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Monday, August 3, 2009

Book Review: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Book Cover The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
UK Paperback, 512 pages
Quercus Publishing Plc
December 26, 2008
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Collection
"In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past, and remake history. 
The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the 18th dynasty’s royal family— all with the exception of Nefertari, niece of the reviled former queen Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But all of this changes when she is taken under the wing of pharaoh’s aunt, and brought to the Temple of Hathor where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen. 
Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the crown prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history."
I want to say right from the start that this book is the BEST book that I have read to date. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but for some reason I didn’t want to get started with this one. I put it off for three days after finishing Eve for some unknown reason but as soon as I started reading it, I was like “What was wrong with you!”

The Heretic Queen sort of picks up where her previous book Nefertiti leaves off. Nefertari is a princess in the royal court of Seti I. Her mother was Queen Mutnudjamet, the sister of Queen Nefertiti. Nefertari is the only remaining link to this family. With these family connections, Nefertari is constantly harassed by her school mates and others about being from the Heretic family. Her two closest friends, the only ones who really don’t consider her the Heretic, are Asha and Ramesses. Ramesses is the son of Seti I and he is declared co-reagent of Egypt along with his father. Along with his title, Ramesses must select a wife; a role that Nefertari would love to fill. Except there are some major roadblocks in the way…politics, greed, pride.

This story never felt like it was dragging. The sentences never felt clumsy, out of place, or just used as filler. Every sentence was important and helped move the story along in major ways. Moran is well versed in her Egyptian vocabulary and ways of living during the 19th dynasty. Her writing really makes you feel like you are right there or watching a movie play out right in front of you. About halfway through the book I realized that this book would only get through a fraction of the life/story of Nefertari. I was slightly depressed knowing this because this is a great love story for the ages; one that has stood the test of time. When it ended I wanted to read more, more, more! This has quickly moved its way to the top of my favorite book list.

I cannot wait to read Moran’s third book, Cleopatra’s Daughter. I have thoroughly enjoyed her first two.
If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?  There is also a great Q&A with the author about the book.

Other blogger's reviews of this book:
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Michelle Moran:
Nefertiti [My Review]
Cleopatra's Daughter
Cleopatra's Daughter [My Review]
Madame Tussaud
Madame Tussaud [My Review]
The Second Empress
The Second Empress
Rebel Queen
Rebel Queen
Find Michelle Moran: Website | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Great taste you have! I gave The Heretic Queen 5 stars too, but if you think it's good wait til you read Cleopatra's Daughter. I have just put up my gushing review on The Eclectic Reader

  2. I really liked this one as well and I agree with Teddy about Cleopatra's Daughter.

  3. So glad to hear you like Michelle Moran's books...I recently bought Nerfertiti but have yet to read it - her books sound really good, I can't wait to get started on this series!

  4. I have it- but haven't started it yet...Great review! I can't wait to read this one and better get to it soon- I loved Nefertiti so much. What an author, she truly is an amzing historical writer. Thanks:)

  5. Great review Dolley! I have to get cracking on her books!


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