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Nefertiti: A Novel Paperback – May 27, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307381749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307381743
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This fictionalized life of the notorious queen is told from the point of view of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet. In 1351 B.C., Prince Amunhotep secretly kills his older brother and becomes next in line to Egypt's throne: he's 17, and the 15-year-old Nefertiti soon becomes his chief wife. He already has a wife, but Kiya's blood is not as royal, nor is she as bewitching as Nefertiti. As Mutnodjmet, two years younger than her sister, looks on (and falls in love), Amunhotep and the equally ambitious Nefertiti worship a different main god, displace the priests who control Egypt's wealth and begin building a city that boasts the royal likenesses chiseled in stone. Things get tense when Kiya has sons and the popular Nefertiti has only daughters, and they come to a boil when the army is used to build temples to the pharaoh and his queen instead of protecting Egypt's borders. Though sometimes big events are telegraphed, Moran, who lives in California and is making her U.S. debut, gets the details just right, and there are still plenty of surprises in an epic that brings an ancient world to life. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"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 Anceient Egypt comes to life."
- Rosalind Miles, bestselling author of I, Elizabeth

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

"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!"
- India Edghill, author of Wisdom's Daughter

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

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

"Though sometimes big events are telegraphed, Moran, who lives in California and is making her U.S. debut, gets the details just right, and there are still plenty of surprises in an epic that brings an ancient world to life."
- Publishers Weekly

"Beautifully written and completely engrossing, this first novel should enjoy wide readership."
- Library Journal

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

From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Michelle Moran was born in southern California. After attending Pomona College, she earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher, Michelle used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her experiences as a volunteer on archaeological digs that inspired her to write historical fiction. She is the international bestselling author of Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra's Daughter, Madame Tussaud, and The Second Empress. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, and in 2011, her fourth book, Madame Tussaud, was optioned for a mini-series. Recently, Michelle was married in India, and it is no coincidence that her next two books will be set in the East.

Customer Reviews

Great character development and an intriguing story make this book a good read.
Avid Reader
The book is after all historical fiction and I thought Moran did a great job bringing these characters to life.
I bought this book because I am interested in Egyptian history and I do enjoy reading historical fiction.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 82 people found the following review helpful By LCW VINE VOICE on May 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel is a story of two sisters, one whose drive and ambition take her to the top of the world and the other who just wants a normal life....far away from the dangerous political games her sister is playing. Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet (Mutny) grew up leading quiet lives in rural Egypt. All this comes to a screeching halt when Nefertiti is chosen to be Chief Wife of the hot blooded Pharoah with an obssession for Aten, a minor Egyptian god.

Nefertiti is chosen by her Father and her Aunt, the Pharoah's mother, because with her strong personality they believe she will be able to reign in the Pharoah and temper his hand ensuring that it is their family that holds the real power behind the throne. Nefertiti soon becomes enamoured with her new found power and her popularity with the people and is somewhat swept up along with her husband in his dreams of glamor, power, and immortality.

On direction from her father she does what she can but she is unable to stop the Pharoah from using the Army to build a brand new city in the middle of the desert designed to honor Aten and be a monument to him and his army that is desperately needed to stop a Hittite invasion threatening from the north! To further complicate matters, her family's position is threatened by Kiya, the Pharoah's other wife, and her schemeing Father because while Kiya has given Egypt a prince Nefertiti gives birth to one daughter after another.

Meanwhile, Mutny becomes her sisters handmaiden and remains her closest friend and confidante. But secretly she longs for a family and a home of her own. This seems impossible as she is required by her family to play her part in keeping them the most powerful family in Egypt.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nefertiti, alas, reminded me of a romance thriller, but more pretentious and less "thrilling" than that genre. Almost nothing about the book rang true. Change the names, the setting, and a few plot points, and the entire thing could have taken place in any ancient kingdom. Very disappointing.

I enjoy books on ancient Egypt very much, and had high hopes for this book, which were unfulfilled. To experience the grandeur and mysteries of ancient Egypt, definitely skip this book and get any of the wonderful books by Pauline Gedge. Now, there's a writer who can make ancient Egypt live again.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Niksic VINE VOICE on January 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Nefertiti" is an amazing novel about one of Egypt's most legendary rulers. This is the tale of Nefertiti's ambitious rise to the throne, but it's also the story of the relationship between two sisters. Nefertiti's half-sister, Mutnodjmet, is the narrator of the book, which chronicles Nefertiti's marriage to Prince Amunhotep until the time of her death. Similarly to "The Other Boleyn Girl," author Michelle Moran depicts two sisters who are as different as night and day, but ultimately will do anything for each other. Nefertiti is calculating and shrewd, and she plots with her father to keep her family in favor with the Pharaoh and make sure that his second wife, Kiya, stays out of the picture. However, Mutnodjmet doesn't approve of her family's deceitfulness, and she also yearns for a life of her own that amounts to more than being her sister's handmaiden.

Eventually, things in Egypt begin spiralling out of control. The Pharaoh and his queen seek to transform religion in their country by raising their god, Aten, up above all others. The rulers also display extreme vanity, having sculptures and murals created in their likeness and placed all over a new city they built as a tribute to Aten. Aided by her family, Nefertiti will stop at nothing to secure ultimate power for herself, and even manages to obtain the title of Pharaoh. However, tragedy eventually comes calling, and everything Nefertiti worked so hard to achieve hangs in the balance.

This is a fantastic book that's extremely exciting and readable. It's obvious that the author took many liberties with historical facts and also speculated about a lot of things, but judging this book purely as a work of fiction, "Nefertiti" is wonderfully gripping and entertaining. I couldn't put it down!
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93 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Iris on August 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with some previous reviewers who found the book shallow. None of the characters are three-dimensional, the historical detail is thin, and the plot isn't very engaging.

I didn't believe any of the characters. Akhenaton especially was annoying. He is written as a one-note shrill lunatic. Mutnodjmet and Nefertiti's relationship, the supposed centerpiece of the story, isn't interesting. It seems to be trying for the level of the "Other Boleyn Girl", and at times it seemed like elements of that story were borrowed for this, but none of it worked: Nefertiti's desperation for a son, the family meetings, Mutnodjmet's loyalty to the family interest...I've read it before in a much better written book.

For anyone looking for an original take on the Amarna period I'd recommend Pauline Gedge's "The Twelfth Transforming". It has some elements disturbing to my modern sensibilities (father's marrying daughters), but it is extremely well-written and the setting is totally believeable. I would definitely recommend any of Pauline Gedge's Egypt-set books especially "Lady of the Reeds", which is set in a different reign. I read that in one sitting.
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