the rest of Mutnodjmet’s life as well as the reign of her daughter, Queen Nefertari. I am looking forward to reading this sequel. I am now hooked on Egyptian historical fiction.