Author: Michelle Moran
Genre: Fiction/Historical Fiction
First published: 2007
Edition: Paperback, published by Quercus in 2008
At the tender age of fifteen, Nefertiti marries Akhenaten, the Prince of Egypt, her dreams coming true as she rises to fame and fortune. Bathed and decorated by a team of body servants, her natural beauty is enhanced until she becomes mesmerizing. She is soon the darling of the people and her husband’s closest confidant. But when her husband breaks with a thousand years of tradition, defying the priests and the military, it will take all Nefertiti’s wiles to keep the nation from being torn apart.
It had been a while since I read historical fiction set in ancient Egypt. I gobbled up these kind of stories as a teenager and reading this one I remembered why. The idea of pharaohs and queens and temples is such a powerful one.
The author manages to weave a story full of intrigue and thirst for power in this novel, written from the point of view of Nefertiti’s sister. We follow her from the time Nefertiti marries the younger pharaoh and through her eyes we see how Amunhoteb/Akhenaten let’s Egypt fall apart as he changes allegiance to a single minor deity and makes everything about the glory of himself rather than the glory of Egypt.
Only few facts are known about the reign of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, but the author wrote a compelling story based on scarce knowledge. It feels believeable. I wish there was a bit more description of the world, the streets and the buildings. The novel did not quite make me see the world they were living in, but it did make me feel it.
I would definitely read other books by this author and I would love to read more books set in the ancient world again.
6 out of 7 stars