Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Book: The Heretic Queen
Author: Michelle Moran
Release date: 09/01/2009

In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.

Brilliant: adjective. to sparkle, glitter, bright, beam, luminous, this book. This book was everything and above. Again Michelle Moran writes a book which transports you to another time in history and it feels so real that you don't want to leave. You just want to break the time machine and yell "press on young man/woman". Then when you get to the very last page you feel a great deal of sadness for a loss you don't understand. I felt this way at the end of "Nefertiti", but was comforted by the fact there was a sequel in place. Unfortunately this time around there is no such book.

Michelle tells us the story of Nefertari in "The Heretic Queen" started at the tender age of 6. Why this age. Because the book is as much as a romance as a coming of age and in parts action adventure. At the age of 6 Nefertari has her first real memory of the man she would love all her life "Rameses II". We then get a fast forward to Nefertari age 13 and Rameses the great coronation as co-regent of Egypt. We also learn that things aren't all rosey for Princess Nefertari. She is always associated with the "Heretics" and her family name has been wiped clean from Egyptian record. On her mother, Queen Mutnodjmet, who was briefly married to Pharaoh Horemheb name has been left in tact. It is on this day we learn that Nefertari's love for the young prince and her willingness to do whatever it takes to be his wife. Along we way she runs into quite a few obstacles and grows into herself. She finds that her desire become Rameses chief wife is much more than her love for him. She must do it for herself as well.

As i mentioned before i loved this book. It's one of those books you run into every once in awhile that screams perfection in every which way that you can't put it down. Literally. So you find yourself finishing it in one day. There really isn't much more i can say except that if "Nefetiti" stoked my Egyptian obsession this one fanned the flames. I'm now on a hunt to read each and every book that takes place in ancient Egypt.

Final Rating: 5 Bunnies. Bravo Michelle Moran. Bravo!