Summary and book reviews of Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Nefertiti

A Novel

by Michelle Moran

Nefertiti
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2007, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 496 pages

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Book Summary

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.

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.

Prologue

If you are to believe what the viziers say, then Amunhotep killed his brother for the crown of Egypt.

In the third month of Akhet, Crown Prince Tuthmosis lay in his room in Malkata Palace. A warm wind stirred the curtains of his chamber, carrying with it the desert scents of zaatar and myrrh. With each breeze the long linens danced, wrapping themselves around the columns of the palace, brushing the sun-dappled tiles on the floor. But while the twenty-year-old Prince of Egypt should have been riding to victory at the head of Pharaoh’s charioteers, he was lying in his bedchamber, his right leg supported by cushions, swollen and crushed. The chariot that had failed him had immediately been burned, but the damage was done. His fever was high and his shoulders slumped. And while the jackal-headed god of death crept closer, Amunhotep sat across the room ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About This Guide

Nefertiti brings a fascinating chapter of Egyptian history to life. This reader's guide is intended as a starting point for your discussion of this captivating story of two sisters, one of whom is destined to rule Egypt.


Discussion Questions

  1. Thousands of years after the Pharaoh's ruled Egypt; this ancient civilization continues to fascinate the world. Were you drawn to Nefertiti by an interest in Egyptology? What aspects of Egyptian life are of interest to you?
  2. History remembers Nefertiti as a great beauty. What other aspects of her personality are highlighted in Nefertiti? How does she use her stunning good looks to her advantage? How do they hurt her? Have you ever known a woman like ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

An addictively engrossing epic that brings to life a fascinating time and place - a good choice for book clubs and lovers of historical fiction.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (311 words).

Media Reviews

Romance Reviews Today

A wonderful, beautifully written, and well researched novel, Nefertiti is a page-turner filled with amazing visuals of a dazzling historical period.

Publishers Weekly

Though sometimes big events are telegraphed, Moran... gets the details just right, and there are still plenty of surprises in an epic that brings an ancient world to life.

Library Journal

Beautifully written and completely engrossing, this first novel should enjoy wide readership.

Author Blurb Robin Maxwell, author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
There haven't been two more fascinating or outrageous siblings since the Boleyn sisters...Nefertiti is obsessive reading.

Author Blurb India Edghill, author of Wisdom's Daughter
An engrossing page-turner, Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life as two royal sisters struggle to find fulfillment and happiness- one craving ultimate political power, the other desiring only to follow her heart. A strong debut novel of passion and intrigue, Nefertiti kept me up way too late!

Author Blurb Ki Longfellow, author of The Secret Magdalene
A provocative portrait of limitless power in an ancient land of limitless fascination.

Author Blurb Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Nefertiti is a fascinating window into the past, a heroic story with a very human heart. Compulsively readable!

Author Blurb Rosalind Miles, bestselling author of I, Elizabeth
A stunning debut-I can't believe it's her first novel-what a thrilling read! I found the whole book rich and compelling, exciting and haunting. Nefertiti is a fine creation, both appealing and frightening, and she's surrounded by a thoroughly satisfying cast of characters, too. The whole world of Ancient Egypt comes to life.

Reader Reviews

talira davis

nefertiti
I believe that this women had a goal in life; when she tried to make it she ended up seeing that she may fail. Her sister sees with her own eyes that her sister may fail if she keeps going in the track that she going in. This book taught me a lot. I ...   Read More

Betsy

A rich and delicious read.
Nefertiti has given me back my love for historical fiction. It has it all - wonderful story, great development of characters, vivid settings. It transports you to the time and place. I felt like I was on a barge on the Nile in ancient Egypt.

nick

whooo
I just thought the book was amazing. The fact that Nefertiti was a queen, I can just imagine.

Kim

Good Historical Fiction
If you liked The Other Boleyn Girl, you'll love this novel. It's very similar. Like Gregory's novel, Nefertiti is the story of two sisters, told from the viewpoint of the younger one. One is famous, the other unknown except to scholars. One ...   Read More

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