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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FICTIONAL BIOGRAPHY OF THE BEAUTIFUL PHARAOH NEFERTITI
This is a great historical novel inspired by Nefertiti's life and reign. The story is narrated by Nefertiti's younger half sister, Mutnedjmet and it starts from the time Nefertiti married prince Akhenaten and ends with the beginning of Tutankhamun's reign, after her death. The narration is captivating as it unfolds all the ambitions and struggle for power within the royal...
Published on 10 May 2011 by Eleni

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read but nothing ground breaking
I am undecided about this novel. The story is set in an interesting period which in itself makes this an enjoyable read but there were quite a few fundamental flaws with this book. I won't go into what the story is about as other reviewers have already done that.

The characters were very bland. Nefertiti was quite clearly the 'bad' character with very few...
Published on 24 May 2011 by Alexa


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FICTIONAL BIOGRAPHY OF THE BEAUTIFUL PHARAOH NEFERTITI, 10 May 2011
By 
Eleni - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
This is a great historical novel inspired by Nefertiti's life and reign. The story is narrated by Nefertiti's younger half sister, Mutnedjmet and it starts from the time Nefertiti married prince Akhenaten and ends with the beginning of Tutankhamun's reign, after her death. The narration is captivating as it unfolds all the ambitions and struggle for power within the royal household. The characterization of both sisters is excellent and in depth, although more emphasis is given to Mutnedjmet. The youngest sister is presented as a quiet personality, with complete lack of ambition and a desire for a happy life away from the palace. Whereas Nefertiti, is seen as an ambitious and spoiled queen with an unsatisfied need to be adored and remembered for all eternity, but also as a very insecure woman, a protective mother and a loving sister.

Apart from the fascinating characters, the author has captured the atmosphere of ancient Egypt; the images of all the places and the art are fantastic and the descriptions of everyday life are very well researched and vivid. However what I loved most about the book were the descriptions of all the herbs Mutnedjmet used, and the way the significance of herbal medicine in ancient Egyptian society is presented.

Although not a professional Egyptologist, I have an interest in ancient Egyptian history, so I suppose I can see why some people might be annoyed by the many inaccuracies of this novel. And indeed there are a lot of inaccuracies, the most obvious is the fact that Mutnedjmet, wife of Pharaoh Horemheb is unlikely to be the same person as Mutbenret who is believed to be Nefertiti's sister, also little evidence supports the theory that Nefertiti changed her name and ruled on her own after Akhenaten's death. In addition, as new evidence constantly emerge, some theories that were considered correct at the time the novel was written, are now proved to be incorrect, such as Tutankhamun's parentage. However, this is neither the biography of Nefertiti, nor a historical research on her reign; it is fiction, and as such it is wonderfully written and highly enjoyable. My only objection is the use of the modern name Amarna for Akhenaten's city, instead of the original Akhetaten; without the original name, his intention to build a new city for the glory of Aten is not clear, and that is a little confusing.

Nefertiti is probably the most famous ancient Egyptian queen, and this lovely book took me to a time gone by and gave me a glimpse of Nefertiti's life, however inaccurate it may be. Highly recommended!
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Iconic Queen forever fascinating - a powerful novel of one of the most dramatic times of ancient Egypt, 2 April 2008
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
Having recently seen the famous bust of Nefertiti, part of the Ägyptisches Museum Berlin collection and currently on display in the Altes Museum my interest in the most famous Queen re-emerged. I could not resist buying this novel. And what a powerful novel that is.

Once you start reading it is very hard to put this book down. It is well written, rich with details and not only Nefertiti but a whole area of Egyptian history becomes alive, an area of a religious revolution. Palace intrigues, struggles for power and happiness, religious fights and domination capture the reader instantly. The story is told by Mutnodjmet, the younger half-sister of Nefertiti. Yes, it is a bit like "The Other Boleyn Sister" in this respect, but otherwise both books are only comparable as they intrigue readers from page one.

While in reality much is unknown about the descent and life of Nefertiti, Michelle Moran places Nefertiti and her family in a plausible way. I like especially that she does not creates Nefertiti and Akhenaton as the great romantic couple, but shows the Queen as a beautiful, but power-hungry, manipulative woman and arrogantly blind to the troubles arising. This is the arrogance of the powerful which ever so often is the cause for their downfall . Nefertiti is not the one you like, but still one finds her fascinating. Pharaoh himself shows all the signs of a religious fanatic, dangerous then as today.

All in all this is a book you should not miss. I enjoyed every page of
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read but nothing ground breaking, 24 May 2011
By 
Alexa (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
I am undecided about this novel. The story is set in an interesting period which in itself makes this an enjoyable read but there were quite a few fundamental flaws with this book. I won't go into what the story is about as other reviewers have already done that.

The characters were very bland. Nefertiti was quite clearly the 'bad' character with very few redeeming characteristics. Mutnodjmet was the 'good' character who never lies and always helps other people. There was very little character development and this made the story feel repetitive - Nefertiti does something horrible, Mutnodjmet gets angry but doesn't do anything about it and then eventually forgives Nefertiti without every telling her off. This became quite frustrating as Mutnodjmet keep saying how manipulative Nefertiti was and then kept letting herself be manipulated. There was no complexity which was an issue because they were the only two characters that ever did anything. Also, Nefertiti was meant to be this amazing woman in Egypt yet in the book she just appears to be a selfish, childish girl whose only real talent was seducing men.

The style of writing is very simplistic, it's almost childish. I think this could easily be a young adult read as opposed to an adult book. There is only one story line and no real attempt at sub-plots so the story is very linear.

The history in the book was not overly accurate but personally I don't mind about this. I appreciate all historical novelists take liberties here and there and Moran explains this in the back although I know that some people prefer history to be followed more closely. I feel that the changes made the story flow faster and made the read more enjoyable overall.

Despite these flaws I still found the book enjoyable. It covers a fascinating period in history and doesn't get bogged down in too much historical fact. The characters are likeable enough and there is enough going on to make you want to find out what happens next. It's an easy read and perfect for the morning commute or a rainy day in but it's not going to change your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 13 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
Writing historical fiction set in the Eighteenth Dynasty, ancient Egypt, is a challenging endeavour and difficult to deliver. With a vivid imagination the author has created an interesting spin on a fascinating chapter in history. This is a dramatic tale of two unforgettable sisters one so beautiful she will attract the attention of all Egyptians.

The story is narrated by Mutnodjmet (Mutny), the younger (haft) sister of Nefertiti. She tells the story of how her beloved sister, a woman of exceptional beauty and great aspirations to power eventually marries and becomes the ruler of Egypt. It commences with the arranged marriage of fifteen year old Nefertiti to pharaoh Amunhotep IV, a young man with great plans that include changing the entire spiritual structure, ultimately making Aten (the sun disk) the center of worship. It was hoped the marriage would tone down Amunhotep's vision but as fate would have it, Nefertiti had high ambitions of her own and like her husband wanted the complete support and adoration of the people. As we progress through the pages, we follow the struggle to change the course of politics and worship of the Egyptian population.

Strong family dynamics come to life within the main thread and we see double dealing, corruption and vengeance running ramped in the Royal court. It is the ultimate recipe for a Dynasty spiralling downward to a disastrous ending.

I enjoyed Ms. Moran's version, she provides an exciting atmospheric story where the reader can almost see the sights, smell the scents and hear the sounds. Of all the characters I preferred Mutny, she is portrayed as a loveable and sympathetic person a complete contrast to her egocentric and unstable sister and the Pharaoh. I also found the unusual dynamic between the pharaoh and his daughters particularly interesting. Some may find the dialog to be a bit too simplistic but it made for a light and a refreshing summer read for the none purist.

The novel is highly fictionalized to make it entertaining so history critics should probably take a pass or take it for what it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Content was as Good as the Cover, 19 Nov. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
Michelle Moran was born in California. Michelle published her first historical fiction novel, Jezebel while she was still at University. She has travelled around the world - including to Israel, where she participated in an archaeological (just the sort of thing I would have loved to have done in my younger days), dig that inspired her to begin writing historical fiction. She lives in Southern California.

I had not read the author before and broke my own golden rule, never to be seduced by the cover of a book. This one is so beautifully done that I was drawn like the proverbial moth to the flame. Fortunately the content of the book also appealed to me as I am a lover of all things Ancient Egyptian.

The book follows the lives of two sisters. Mutny, a shy young girl who is whisked with her whole family into the limelight of a palace in Thebes, where the shy and unassuming girl finds herself in rooms more beautiful and ornate than she could ever have imagined existed. All this transpires because her sister Nefertiti marries the Crown prince of Egypt.

This is not Mutny's world and she soon becomes disillusioned with it and also with the behaviour of her willful sister Nefertiti who has people bowing and scraping to her simply because of her radiant beauty. In fact her beauty alone entrances anyone she meets, except her sister Mutny. Soon it is only Mutny alone who is not bewitched by Nefertiti's beauty.

As Nefertiti and her husband set out making a legacy for themselves, even the army is used to build a city in their name. While all this happening Egypt's neighbours begin to gather and encroach on Egypt's borders. Not until it is almost too late does Nefertiti act to try to save her nation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book about a beautiful queen, 28 July 2011
By 
Claire Lewis (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
Michelle Moran's novel tells the story of Queen Nefertiti, the wife of the controversial ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Akhenaton, who attempted to impose his own religion onto his kingdom. Although 'Nefertiti' is in theory a story based solely on the life of the queen, in reality it's really a story of sibling rivalry between Queen Nefertiti and her younger sister Mutnodjmet. Beautiful and glamorous, Nefertiti seems to be the sister who has everything and repeatedly fails to listen to the advice Mutnodjmet is offering her. What I really liked about 'Nefertiti' was that it wasn't afraid to make its main character occasionally quite annoying, without being too harsh. Nefertiti's obsession with her own looks and fame makes her very human, but Michelle Moran also shows the reader the cost Nefertiti's self-centredness and her husband's ambition is having on Egypt, either through scenes of life outside the palace or through the concerns of Mutnodjmet. The only criticism I have of this book is that it felt a little rushed and a little too short. However, I will definitely be buying more of Michelle Moran's books and 'Nefertiti' is a brilliant book for anyone interested in ancient Egypt or in stories of wealth and power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Every Ancient Egypt fanatic, 2 July 2011
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
Well I must say I throughly enjoyed this book especailly as it's the first novel I've read of this sort, and the first one I've read from beginning to end in a while. I loved every moment of imagining the events, characters and places as they would have looked like in Ancient Egypt. From start to finish this book is a joy, and the detail michelle uses is incredible, she even describes what the character's are wearing in a particular scene. The final few chapters are a gripping read full of twists (those who have already read this book, will know exactly what I'm on about here), but I won't say too much for those who haven't read it or are still considering reading it. And if you are still considering buying it/reading it I highly recommend going for it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exotic, delicious and extremely compelling, 16 Sept. 2008
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This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
This is a wonderful and powerful novel about one of the most powerful royal couples in Ancient Egypt. The story opens in the royal city of Thebes, where Pharoah and his family and courtiers are in mourning for the recently deceased Crown Prince Tuthmosis. Now his younger brother Amunhotep is the heir to the throne and must choose a Chief Wife as his queen. His mother, Queen Tiye, chooses her feisty niece Nefertiti, in the hope that she will be strong enough to rein in his arrogance and destructive tendencies and shape him into a good ruler.

The story is narrated by Nefertiti's quiet younger half-sister Mutnodjmet, who helps her sister to ready herself to travel to Thebes, and experiences for herself the delights of the royal palace and the luxury that comes with being the sister of the king's Chief Wife. But it soon becomes clear that Nefertiti is being corrupted by the power and ambition of her husband, and rather than keeping him in check she only encourages him, supporting him as he goes against thousands of years of Egyptian tradition, elevating a new God above the old protectors of Egypt, rejecting his first wife Kiya, destroying the temples and building the new royal city of Amarna to glorify Aten and turn the royal couple into deities. Families are destroyed, corruption runs rife and the outskirts of Egypt are threatened by invasion, but Pharaoh is too busy in his vain pursuits to notice anything outside of his own palace. Nefertiti's beauty and charisma enchant her people and her husband alike, but her selfish nature leads to a rift between the two sisters that will tear them apart and echo throughout Egypt. Ultimately, the inevitable happens, and despite her family's desperate attempts to avert crisis, Mutnodjmet can only watch in horror as the great empire of Akhenaten and Nefertiti self-destructs in a gripping and heartbreaking climax as Egypt fights back to reclaim its history.

This is a brilliant piece of storytelling. It is brilliantly researched, and although some fictional liberties have been taken (acknowledged openly by the author at the end of the book) it is so well grounded in fact that it hardly matters. The family tree at the start of the book was particularly useful in keeping track of family connections and grasping difficult names. Moran has entwined all that is known about the royal court of the Heretic King, as well as historical theory and intelligent guesswork, to create a complex and riveting novel full of delicious detail that brings the exotic Ancient Egyptian cities, palaces and domestic households to life. It is a whirlwind journey through the reign of perhaps the most famous Egyptian Queen of all time, spiralling along with her ambition until the sudden, violent and extremely moving collapse of the empire which shatters the reader even as it shatters Amarna. I savoured every moment of it - I was transported away from the British autumn into the warm, spiced Egyptian sunshine, cried bitterly all the way through the ending, and finished the book feeling slightly shell-shocked and more than a little sad that it had ended - always the mark of a brilliant novel.

I look forward to reading Moran's next novel, 'The Heretic Queen', this time about Nefertiti's niece, Mutnodjmet's daughter Nefertari, who married Ramses II and continued the family's connection to the royal throne...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nefertiti, 10 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Nefertiti (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book I have read by Michelle Moran, the first being The Heretic Queen. I found this took a little while longer to get going but when it did, it gave me the exact same thrill and I ended up reading it in a couple of days. My only disappointment was finding out the Nefertiti was far more spoilt than she was regal which made me look at ancient Egyptian rulers in a new way - more selfish child than ancient pharoah, seeing that she is one of the most famous icons of all time!! I found myself racing to get through the pages and feeling slightly lost and bereft when I'd finished.

The only reason I gave the book 4 stars is because I found The Heretic Queen far more engaging from the very start, whereas Nefertiti took a little while to warm up, even though it is well worth the read. I am looking forward to reading Cleopatras Daughter and hope she writes more books set in Ancient Egypt. I would love to see her take on female biblical legends, as books such as Zipporah by Marek halter and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant were amongst those that ignited my passion for ancient epics.

I do see that Moran is going in the direction of Phillipa Gregory and European Royalty which i am sure will be wonderful reads, and i look forward to reading about Napoleans love life! But her mention of the mysterious 'Amoses' as mentioned in The Heretic Queen only makes me want more and more to keep within the same timelines.

Well done Michelle Moran, I think I love you!! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic and Historically Charming, 6 May 2011
This review is from: Nefertiti (Paperback)
This book is beautifully crafted, with a strong and heroic main character, painting vividly what the Royal Egyptian family succumbs to in the heretic reign of Nefertiti and Akenhaten.
I adored this book, because of the rich culture depicted and the twist of romance, tragedy and history.
"Nefertiti" is narrated by Mutnodjment, the half-sister to the legendary beauty that the book is titled after. It fluidly informs us of the turbulent journey that made Nefertiti the wife of Pharaoh Ahkenaten and Queen to Egypt, and all of the issues that came with their rapid idea to change the Egyptian religion.
Although in reality little is known about any Egyptian reign, Michelle Moran makes this seem like the true story of what really happened and how a much beloved Queen turned from icon to hated figure.
The style of writing is gripping and the colourful story is adapted so that Mutnodjmet is not simply telling the story of her sister, but weaves her own personal difficulties and challenges into it. The romance that is incorporated, although not the prime point in the tale, makes the book not only a historical account but emotional and in depth, which is one of the reasons that makes the book so refreshing and readable.
The history doesn't completely dominate the book, but is constantly being shown through the story of Mutnodjment and her gilded life. There is a perfect balance between historical accuracy and humanity, making the book enchanting and lovely to read.
This is, by far, one of my favourite books, and the tragic ending reinforces the main reason why this book is plausible; a royal reign is anything but perfect.
Overall, an absolutely wonderful read and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for escapim to a passionate and colourful time period.
Amazing!
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Nefertiti
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran (Paperback - 5 Feb. 2008)
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