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10 thoughts on “The Heretic Queen

  1. says:

    Loved it, loved it, loved it I don t normally gush about a novel but I enjoyed this even than Nefertiti I really didn t want it to end It was a vivid, captivating page turner and I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the Ancient Egyptian world I have been interested in Ancient Egypt since my own school years then helping my sons with assignments on Ancient Egypt the pharoahs, the Gods, their customs and burial practices, I have always found their highly advanced civilisation fascinating Nefertari, the orphaned daughter of Mutnodjmet and niece of the infamous Nefertiti is an absolute delight in this novel.She is kind hearted and moral like her mother but very strong and clever without being calculating I was caught up in the love story between Nefertari and Ramesses the Great, Nefertari s battle to gain the respect and admiration of Egypt and her triumph over her family s checkered past I await Michelle Moran s next novel, Cleopatra s Daughter with much anticipation and great impatience


  2. says:

    Moran also wrote Nefertiti and Cleopatra s Daughter, but I only read this one Set in ancient Egypt, The Heretic Queen is an odd mixture, because it felt sometimes exactly like a romance and a sexy one and other times like a historical narrative with some liberally embellished and possibly fabricated history For romance readers, it might be a nice cross genre piece, since it bridges both worlds For those who like history, and only the straight dope, this will disappoint Setting Ancient Egypt Thebes at the time of Ramesses III, referred to as Ramesses the Great, who reigned as pharaoh from 1279 1213 BC POV The story is told by Nefertari, whose beloved mother is Mutdodjmet, a former queen According to this author, Nefertari is the niece of the dead and yet still reviled Queen Nefertiti Try keeping those names straight Young Nefertari s moldering Aunt Nefertiti is none other than the historically fascinating Heretic Queen 1370 1330 BC the Great Royal Wife and chief consort of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten They abolished Egypt s pantheon of gods and tried to force a religious revolution, a type of monotheism where all must worship one god only, Aten, the sun disc Moran seems to link this revolution with the zealot Ahmoses Moses When the story begins, young Nefertari is about 10, and her infamous aunt is dead, but her family name is still muddier than the Nile riverbank we are reminded of this ad nauseum. So, the courageous and intelligent young princess comes in for a lot of belittlement and bullying We see Nefer attending school with young Ramesses and falling in with him Showing her solid core, and aided by her astounding facility for languages, she holds her own in the competitive and backstabbing classrooms and courts of the king Her greatest wish is to marry Ramesses But what are the chances, with her family rap Nefer does exactly as her wise mentors Woserit, high priestess, and Paser advise to gain public favor and personal sex appeal, so she can become an acceptable candidate for queen And she does, gaining the title of The Warrior Queen of Egypt, despite a few deadly enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy her I originally gave it 2 stars because when I read historical narratives, I want the focus to be on history, and not on sex I save that for my romance reading Butmaybe I was a little harsh The story is fairly absorbing at times The narrative flows much of the time , the setting is fairly vivid, and the dialogue decent but nothing special There are some moderately poignant portrayals of friendship, aging, and death I liked the part about learning various languages we have it so easy , and the part about finding a way to irrigate Egypt when the rains wouldn t come The many interactions with pharaoh s court of advisors held my attention, as did the battles and negotiations with neighboring countries That said, too much girl talk, gossip, vying for favor, clothing, sandals, face paint, sex, pregnancy, labor, etc., etc IMO, it should be shelved as historical romance Not history or biography Probably not even historical fiction The whole book was about a young girl falling in love with the heir to the Egyptian throne and doing everything possible to become his queen, and then to remain at his side when competing wives tried to edge her out There are a few sex scenes Further, I thought the author mishandled or at least underplayed the whole deal with Moses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt in effect, Moran largely ignored the Habiru Hebrew account while still including a religious fanatic by the name of Ahmoses Moses In sum, it felt like an unexceptional romance I have read some beautiful ones and a weak portrayal of a fascinating period in Egyptian and Hebrew history I wanted , , about Ramesses But this really isn t his story.From Wiki Nefertari also known as Nefertari Merytmut was one of the Great Royal Wives or principal wives of Ramesses the GreatShe is one of the best known Egyptian queens, next to Cleopatra, Nefertiti and Hatshepsut Her lavishly decorated tomb, QV66, is the largest and most spectacular in the Valley of the Queens Ramesses also constructed a temple for her at Abu Simbel next to his colossal monument here More details and a few images at


  3. says:

    Soak it up this is entertainment at its best Michelle Moran s second novel is an enthralling read that will have you frantically turning pages, completely absorbed in the world she has created for you.Moran s Egypt is a backdrop for all the guilty pleasure plot points you know you love sex, power, violence and true love And her cast of characters are fabulously self serving and deceitful in a way that makes you keep reading just to find out what they will do to each other next Some are motivated by love, others by greed, but all are capable of doing anything and that makes it all the exciting If you fell in love with Mutny from Moran s previous novel then I guarantee you ll love her orphaned daughter Nefertari You ll see the resemblance to her mother in her kind heart and strong moral code but Nefertari s love for Rameses has also exposed some of her Aunt s calculated ambition too She s a woman unafraid to fight for the one she loves and she s in for the battle of her life Nefertari is the kind of character you cheer for from young girl to grown woman.Whilst this book is so entertaining, the research is a large element of this novel and I trust that her interpretation of this story is grounded in the facts we know about this time period and these rulers Check out her blog, History Buff, if you want to see an example of her passion for Archaeology in action Her books have awakened in me a dormant passion for Egyptian history and I now find myself wishing she had stories to tell me Hopefully I don t have to wait long for Cleopatra s Daughter to come out If you would like to win a signed copy of Nefertiti or The Heretic Queen, visit my blog wwww.readingwritingranting.blogspot.com before 30th November 2008


  4. says:

    There are plenty of issues to raise here, a few good but also plenty of bad The coherence of the plot is noticeably better than in Moran s first effort, Nefertiti , which felt like a force of nature carried the helpless characters along a raging torrent without rhyme or reason to the conclusion of the novel This book at least has an objective in mind, and the plot revolves around whether or not Nefertari will succeed or fail in achieving this objective becoming Chief Wife and exposing the plotting of Henuttawy and Iset Unfortunately, The Heretic Queen is an example of an obstacle which could be easily resolved in five minutes if only the characters would take the necessary action, but gets artificially strung out over an entire book Nefertari never reports Henuttawy and Iset s atrocious behaviour or plots to Ramesses, it is only after two people have died and their plotting is exposed beyond all doubt that she reveals her knowledge of the plot Nefertari s unsatisfactory explanation for this that everyone else told her that Henuttawy would make it seem to Ramesses like she was lying Frankly, that doesn t cut the mustard Ramesses, we are told, loves Nefertari beyond all else and trusts her are we honestly to believe that had Nefertari told him about Henuttawy and Iset, Ramesses would have been convinced that she was a liar and wouldn t have investigated the matter AT ALL Doesn t sound like a very trusting relationship Henuttawy and Iset do not make credible antagonists and act like petulant teenagers than real adversaries Henuttawy at one point destroys a royal mural of Nefertari s mother, Mutnodjmet in the book historically we do not know the identity of her parents This wanton destruction of the representation of an immortal queen which according to Egyptian belief would have the effect of damaging Mutnodjmet s body in the afterlife would have been unacceptable, even from a princess like Henuttawy At other points Henuttawy makes completely out of line snide comments such as And let us hope she does not have the blood of the Heretic King in her veins at Nefertari s own wedding feast a comment so out of line that it was obviously going to earn Henuttawy the rebuke of all present It s the kind of ill thought out dig that smacks of a stroppy teen, not a serious adversary Iset is just as bad Her ploys, such as arguing with Nefertari about the temple plans simply for the sake of it, are utterly transparent and she comes across as whiny and childish And we re supposed to give these antagonists any credibility whatsoever With such weak opponents facing Nefertari, the story completely lacks any tension.Worse, the portrayals of almost every other character are equally one dimensional and flat Nefertari bears no resemblance at all to the complex, vibrant real woman of history, and is instead a cardboard cut out child prodigy who can do no wrong and is woefully lacking in any real faults or flaws This made it difficult to relate to her or empathise when she has to suffer through the childish pranks played on her by Iset and Henuttawy even though I felt like Moran was hitting me over the head with isn t Nefertari tragic You should sympathise with her with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer As for Ramesses, he comes across as disappointingly gullible and weak manipulated by everyone around him The other characters were wafer thin and forgettable.The main premise of the entire book is that Nefertari would have faced popular opposition due to being associated with Akhenaten and Nefertiti and their Aten worship Leaving aside the fact that there are significant issues with the evidence and dating which make it improbable that Nefertari was Mutnodjmet s daughter and that Mutnodjmet was even Nefertiti s sister , is it really plausible that peasants would have had close enough access to Queen Nefertari to have shouted heretic at her Even if they could get that close, is it believable that any of them would ve dared to do so The answer is no, and this is just common sense, which applies even if you re not a historian But hypothetically, if a large mob of angry peasants could have and wanted to heckle Nefertari during her wedding procession and later at the palace gates, would this have been allowed to happen NO Royal guards and army militiamen would have been ordered to swoop down on the mob long before they reached the sacred royals, and subdued them Would Nefertari and Ramesses really come out to address the crowd Not a chance They re of the royal blood, descended from millennia of pharaohs and divine embodiments of the gods They did not believe that they had to justify themselves to a small mob of disgruntled peasants it was the gods that were important The most disappointing thing is that this failure is less about historical accuracy than it is about poor quality writing Plenty of books make historical errors or deliberate alterations which I can quite happily get on board with, because the author makes their fictional vision seem realistic, authentic, and ultimately gripping Moran fails to do this Her heretic mob scenarios are thinly sketched and feel absurd The dialogue is juvenile and the descriptions are basic There s no complexity here, no subtlety or sophistication.In short, it s about suspension of disbelief It is up to the writer to create an environment, a world in which the characters move, that is plausible in order to enable the reader to experience full immersion in the story If the story is fantasy, sci fi or another fantastical genre, that should not preclude it from being realistic or believable, as those worlds can have their own set of rules and laws, as long as they make sense in the story In a book that is based in our world, and further on actual events, as in the historical fiction genre, this kind of skill and storycraft is absolutely critical People may use the excuse of it s only fiction , and yes, this is a perfectly acceptable reason to excuse deliberately made historical alterations hopefully revealed in an author s note, to avoid inadvertantly perpetuating incorrect information within a story though not unwitting errors that s just bad research However, fiction is not an adequate excuse for failing to produce a piece of work that immerses the reader, a work that the reader can t engage with because it lacks the feel of the genuine and the believable That would be incorrectly correlating fiction and non fiction with unrealism and realism , when in fact, as aforementioned, there is nothing that should preclude a work of fiction from being realistic or plausible Simply put, Moran lacks the skill and storycraft required to create this plausibility.I was really disappointed with this book, because I had such high hopes for it It s rare to find historical fiction on ancient Egypt, and I snapped this book up when I saw it I really wanted it to be something that blew me away Instead I finished the book feeling deflated I wish Michelle Moran the best of luck with her future endeavours, as she seems genuinely interested in her subject, but I hope to see her develop as an author and her novels improve Until then, I ll be picking her books up from the library For anyone looking for a gripping, complex plot with high quality writing and subtle characterisations and decent historical accuracy to boot I recommend Pauline Gedge instead.3 out of 10


  5. says:

    Awful, awful, awful This ranks way up on my list of Worst Books Ever Written The author didn t know if she was supposed to be writing historical fiction, soft core and very unerotic porn, or chick lit with all the name calling and backstabbing and gossiping There wasn t a single sympathetic character in the bunch, and I especially hated her depiction of Ramesses Here s a guy who s supposedly head over heels in love with Nefertari and he can clearly see what an amazing diplomat she is, and yet it takes him, what, two or three years to finally decide to make her his chief wife Even if this is how events actually progressed, the author certainly didn t go to any lengths to make us understand the reasoning behind their actions They were all drab, lifeless caricatures Not recommended at all.PSBad writers evidently stick together I just saw a glowing review of this book by Susan Fraser King, the author of the equally odious Lady Macbeth, on s website.


  6. says:

    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 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 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.Overall Compelling and engrossing Recommended Yes To all fans of historical fiction.


  7. says:

    I saw a short film on the discovery of Ramesses s tomb on vacation and of course I was intrigued by the mention of the love story and wasted MORE I ve also been meaning to read Moran forever This didn t totally scratch the itch because it s about Nefertari s quest to become Chief Wife I really wish time had been focused on her and Ramesses s relationship, especially the transformation from childhood friends to lovers It came very close to just oh look, she got hot And at times it was like we were supposed to be a little unsure of Ramesses s feelings, which didn t work for me at all, considering we know he loved her very much.Oh well, put it on the list with Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon as a historical love story that someone needs to write a perfect book about.


  8. says:

    The simplicity of Moran s writing style and storytelling grasps your attention The story becomes addictive in small, measured steps and your imagination gets the better of you, that said, I found this to be a credible, fascinating look into this era of history You can read full review on my blog


  9. says:

    I was not very impressed with Nefertiti and the follow up book The Heretic Queen disappointed me even While the first half of Nefertiti was largely disappointing, The Heretic Queen suffered from it from start to finish This novel suffered terribly from first person point of view Nefertiti was also first person but it was Nefertiti s sister, which gave some much needed distance.First of all the book, much like it s counterpart Nefertiti, did not capture the essence of Ancient Egypt Sure you can use Egyptian words and talk about customs but there was too much telling and not enough showing Remove the few Egyptian words, mentions of cities etc and you could easily be confused by where in time you find yourself and what family is experiencing so much drama Actual historical events may have helped the book but they were largely left to the last quarter of the book and felt forced.Overall the focus of the book is not historical in nature but romantic in nature, not exactly what you think you are getting yourself into The book is one long suffering love affair It begins with Nefertari pining over Ramesses, then spending a year grooming herself to attract him and then getting him and being upset about not being named Chief Wife Oh the drama It felt like a lowly version of The Other Boleyn Girl, except ALL the focus is on the whining and pining and baby making The book focuses on two sets of women, Nefertari and her groomer and Iset and her groomer The groomers happen to be sisters, upping the drama The book is one long cat fight that I just did not want to watch Palace intrigue does not equal historical fiction unless you really back it up Moran.The characters are also one dimensional and much too obsessed with child bearing I was very tired of them saying things like what woman does NOT want a child like it was the worst conceivable idea On the child note, the book largely felt like a YA novel but then BAM you would be reading a sex scene An awkward feeling sex scene leaving you wondering what the hell just happened after each time Ramesses is simply the male place holder and love object rather than a famous Egyptian Pharaoh The entire book felt demeaning to women and men AND history.If you are looking for palace intrigue, romance and little depth then you may enjoy The Heretic Queen However, if you are looking for well written historical fiction that actually focuses on history you will not find it here As shown by the historical note, Moran took a lot of liberty with the history of the time and could hardly be considered accurate Ancient Egypt simply suffers at the hand of Moran and I think it is best they stay separated.


  10. says:

    Some would call the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti visionaries They ended the polytheistic religion of Egypt and destroyed the greedy and corrupt temples of Amun They instituted a revolutionary monotheistic system, worshipping one God, the Aten Unfortunately, thousands of years of religious belief could not be erased so easily Their reign ended in disaster and the old religious order was restored, ending a line of kings stretching back over a hundred years.Michelle Moran starts this novel several years after the events of her first novel, Nefertiti The sole survivor from the previous royal line is Princess Nefertari, niece of Nefertiti She has been raised at the court of the current Pharaoh, Seti I, and alongside the royal heir, Ramesses They are fast friends In fact, he is one of her only friends and the only reason the other children tolerate her She is the victim of the backlash of hatred against her deceased family She is called heretic and worse and is blamed for the actions of her relatives.As they grow up, the close friendship of Nefertari and Ramesses blossoms into love But few at court want Nefertari as Egypt s queen and her enemies try to turn the people against her, too Fortunately for Nefertari, she is a gifted woman She has an affinity for language and is able to learn the political intricacies of the court She has brains and courage Her journey to the throne of Egypt is breathtaking.The author has vividly recreated the stunning courts and palaces of Ancient Egypt Her imagining of the life of Queen Nefertari and the Pharaoh who will be known to history as Ramesses the Great makes for an engrossing and fascinating historical novel I particularly liked the inclusion of the Egyptian calendar at the end of the book, the first of these that I have seen I have read quite a lot of historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt and have always wondered how their calendar of seasons corresponds to our own.I loved The Heretic Queen and impatiently await Ms Moran s next book, Cleopatra s Daughter.


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The Heretic Queen download The Heretic Queen, read online The Heretic Queen, kindle ebook The Heretic Queen, The Heretic Queen b13ad70e9322 In Ancient Egypt, A Forgotten Princess Must Overcome Her Family S Past And Remake HistoryThe Winds Of Change Are Blowing Through Thebes A Devastating Palace Fire Has Killed The Eighteenth Dynasty S Royal Family All With The Exception Of Nefertari, The 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 This Changes When She Is Taken Under The Wing Of The Pharaoh S Aunt, Then Brought To The Temple Of Hathor, Where She Is Educated In A Manner Befitting A Future QueenSoon 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 HistorySweeping In Scope And Meticulous In Detail, The Heretic Queen Is A Novel Of Passion And Power, Heartbreak And Redemption From The Hardcover Edition