Publishing year: 2007
This is a book that I knew would captured my attention before I even started reading it.
I love history, and I have to admit that I don’t know much about the history of Ancient Egypt. Nefertiti is a name I learnt many years ago in my history lessons in secondary school, but I don’t recall much about why this woman was so important thousands of years ago. So I’ve started this book, eager to learn more about this time in history and this woman in particular.
The narrator in this novel is Mutnodjmet, referred to as Mutny (there are such difficult names in this book), and she is the younger sister of Nefertiti. They don’t share the same mother, though. Nefertiti’s mother died when she was very young, and her father then married Mutny’s mother. When the story starts, Mutny is thirteen adn Nefertiti is fifteen. The physical difference between the sisters is evident. While Nefertiti is beautiful, delicate, small, and of fair complexion, Mutny is tall, dark-skinned, and her prominent feature is her green cat-like eyes.
When the book starts, Thuthmosis, the crowned prince, has had an accident in his chariot, and dies. So he’s succeeded by his brother, Amunhotep. Nefertiti is to marry him, and they do. Amunhotep is not a very nice man. There’s a lot of controversy because he is fixed to erect Aten as the god to replace Amun. Apparently, Amun priests have the power and the money, and Amunhotep plans to destroy that. As a crowned prince, he’s now to be the ruler in Lower Egypt, and he is to live in Memphis. I don’t like Amunhotep at all; he’s despicable, cruel, and the only times he shows some kind of feeling is with Nefertiti because I think he’s besotted. There’s a rival to Nefertiti, Kiya. This woman is also Amunhotep’s wife; I’ve learnt that men, or at least, Pharaohs had several wives. Yet, Nefertiti is the chief’s wife, and therefore, the queen in Lower Egypt. Yet, Nefertiti is also ambitious and makes use of tricks to gain more power in her husband’s heart. Nefertiti is not a nice character either. I think she’s quite shallow and selfish, and treats her sister as if she were her slave at her beck and call.
In Memphis Amunhhotep makes too many enemies. He demands taxes from Amun’s temples and orders to kill the main priest when he refuses. Then he also makes an enemy of the main general of his army when he uses a part of the army to build his desired temple instead of employing them to defend Egypt against the Hittites. At this time Hiya gives birth to a boy, causing Nefertiti to be very jealous and afraid for her own position. Now Nefertiti is pregnant too, but will she give her husband the true Prince of Egypt?