Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Book: Nefertiti
Author: Michelle Moran
Release date: 12/29/2009

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods, overthrow the priests of Amun, and introduce a new sun god for all to worship.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds—and brave enough to tell the queen—is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.

Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet has never shared her sister’s desire for power. She yearns for a quiet existence away from family duty and the intrigues of court. Her greatest hope is to share her life with the general who has won her heart. But as Nefertiti learns of the precariousness of her reign, she declares that her sister must remain at court and marry for political gain, not love. To achieve her independence, Mutnodjmet must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt—while also remaining loyal to the needs of her family.

Love,betrayal, political unrest, plague, and religious conflict—Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in vivid detail. Fast-paced and historically accurate, it is the dramatic story of two unforgettable women living through a remarkable period in history.

In the course of reading this book i've received two work reviews, got addicted to "glee" and lost my only little boy bunny Brighton. Funny enough these events somehow coincided with certain events in the book which made reading this book rather interesting.

It is true that i took a long time reading this book. This wasn't from lack on interest. In fact it was the complete opposite. I was so enthralled with it that i wanted to pace it out longer.Every once in awhile you come upon a book unexpectedly and they change your whole reading habits. This happened with Jane Austen and my love of classics, Summer at Castle Auburn and love of medievals, Harry Potter and magic, and the jedi apprentice with science fiction.

"Nefertiti" brought on a urging to read more historical fiction. It also has brought on a small Egyptian obsession. I was always interested in Egypt, but this book made me want to know more. Michelle Moran crafted such a beautiful and compelling story that i felt like i was there with Mutnodjmet. I felt her loses, anger, and sadness. It was almost like losing a friend when i finished the book. The last time i felt that sadness was when the Harry Potter series finished. It also left me with a hunger to read more. I hadn't even finished the first 100 pages before i had gone out and bought the sequel. Along with any other Michelle Moran books i could get my hands on.

The book title may be called "Nefertiti", but the story is really about Mutnodjmet. A historical figure i never knew existed till reading the book. Mut character is one that you can't help rooting for. Being the younger sister of the Queen of Egypt couldn't have been easy and Michelle portrays this quite clearly. Yet she still adored her older sister. You follow her through her ups and downs and ups again. The best thing to do is not to read historical record though. If you follow through with history things could get a bit confusing. Based on history you almost with Mut's story was real since it clear she had a happier fate in "Nefertiti" than possibly in real life.

"Nefertiti" was an interesting take on a highly unusual Egyptian time and family. It was a time of change and just as Mut and Nefertiti was changing the whole Egyptian world was changing with them. It was an extremely enjoyable read and one i would highly recommended to everyone. I merely picked up this book in passing because the cover intrigued me and i'm extremely glad i did.

Final rating. 5 stars for perfection.