Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Title: The Heretic Queen
Author: Michelle Moran
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Quercus, 2008

Synopsis: Ancient Egypt: a fire has devastated the Royal palace leaving the young Princess Nefertari as the only surviving member of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Her realatives, the infamous heretics, Nefertiti and Akhenaten, haunt her past and cast a shadow over her future.
When she falls in love with Rameses II , set to become the most powerful pharoah in history, his aunt sees that she is groomed to become his bride. But even after they are married, Nefertari feels the people's hatred and fear as she embarks on her new life. Despite her courage, persistence and her husband's love, will Egypt ever be able to see beyond her past?

Michelle Moran seems to have found the perfect balance between history and human interest and being able to combine them in a way that will appeal to the general reader. The history is well researched and provides a vivid background without ever becoming dull or overwhelming and the characters and the detailed description of the way they lived come alive at centre stage.
Nefertari's struggle to be chosen as Chief Wife provides plenty of opportunity for political intrigue and personal backstabbing but it is above all the love story that captures ones attention . Nefertari and Rameses lived and loved and when she died he wrote 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."

I appreciate the extras the author has provided. There is a dynasty tree and a map in the front and a glossary , seasonal calendar and historical notes at the back which are very helpful .

I enjoyed reading this immensely. Many years ago it was books like this that took a young girls passion for reading and interest in the past and turned it into a lifetime love of historical fiction. I hope it will do the same for others.

Rating: 4


  1. Great review, I just love Michelle Moran's writing. Hope you get to read Cleopatra's Daughter at some stage, it's her best to date IMHO

  2. Fabulous review. I have read one book by Michelle Moran and absolutely loved it. I know I am going to read this one...hopefully in January or February.

  3. I don't usually like to read another from the same author too soon after the first but I spotted Cleopatra's Daughter at the library this week and couldn't resist so I'll be reading it over Christmas.:)

    I hope you enjoy The Heretic Queen , Deanna.

  4. Great review! I loved Cleopatra's Daughter! I hope you enjoy that one too!