Saturday, February 13

Book Review: Nefertiti

Title: Nefertiti

Author: Michelle Moran

Pages: 457

Summary: 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 that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This is my second book by Michelle Moran, but this was her debut novel. I really enjoyed the Heretic Queen and although this was also a good novel, I didn’t like it as much as the first book I read by her (although the first book I read by her, acts as a “sequel”/follow-up to this story). What I did enjoy was the in-depth look into the characters lives, their personalities and their growth and development. The characters are solid, which is one great thing about Moran is her ability to write such complex characters - whether you like them or not is a different story, but her characterization is one of her strengths. I also enjoyed the overall story, the power struggle, shifts of power and political war so to speak. It was a quick read and hard to put down. The reader can easily be caught up in the world of the power-hungry Pharaoh’s and there attempts to ensure their images are remembered, which is another strength of the author; writing a story that that doesn’t let the reader lose interest in it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the method the author used to tell the story. Having the story told through the young Mutnodjmet, (first person narrative) made the book seem slightly juvenile at the times (she did start out as thirteen years old so that can be somewhat ignored for the first bit), but because it felt juvenile, the book lost some of its appeal. Also, I think using first person narrative here was a mistake. I would have liked to see it in a third person narrative, so we could see more of what was going on around the characters, more explanation on the reactions of the people in Egypt, what would happen in the court when Mutnodjmet wasn’t around and more information on Nefertiti and the person she was, not the person Mutnodjmet thought and saw or thought she was like. My final issue of this book, is it doesn’t go into much description of Egypt itself. I found that the beauty of Egypt and much of its culture was lost in this book I was hoping for more description on the cities, temples and religions etc, but these elements were missing from the book.

It was still a good book, but there were more things in this one that I disliked, than there were in the first book I read by the author. Heretic Queen was a better read for me, although both books are ones I’d recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: As said above, I would recommend it to read, maybe not as high of a recommendation as the Heretic Queen, but it is still worth a read, especially if you like Historical Fiction.

What to read next: The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra's Daughter

Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 2nd Challenge, 10/10 Category Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Countdown Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, Wish I Read That Challenge


  1. I read this one and Heretic Queen too and I agree with you. I liked HQ just a little more. I haven't got my hands on Cleopatra's Daughter yet but hopefully will soon. I like the way Moran writes. Great review :)

  2. Hi Julie! I discovered your blog recently and I really enjoy reading it. I left you an e-blog award. You can check it out at my blog here:

  3. I have a copy of this on my shelf, but have not read it yet. I did read Cleopatra's daughter and liked it a lot, so I am going to be reading this one as well, but I will keep in mind that you mentioned that there are some POV issues. Great review, and I am glad you ultimately liked it!

  4. Holly - Heretic Queen was a better book, but I agree Moran writes the stories well. I'm also waiting to get my hands on Cleopatra's daughter, but I think I may wait a while before I do so.

    Also, thanks for the award, sorry I didn't get to you sooner and say THANKS!

    Zibilee - It's worth a read, regardless. Thanks for coming by.