Click for Michelle Moran's Interview on Novel Journey (June 6, 2007).
By Michelle Moran
Published by Crown Publishers (July 2007)
Nefertiti's powerful family has always provided wives to the ruling family of Egypt, and she is destined to marry Amunhotep, the unstable young pharaoh. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is the "people's princess," beloved by the masses. But when she is unable to produce an heir, her family's position at court is endangered.
She also realizes she has underestimated the dissatisfaction Egypt feels toward her husband, who has decreed that Egypt's ancient gods be forsaken. The priests, along with the military, are plotting against his rule. The only person willing to warn Nefertiti is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet. Contemplative and observant, Mutnodjmet would dearly prefer a simple life far from the intrigues of the court, and to share it with the military man who has won her heart.
But Nefertiti declares that her sister must marry for political gain, not love. If Mutnodjmet is to ever achieve independence, she must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt, and reach out for the life she envisions for herself.
Against a backdrop of faultless research, Michelle Moran weaves her story through the point of view of Mutnodjmet and that hooks the reader from page one. I liked the way Moran doesn’t try to impress the reader with her extensive knowledge of Egypt; rather she simply knows it so well, the story comes alive on the pages of a book. You'll walk the halls of exquisite palaces, be privy to the competition between Kiya (the great wife) and Nefertiti (the Chief wife and Queen) for pharaoh's love and to be mother of his heir. Nefertiti rages when she can only produce daughters.
Both fathers of Kiya and Nefertiti are Viziers to Pharaoh. While Kiya's father whispers into Amunhotep's ear what he wants to hear, Vizier Ay, Nefertiti's father, sides with the old gods and the old Queen. Working behind the scenes, his diplomacy may be the only thing that keeps Egypt from falling during this tumultuous time.
If you love historical novels, if you love political intrigue, and if you love surprises – you'll love Nefertiti: A Novel.