Before there was Cleopatra there
was the notorious Nefertiti, Queen
of the Nile. Moran recreates her
story with a vibrancy, drama and
compassion that would make the
queen proud. As in The Other Boleyn Girl, the relationship between sisters sets this novel apart and makes Nefertiti's story powerful and
memorable. It belongs alongside
the finest fictional biographies.
Readers are brought into Nefertiti's world through her sister Mutnodjmet's point of view, when
17-year-old Prince Amunhoptep takes over the throne following his brother's suspicious death. By marrying 15-year-old Nefertiti he gains popularity, but when she produces no male heir his position is endangered, since he has another, non-royal wife who has given him sons.
As her unstable husband overthrows the priests, confiscates their wealth and enlists the army to build a great city in his honor, Nefertiti's life is in a precarious position. Only her sister sees what is happening, and though she would like to leave the intrigue-ridden court, she will do whatever she must for her sister's sake. (Crown, Jul., 460 pp., $24.95)