Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Heretic Queen, by Michelle Moran

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The Heretic Queen, Michelle Moran (Three Rivers Press; 1st ed., September 1, 2009)

The Heretic Queen is the story of Nefertari, wife of Ramesses the Great and niece of the “heretic queen”, Nefertiti. Princess Nefertari’s ascendancy to the throne of Ancient Egypt in the 13th century BC, and the comeuppance of her enemies, are lyrically and precisely depicted. The historical accuracy extends to the relationship between Nerfertari and pharaoh Ramesses II, which he described on the wall of her burial chamber:

“My love is unique and none can rival her…just by passing, she has stolen away my heart.”

The storyline is similar to Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, and I think readers who like an historical romance with realistic detail, will enjoy all the books in this series set in Ancient Egypt, as much as I did:

Nefertiti: A Novel (2008), the story of Nefertiti’s sister Mutnodjmet and the events of Nefertiti’s marriage to Prince Amunhotep until the time of her death; and Cleopatra’s Daughter (2009), the story of Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, the twin children of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, in the aftermath of the great queen’s death.

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