I love historical fiction, especially reading about women rulers. Though I am mostly addicted to reading about the Tudors, I wanted to read something different.
The Heretic Queen is the first Michelle Moran novel I read. Looking at her other books, Michelle seems to have a penchant for Egyptian women rulers.
The Heretic Queen focuses on one of the lesser known queens of Egypt, Nefertari, who was Queen Nefertiti’s niece . She is called “The Heretic Queen” since Nefertiti had abandoned the Gods Egyptians worshiped and instead had turned to a single God, something which was never accepted by the people. Nefertari’s childhood friend, Ramesses II is made Pharaoh. Her future is uncertain and bleak. She fears being forgotten and left to a life of a lonely temple Priestess. This is when Wosertit,Ramesses’ aunt takes Nefertari under her wing. She hopes to make Nefertari ,Ramesses’ Chief wife. Consequently, dramatic events unfold, that play a defining role in Egyptian history.
Egypt and its rulers have always fascinated me. Research into this novel must have taken a lot of time and effort. I admire Michelle more for that. Her efforts show in the intricate way everything has been described – the politics, traditions, rules, the clothes, the celebrations, the art, the architecture, religion and so on.
Though The Heretic Queen is not completely based on true events, it really doesn’t matter because it makes the book more intriguing. Nefertari was a very likeable character. You can’t help sympathizing with her. She is caring, intelligent, brave, strong and determined. This book is very well-written. The plot was gripping from the first page itself. Every character was well-defined. Lots of drama, action and many tense moments will keep you enthralled.
The court intrigue, the politics and the scheming have been vividly described. Michelle makes ancient Egypt come alive in front of our eyes.I could imagine everything she described, I could feel, see, smell, ancient Egypt. I am looking forward to reading her other novels.