Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Yay, another historical fiction by my new favourite author!   Nefertiti was Michelle Moran's debut book, and it is another incredibly well-researched and fascinatingly well-written read. 

Written from the point of view of Nefertiti's sister, we are given an intimate look into the lives of Pharaoh Amunhotep (later Akhenaten) and Queen Nefertiti (later Pharaoh Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti).  Amunhotep and Nefertiti were the first Egyptian royals to have themselves portrayed realistically in art, as all previous royals had been portrayed identically, as tradition dictated how a pharoah was "supposed to" look.  Amunhotep and Nefertiti threw Egypt into turmoil when they denounced the gods of the people and instead promoted the worship of Aten alone.

In previous books on the subject, I have read that there is debate about the possibility of Amunhotep having been influenced by the Israelite belief in the "One God", and that God may have been the One whom he meant to worship when he spoke of "Aten".  This novel does not present this idea, but rather suggests that Pharaoh promoted the worship of Aten and raised himself up at Aten's representative solely for the purposes of collecting all the riches of the empire for himself. 

Another fascinating read, and highly recommended.

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