Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Book Review: NEFERTITI, by Michelle Moran


Nefertiti by Michelle Moran


Michelle Moran brilliantly succeeds in delivering historical facts, exquisite detail and fascinating insight into the unraveling life of the timeless and dazzling ruler, Nefertiti. The author ingeniously uses Nefertiti’s closest relation, her sister Mutnodgmet, to describe the Egyptian Queen’s life of acclaimed power and reign. This effectively gives us a close-up of Nefertiti’s character in order to help us understand her personal reasoning and motives, all the while remaining true to the perception of others as well.

The regal and stunningly beautiful Nefertiti, used strategically clever ways, to sway and pacify one of Egypt’s worst rulers, her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten. This heretic ruler was known for his self-righteousness need to conquer all in his attempt to be revered and immortalized as a god. The results led to the total destruction of an empire he forcefully created despite opposition from the people.


While one of Nefertities major roles included placating the ruthless Pharaoh in order to curb his senseless agenda, she astutely paved her way to becoming Egypt’s favourite Queen of the times; both as ruler of the land, as well as, beloved queen of the people. By ensuring her daughters’ rank equal that of Pharaoh’s son (from his secondary wife), Nefertiti set a precedent ensuing a series of changes that would forever revolutionize the perception and status of women as rulers. Ultimately, Nefertiti managed to equal and even surpass Pharaoh in the most unbelievable way…


Nefertiti’s ruling, initially from the sidelines, helped keep Egypt safe, strong and secure from possible dangers and threatening of bordering lands. Consequently, her role was instrumental in creating a position for herself that commanded respect and reverence. Nefertiti made sure that she was the center of attention at all times; it was Nefertiti’s world. This borderline egotistic behaviour was often quite overwhelming for her sister…sadly resulting in Mutnodgmet suffering a major blow that nearly separated the two sisters for life- altering their relationship to a different level.


For me, what made the story most interesting was precisely the way Mutnodgmet depicts Nefertiti throughout the book. Yes, the Queen was inevitably supreme in most ways…Yet; Mutnodgmet also allows us to see the real Nefertiti, the way she actually was with others- especially her family. Her achievements could not have been attained without the moral and continued support she received from her loved ones, including Mutnodgmet who tended to her every need. Guided by her father, Nefertiti remained focused on keeping the Pharaoh on track in order to minimize the damage he continued to generate.


Nefertiti’s unbelievable energy and commitment to secure her family’s position was relentless. Nothing could ever slow her down. For example, it was not unusual for Nefertiti, to immediately rise from her birthing bed to attend a feast, event or even a chariot ride if she deemed it necessary. As well, she went through incredible measures to maintain Pharaoh’s loyalty, devotion and priority towards her and her children rendering his other offspring and wife almost irrelevant.


I enjoyed reading about this strong-willed woman who used her, intelligence, guts charms and beauty to keep an empire thriving. Nefertiti used every gift she possessed to advance herself to an ultimate and never-before attainable position- unimaginable and impossible even by today’s standards…


Nefertiti is a superb story! It’s a magnetic read that kept me glued from page to page. There isn’t a dull moment in this book. Not only did I plunge into Egyptian history and its different gods, rulers, customs, traditions, architecture, I also learned about the fascinating world of herbs (cures for diseases, conditions and even how to avoid affliction of the plague-Mutnodgmet being the true expert on all of this). But ultimately, it was the palpable characters bursting with emotion, voice and true- to- life detail that totally captured my attention while transporting me into this mesmerizing world of the past.

I highly recommend Nefertiti. It’s an unforgettable read- I promise.

19 comments:

dolleygurl said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you. I read this book in May and LOVED it! I couldn't put it down. I am planning on reading The Heretic Queen during the next 3 weeks while I am away at training and can't wait. I should have a review of that by the end of the month. Great Review!

okbolover said...

Hmm. I haven't read an Ancient Egypt novel yet among my historical fiction categories. Perhaps I will give this a try. Thanks for the info. I'll put this on my wishlist or check if it's in the library.

Dar said...

What a fantastic review Lucy! I read this last year and I just loved-it was absolutely phenomenal and I enjoyed every minute. I immediately delved into The Heretic Queen and felt the same. Michelle is a very talented writer. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

bookjourney said...

Great review! I just love the cover of this book!

avisannschild said...

I've tagged you for the What's on Your Desk Wednesday? meme, if you're interested...

Arleigh said...

Wonderful review Lucy! I really need to pick up The Heretic Queen to continue this story. I really liked Mutny!

Lezlie said...

Michelle Moran is a wonderful author, isn't she? I can't wait to read her latest, Cleopatra's Daughter!

Lezlie

Tea said...

Great review! I so want to read "Nerfetiti.

Melanied'Anjou said...

I simply love your writing style, Lucy:D!!
I've been always fascinated by this woman. I study history of art.. the previous year, when our professor showed us two slides of Nefertitis head.. my jaw landed on the floor..it was emanating with mystery.. so beautiful.. the way the sculptor carved her lips and eyes.. magic!!!
I would love to get that book one day

Take care!

Hugs
Melanie d'Anjou

Caryn Caldwell said...

Great suggestion! I love historical fiction, so I might have to check this one out! I've always kind of liked Nefertiti - ever since I had to do a report on her in middle school. (Yes, for some reason I still remember that report, even though I've forgotten all the facts from it! Strange?)

Ingrid Mida said...

It sounds like a must read for the summer! Thanks Lucy.

Marie Burton said...

A great review (IF BLOGGER wound Stop Shutting down on me I'd leave more of a comment) But now I am just trying to say I WAS HERE!!

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Another wonderful review, Ms. Lucy! And that is the second time this week her name has come up so I have got to pick up this book! Thanks for your comment at my site and for always having something interesting for me to delve into over here.
Happy weekend to you!
Kirsten

Descubre Irlanda/Vive lEmpereur! said...

Vive l'Empereur!

¡Bienvenido/a lector/a! Esta aventura por recorrer el Mundo de la mano del Emperador Napoleón Bonaparte (1769-1821) nació el 30 de Abril 2009, día en el que además, Napoleón vendió Luisiana a los Estados Unidos por 80 millones de francos.

http://vivelempereur.blogspot.com/

Matterhorn said...

Nefertiti was really an amazing beauty! Fascinating, thank you.

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Ms. Lucy - you blew me away with this review! If I hadn't have devoured it already I'd be on my way to the bookstore! Really, really great job!

I loved this one and Nefertiti and am not so patiently waiting for Cleopatra's Daughter! I've loved Egypt since I was little and am so happy that we have an author like Moran to bring us back there!

Jenny Girl said...

It's always the woman behind the great man isn't it? I have The Heretic Queen at home but want to read this one first. Just have to fit this in somewhere.

Rebecca :) said...

My local library has this book on CD. I can't wait to listen to it. Hopefully the narrator is good.

Blodeuedd said...

It's sounds wonderful and I am happy to read that she did with this first book the same thing she did with her later. It sure makes me want to read this one and The Heretic queen