Length: 528 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Nefertiti is one of the world’s greatest legendary beauties. Seen through her sister’s eyes, she is vividly brought to life in this heartbreaking story of celebrity, ambition, love and loss.
At the tender age of fifteen, Nefertiti marries Akhenaten, the Prince of Egypt, her dreams coming true as she rises to fame and fortune. Bathed and decorated by a team of body servants, her natural beauty is enhanced until she becomes mesmerizing. She is soon the darling of the people and her husband’s closest confidant.
But when her husband breaks with a thousand years of tradition, defying the priests and the military, it will take all Nefertiti’s wiles to keep the nation from being torn apart. She’s prepared to sacrifice her sister to strengthen her power and this act will lock the two women in a feud that only death can break.
This book was definitely an interesting and intriguing one for me to read. I had never before read anything to do with Ancient Egypt, and I had only heard of Cleopatra so it was definitely fascinating to get a glimpse into what life would have been like for an Egyptian royal. I really felt Michelle Moran’s vivid descriptions of the Egyptian palace and surroundings took me back in time to Ancient Egypt, where I was a fly on the wall, listening to all the conversations and sitting in an Egyptian audience chamber.
As for the plot, the story is told by Mutnodjmet, Nefertiti’s younger half-sister who follows her sister to the palace and lives by her side as she and her husband Akhenaten rise to power and win the people of Egypt’s love.
Mutnodjmet or Mutny as she is often referred to in the book was an easy character for me to root for and engage with. She does not desire a life in the limelight as her sister does, and is easily content with living the quiet life, tending to her garden and searching for love.
In a way, the contrast between Mutny and the power hungry Nefertiti, reminded me of sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn, from The Other Boleyn Girl; especially Akhenaten and King Henry VIII both being powerful kings who had a short temper.
The book also gave a fascinating insight into the politics and religion of Ancient Egypt. The people of Egypt are used to worshipping a god called Amun, and become quickly angry when Nefertiti and Akhenaten announce they are giving up supporting Amun in favour of worshipping the sun god, Aten. This aspect of the story gave the book a really dramatic turn and gave more conflict for the two sisters as they both try and live their lives and struggle with the conflicts that are increasingly risin.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, is interested in learning more about Ancient Egypt, or to anyone who enjoys an entertaining historical novel.